Exciting News for the Wilma Education Program

September 6, 2023

The Wilma Theater is proud to announce that the William Penn Foundation has renewed their support of our Wilmagination in-school residency program, as well as our Wilma All-Stars after school program with a three year grant. Both of these programs serve the students of Philadelphia’s public high schools – all at no charge to the students or schools. The Wilma is grateful to William Penn for their steadfast support of our education programs.

Dear Wilma Artists and Audience,

We have some big Education news here at the Wilma! We are incredibly excited to welcome Jess Conda as she begins her role as the Director of Education and Community Practice at the Wilma Theater

You may recognize Jess from her incredible performance in Those With 2 Clocks last fall on the Wilma stage. She has hosted the Barrymore Awards, was Artistic Director of Brat Productions, and deeply loved by the Philadelphia theater community.

Bringing over 20 years of teaching artist experience (6 with the Wilma), we are thrilled to have Jess helm the next chapter of our Education and Community programs.

Jess’s passion for arts education is unparalleled. She is a champion for young voices, and we are so thrilled to welcome Jess to her new position at the Wilma!

Meet Jess Conda!

JESS CONDA is a Philadelphia based performer, producer, teaching artist and cultural connector. She returns to the Wilma as Director of Education and Community Practice after six years working in the department as a Teaching Artist with Wilmagination, Camp Wilma, Portable Studio, and All Stars Educational programming. From 2019-2023, Jess taught Movement and Theater Arts full time at Independence Charter School, serving their K-8 population.

Jess holds a BFA in Acting and trained in the inaugural class of Pig Iron Theatre Company’s Advanced Performance Training Program. Regional Theater Performance credits include: Arden TheatreWalnut Street TheatrePig Iron Theatre, and six seasons with Shakespeare in Clark Park. From 2003-2013, Jess performed with Brat Productions, a former non profit theater company known for their influence on Philadelphia’s early “Fringe” performance scene. From 2013-2017, she worked as Artistic Director, serving a mission to produce original rock-theater performance while providing creative opportunities for emerging Philadelphia artists.

In 2019, Jess co-hosted The Barrymore Awards, a nationally recognized award program for professional theater productions in the Greater Philadelphia area. She is a three-time Barrymore nominee for Outstanding Ensemble in a Play. Her original anti-patriarchy comedy Those With Two Clocks (co-written and performed with Jenn Kidwell and Mel Krodman) was produced by The Wilma in 2022. Conda is also an Associated Artist with the Bearded Ladies Cabaret and has been in their host cohort since 2018 developing cabaret hosting pedagogy and creative material. She lives by herself and surrounded by queer chosen family on the unceded Lenni Lenape land currently known as Philadelphia.

Photo of Jess Conda in front of Wilma Box Office sign by Cat Bohnenberger.