Currently based in Brussels, Jessa Wildemeersch
(1978) is an actress, writer and theatre practitioner. Wildemeersch holds a Master Degree in Theatre from Studio Herman Teirlinck, Antwerp and an MFA in Acting from ASDS at NSU, New York. In 2005 she was awarded ‘Lifetime Membership’ at The Actors Studio in New York. She is not only working in theatre, but in film and television as well, both in Belgium and abroad. In 2006 Wildemeersch founded les yeux bleus.
This not-for profit organization,
stimulates intercultural dialogue, community development and artistic innovation through theatre performances. The company allows Jessa Wildemeersch to develop her artisticwork in collaboration and co-production with local and global artists, communities and venues.les yeux bleus
remixes historical and present-day events into multi-media theatre performances.
Trained in different theatre traditions - from classical drama (Shakespeare), the method approach (from Stanislawski to Lee Strasberg) and post-war existentialism – and actively working in the contemporary European and International Performing Arts field, Wildemeersch is developing her voice as a theatre practitioner against the backdrop of theatre traditions which have dominated our western Culture.
Wildemeersch is interested in how stories are told. She is convinced that great storytelling is part of everyday life. Through audio-recording, interviews and field recordings, she captures everyday stories and places them in relation to the larger, universal myths. Wildemeersch enriches her work by juxtaposing documentary material with fiction and is constantly challenging her point of view through collaboration with artist from different practices and disciplines.
By re-examining the female perspective in the work of classical authors (like Shakespeare, Chekhov and Becket.) and by re-thinking how woman are represented on stage, Wildemeersch breaks with an ‘engrained’ identification of female representation on stage and chooses to highlight a female perspective in what is traditionally being perceived to be a mostly male field.
(2019) Wildemeersch’s latest play, is a multi-media meditation on the afterlife. For the creation, Wildemeersch received a 2019 writing residency at Isola Commacina in Italy. Co-produced by Het Nieuwstedelijk
The Boar is watching us
(2018-2019) is a new play in development. What if Chekhov’s Three Sisters wake up today? What if they went to Moscow?) for which Wildemeersch received a 2018 writing residency at SPAR (St. Petersburg Arts Residency) in Russia. Co-produced by ARSENAAL/LAZARUS
L’étude (when chaos strikes)
(2015-2017) The Flemish Community supported Wildemeersch with a development grant (to research Shakespeare’s female archetypes and examine their relevance in a present-day context.) The research turned into a performance and toured Belgium extensively.
Days Without Dates
(2014-2015) was researched and developed in The United States and Belgium, funded by Gone-West (Organization who supports artistic reflection on The Great War) and co-produced by Het nieuwstedelijk (BE). The performance toured Belgium and was selected for the Atlas Intersections Festival in Washington, DC, The United States. Co-produced by Het Nieuwstedelijk
(2013-2018) is co-created in collaboration with Iraqi artist Mokhallad Rasem. ‘Waiting’ won 3rdprize at BE-Festival in Burmingham, was presented at The Barbican in London and is currently touring Europe, Africa and Asia. Co-produced by Toneelhuis
Long Days. Short stories
(2010) was developed in The United States, created and presented in Belgium for Ostend, Cultural City.
For W.M.D (just the low points)
(2008-2009) Wildemeersch was awarded an International grant (from the Flemish Community in Belgium) to create this work in collaboration with Brooklyn based theatre company ‘SBN’. The performance was developed and performed in The Puffin Room (NY) Chasama (NY) ,The Richard Forman Incubator Series (NY) Monty Arts Centre (Antwerp) De Balie (Amsterdam). The performance was selected for the 15thannual Ice Factory Festival in Soho, (NY) and premièred at the International ‘Game is Up!’ Festival in Ghent, Belgium.
(2008) was developed and performed at The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center in New York, toured North-America and Belgium and was selected for the Gulamekhak International Festival for Woman in Kurdistan, Iraq.
Wildemeersch’s theatre plays are published by De Nieuwe Toneelbibliotheek.nl,
Her work has been mentioned in Variety, Elle, De Standaard, De Morgen, Humo, Flanders International,… Wildemeersch’s work has been supported by The Flemisch Community in Belgium, The Flemisch Community in Brussels, The City of Ostend, The City of Louvain, Gone West, The Belgian Embassy, Goethe Institute,… Wildemeersch has been selected by Kunstenpunt
as one of the four Brussels artists to participate in the IETM (International Theatre Meeting) plenary meeting in South Korea. This international network stimulates artist to develop and broaden their international connections and stimulates cross-cultural exchange.