Jane Nichols is an actress, director, and teacher. She first studied with Shakespeare & Company in 1983, and has taught and acted with the Company off and on since then. Inspired by the work of Merry Conway at the 1983 workshop, Jane developed a passion for Clowning. Her teaching today brings together skills and techniques of Le Jeu, Physical Comedy, Clown, Bouffon, Improvisation, and Mask.
In addition to Merry Conway, she has studied with Philippe Gaulier (Ecole Gaulier), Clive Mendes (Theatre Complicite), Ronlin Foreman (DellArte School of Physical Theatre), Michael Kennard (co-founder of Canada’s Mump & Smoot, and Master teacher of the Richard Pochinko native American mask/clown technique), Avner Eisenberg (Avner the Eccentric), Davis Robinson (author of Physical Comedy Handbook), Keith Johnstone (Impro and Impro for Storytellers), and world-renowned Czech clown, Bolek Polivka.
Before S&Co, Jane worked as an actress in Boston, and was the Founder/Artistic Director of Crosswalk Theatre for Children. In 1985, applying her knowledge of children’s theatre to Shakespeare, Jane created and implemented the curriculum for the S&Co Elementary and Jr High School program which continues to this day.
In addition to S&Co, Jane has held teaching positions at the Yale School of Drama; Juilliard; Harvard University; ART; ACT; Brown University; the Actors Center in NYC; Stella Adler Conservatory; Emerson College; Simon’s Rock College of Bard, and University of Washington.
She has directed shows at Harvard University, Brown University, Washington Ensemble Theatre (WET), Intiman Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare Co, Seattle University, Cornish College of the Arts, and Room Circus Medical Clowning. With her company of former clown students, Logic Limited, Ltd., she devised: Desdemona’s Dream; Schaden, Freude, and You: A 3 Clown Seminar; TiVO la Resistance; New Shorts; and A Night at the Trojan Wall: a Clown version of the Iliad. For Cirque du Soleil she worked with John Gilkey, Daniel Passer, and Wayne Wilson to develop and devise the cabaret Your New Best Friends.
Acting credits include roles at Dallas Theatre Center, Portland Stage Co, En Garde Arts, Synapse Productions, New Georges, Shakespeare & Company, Gloucester Stage Co, Nora Theatre, Lyric Stage, Berkshire Public, Counterpoint Theatre, Cambridge Theatre Co. Film and TV credits include: School Ties; Heights; The Living Room Waltz; Ed; Law & Order SVU; America’s Most Wanted; Connect With English; and Rachel’s Dinner with Olympia Dukakis. She has done numerous voice overs and commercials.