BIOGRAPHY

"There are two kinds of directors.
 
The first kind takes a script and makes it theirs.
 
The other kind just does the damn show.
 
I'm both."

Having just concluded her tenth season as the Producing Artistic Director of the Michigan Shakespeare Festival where she directed both the epic King Lear featuring John Lepard as Lear and the glorious Cyrano de Bergerac, Blixt is currently preparing the direct again at First Folio Theatre in Oakbrook, Illinois, this September. 

 

In 2018, Blixt directed both the award-winning Measure for Measure and directed and adapted Aphra Behn's The Rover (both parts) into one bright and sexy romantic comedy.  In 2017, she was featured as Kate in The Taming of the Shrew (her first time on the MSF stage since playing Queen Elizabeth in Richard III, 2000), directed the acclaimed production of Julius Caesar, and adapted -- and directed -- a world premiere translation of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull,  in 2016 directed both Shakespeare's Richard II and The Killer Angels, a play by Karen Tarjan based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel of Gettysburg by Michael Shaara-- both audience and critical hits and both nominated for Best Production Wilde Awards: Best of the Bard and Best Play respectively.

 

In 2015 she both directed A Midsummer Night's Dream (BroadwayWorld Best Shakespeare Production 2015) and adapted and directed Henry IV - an epic combination of both Henry IV plays into one night of 

theatre-- which won the Wilde Award for Best of the Bard.

 

In 2014 she directed the acclaimed Hamlet, Prince of Denmark  (BroadwayWorld Best Shakespeare Production, 2014) and Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being 

Earnest  (Wilde Award - Best Comedy). 

 

In 2013 she directed the hugely successful Twelfth Night, and in 2012 she directed both Richard III & George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion (Wilde Award nominated for Best Comedy, Best Scenic Design, Best Actor Comedy, and Best Actress Comedy).

 

In her first season she directed Romeo & Juliet, and in 2011 she directed both Much Ado About Nothing and the Wilde-Award Winning Best of the Bard Production of The Winter's Tale.

 

She also adapts and directs the ongoing MSF touring productions of Romeo & Juliet and Macbeth.  

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Jan has been a working director in Chicago for the past ten years where she has helmed Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Twelfth Night, The Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and the recent critically heralded Titus Andronicus.  She has also been the vocal director and text coach for Othello, Edward III, and Hamlet. She is a co-founder and Executive Director of A Crew of Patches Theatre Company, a professional Shakespearean repertory company in Chicago that produces full-length Shakespeare plays for high schools. She teaches text analysis and folio technique for professional actors and in colleges and is still, when there's time, a working actor, having appeared onstage at the JET, the Shadow Theatre Co., MeadowBrook, City Lit, First Folio Shakespeare Festival, Timeline Theatre, Next Theatre - and at the Michigan Shakespeare Festival.

 

A graduate of the Hilberry Theater's MFA program, Jan is married to long-time MSF Artistic Associate, Author and Fight Director David Blixt, whom she met at the Festival in 1997 when they played Kate and Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew. They are the parents of Dashiell and Evelyn.