Current Projects


 

Discount Ghost Stories

Concept and Book by Jessica Kahkoska and Alexander Sage Oyen
Music and Lyrics by Alexander Sage Oyen
Additional/ Adapted Text and Archival Research by Jessica Kahkoska
Developed with and Directed by Austin Regan

Discount Ghost Stories is a rock theatre band that conceptualizes dark American legends into multimedia concerts and albums. Discount Ghost Stories brings the “tall tales around the campfire” tradition to the 21st century, combining rock music, archival research, dark Americana lore, and immersive theatre into an electrifying rock séance with an irreverent vintage feel.

Discount Ghost Stories has been developed and presented at the American Musical Theatre Project (AMTP) at Northwestern University, Barn Arts Collective, Ars Nova ANT FEST, and Joe’s Pub at the Public Theatre. Upcoming: World Premiere Production at Local Theater Company in June 2019

 

live performances:

"Silver Moonlight" @ Joe's Pub, 1/23/17
DISCOUNT GHOST STORIES
Video recorded by Micah Joel

"FUN!!!" @ The Apartment Sessions
DISCOUNT GHOST STORIES
Produced by Luke McGinnis

"Heaven Is Our Home" @ Joe's Pub, 1/23/17
DISCOUNT GHOST STORIES
Video recorded by Micah Joel

"From The Top Of His Hill" @ Joe's Pub, 1/23/17
DISCOUNT GHOST STORIES
Video recorded by Micah Joel

 

Agent 355

Concept by Preston Max Allen and Jessica Kahkoska
Music, Lyrics, and Book by Preston Max Allen
Book and Dramaturgy by Jessica Kahkoska     

An all-female, punk-rock retelling of the unknown woman that helped America’s first Culper Spy Ring “outwit them all” in the Revolutionary War. Reimagined by all-female/TNGC band and challenging a history written by men, Agent 355 explores the loyalty, heritage, and courage of six real Revolutionary women whose stories, sacrifices, and secrets shaped the nation.  

Agent 355 was originally developed through the generous support of the Marion International Fellowship for the Visual and Performing Arts Fund of the Fredonia College Foundation, State University of New York at Fredonia. In 2018, Agent 355 was the recipient of an "At The Table" Residency with Village Theatre and a Musical Theatre Factory Developmental Residency at Playwrights Horizons. This August, Agent 355 will appear in Chautauqua Theater Company's 2019 Season as a New Play Workshop, funded by the Roe Green Foundation. Agent 355 was also selected for a 2019 American Antiquarian Society Fellowship for Creative and Performing Artists and Writers.

Press:
November 2018 Developmental Residency at Musical Theatre Factory
September 2018: Marion Fellows Lecture at SUNY Fredonia
May 2018 Concert at (l)PR
Marion Fellowship in Chautauquan Daily
Marion Fellowship Awarded in May 2017
Marion International Fellowship for the Visual and Performing Arts


Letters to the president (in concert)

Currently in Development with the Great Hall at Cooper Union
Conceived by Michael Bello and Jessica Kahkoska
Directed by Michael Bello
Dramaturgy / Letter Curation by Jessica Kahkoska

The act of writing a letter has been a way for Americans to share their most personal hopes, concerns, and dreams with the occupants of our nation’s highest office since its founding. Coming this spring, a new musical theatre concert will bring these writings to life in Letters to the President, which will be presented as a free public program to celebrate The Cooper Union’s 160th anniversary.

"Letters to the President" reimagines an archival canon of letters through new music by multiple musical theatre composers. Each new song is inspired by an actual letter to a U.S. president curated from the National Archives and private collections from across the country. Spanning topics including western expansion, World Wars I and II, space exploration, and the civil rights movement, Letters to the President offers a powerful look at the American dream. The evening will consist of the composers’ songs performed alongside readings of the letters that inspired them.

Press:
Letters to the President at Cooper Union Announces Composer Line-Up
Broadwayworld.com: Letters to the President Comes to Cooper Union on April 8
AM New York: Musicians to share Americans' 'Letters to the President' at The Cooper Union


Nia

Adaptation by Jessica Kahkoska
Directed by Sarah Wansley
With Music and Lyrics by Tommy Wansley               

This 90-minute, musical adaptation of Iphigenia et Aulis reimagines Euripedes’ controversial play in a rural Applachian town governed by fundamental religious rules and a blue collar military tradition. 

Was there indeed a miracle at Aulis, or just hysteria and violence? What story will we choose to believe?

Nia is the recipient of a 2018 FIRST STAGES residency at the Drama League. 

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Untitled crypto-judaism project

By Jessica Kahkoska

Colorado’s San Luis Valley is world-renowned for its beauty, but this famous Southwestern landscape may be harboring some secrets of its own. One in particular connects the valley to a clandestine Sephardic Jewish heritage and the 15th-century Exodus from the Spanish Inquisition … but is it really a secret, and if so, to whom? This new play with music sings the complicated legacy of Crypto-Judaism in the Southwest, illuminating an unlikely, alpine tale of secrecy, faith, fear and how we pass on culture when written records are too dangerous to keep. Driven by a community-engaged, Colorado-based research process, this piece explores if our identities and rituals rise from earth and mountains where we spend our days, are inherited in the ancient stories of our blood, or are learned in the motions of mothers at sunset and overheard songs of grandparents.

THE UNTITLED CRYPTO-JUDAISM PROJECT received the 2019 Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) “Powered By Off-Center” Residency.

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Wild home: a rural american theatre odyssey 

By Jessica Kahkoska
Created with Notch Theatre Company
Directed by Ashley Teague
With Support from the Wilderness Society   

Wild Home: An American Odyssey is a multi-community theatre project that creates original short plays and public performances documenting the experiences of local citizens and stakeholders in 15 areas across the US under serious threat from the oil and gas leasing on Public Lands. The program is active in the North Fork of the Gunnison region of Colorado  and is intended to explore and deepen the conversation around protecting wilderness spaces and Public Lands at a grassroots level and on a national, policymaker scale.   

In 2018 “Wild Home” received a residency at the Taft-Nicholson Center for the Arts and Humanities at the University of Utah, and was featured by HowlRound in the Theatre in the Age of Climate Change series. Wild Home is made possible, in part, through a grant from the Network of Ensemble Theaters’ Travel & Exchange Network (NET/TEN), supported by lead funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Click here to learn more about the project.

Press:

Broadwayworld.com