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"Jesse Bernstein is a wonderful storyteller."
-- audience response to Ethics of the Fathers
Actor, Director, Writer and Teaching Artist
Artistic Director - Theatre Ariel
"Bernstein is the glue that holds it all together. He is positively exhilarating."
-Laura Knowles, Lancaster Sunday News
"Jesse Bernstein... delivers the goods with energy and panache to spare."
-David Fox, Philadelphia Magazine
ONGOING: "Ethics of Our Fathers (aka The Gangster and Grandpa)" and THE SCRIBE are both touring for Theatre Ariel.
NOW AVAILABLE: Ethics of Our Fathers (aka The Gangster and Grandpa) is now available as an audio-play on Audible! Get it now!
"Director Jesse Bernstein has clearly had a good time giving us a good time."
- Toby Zinnman, Philadelphia Inquirer
"Bernstein's boisterous production... uses a boundless supply of theatrical imagination."
- DC Metro Theatre Arts
"Directed by Jesse Bernstein, the actors move with fluidity and poise through the ever-changing settings on the small stage." - Christina Anthony, The Broad Street Review
JESSE BERNSTEIN is a graduate of Northwestern University’s School of Speech and has nearly 30 years’ experience working in film, TV and theatre. He has performed Off-Broadway and at regional theatres across the country, including the New York Shakespeare Festival, the Berkshire Theatre Festival, the Arden Theatre Company (where he originated the role of Reuven in Chaim Potok's The Chosen), Ventura Theatre Company and the Walnut Street Theatre Company (where he was one of only a handful of actors to have played Eugene in each part of Neil Simon's "B&B" Trilogy). TV appearances include Law & Order, Veronica Mars and Days of Our Lives. His directing credits include The History of Comedy (Abridged) (Cardinal Stage), The Gifts of the Magi, Shipwrecked!, Ivy and Bean, Little Mermaid (Jr.), Aladdin (Jr.), Honk (Jr.) and It’s a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play (Walnut Street Theatre), Peter and the Starcatcher (Drexel University), Member of the Wedding (Rutgers-Camden) and several productions for the National High School Institute and Northwestern's WAVE Productions. Writing credits include several successful outreach plays and the book for a musical commissioned by 11th Hour Theatre Company. Jesse wrote, produced and directed the short film Allergy (official selection, Audience Awards and LA Comedy Shorts Fest) and wrote, produced, and starred in the short film Us One Night alongside Alison Brie and Liza Weil (official selection, Williamstown Film Festival and New Filmmakers LA). He has also taught for theatres and organizations in Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia, including Philadelphia Young Playwrights, Northwestern University College, NHSI ("Cherubs") and University of the Arts. He has also lectured on public speaking at Drexel University, the Philadelphia Defender's Association, PennMed and the Montgomery Bar Association. Proud member Actors' Equity and SAG-AFTRA.
"A delight of a theatre piece... maximized by spell-binding performance [and] fast-paced and witty direction."
"Bernstein's irresistibly appealing portrayal carries the audience into and through [the play]."
- Douglas Keating, Philadelphia Inquirer