A Barewitness player since 2004, Jan Probst is a transplanted Midwesterner, whose roots in the dramatic arts around the San Francisco Bay extend back to the 1970s, a rich time for independent theater. Inspired by the rise of feminist theater, and active in the women’s martial arts movement, she was a founding member of The Whole Works Women’s Theater Collective and the performance troupe Streetwise: Women’s Martial Arts Theater.
Jan has studied acting with Jo Mohrbach, Bobby Weinapple, Robert Currier, Phil Bennett, and Corey Fischer, among others. Three very funny women, Joan Mankin, Karen Ripley and Annie Larson, helped her earn some laughs. She explored solo performance technique with Amy Mueller and Ann Galjour, and like other Barewitness Players, is an alum of the professional acting training program at the Bennett TheatreLab, under the tutelage of Philip Bennett.
An award-winning playwright, Jan’s plays have been on stage at numerous venues around the bay, including Women’s Work at Venue 9, Cutting Ball Theater, California Travel Troupe at the EXIT Café, the SF Fringe, Piedmont One Act Festival and B8 Theatre, as well as Valdez Last Frontier Theatre Festival in Alaska, and Wild Rose Moon in Plymouth, Indiana. Nearest to her heart, is when her mother played the lead in a reading of her play The First Page, at a retirement center in her hometown in Indiana. Jan has been an Artist in Residence at Z Space Studios, Playwright of the Month at Off-Market Theater, guest artist for the ATHE Annual Conference, and a national finalist for the American College Theater Festival. She earned her MFA in Playwriting from San Francisco State University.
Jan also studied film theory at San Francisco State, and learned about video and film production from the good folks at Bay Area Video Coalition and Film Arts Foundation. Her first film was made from 16mm found footage, which she cut on a Steenbeck.
Delighted to have found an exciting creative home with the Barewitness players, highlights include directing a road movie for the 48 Hour Film Project, and realizing her long-time dream of playing a detective in If the Shoe Fits. She is forever grateful to Stan Stone for entrusting her with the lead in his tender film Gone.
If the Shoe Fits
Welcome to the Jungle
The Big Kick
member of Dramatists Guild of America