Jess O’Rear is a student in the Ph.D. program in Performance as Public Practice whose research explores the relationship between queer identity and expression, capitalism, performance and visual culture with particular focus on transgender identity formation and expression in today’s rapidly advancing digital age. Artistic interests include interactive multimedia performance art, documentary theater, transmedia storytelling and site-specific performance.
O'Rear received a B.A. in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies with a minor in Theatre, Film and Media Studies from St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) in 2012. While at SMCM, O'Rear was a two-time recipient of the Rhoda-Stark Award in Gender Studies, a practicing stage performer and an experimental filmmaker. Additionally, O'Rear has worked as a social media manager for non-profit theatre organizations such as Adirondack Theatre Festival (Glens Falls, NY) and Dixon Place (New York, NY); was an artist-in-residence at the 2011 Ko Festival of Performance in Amherst, MA; and enjoyed a short stint as a secret identity consultant at 826NYC’s Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co.