Mary Jo DuPrey is a graduate of Vassar College with an MFA in Directing from UCLA, a recipient of the NYU Professional Certification in Filmmaking, and a Member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. A critically acclaimed and Ovation Award nominated director, her work is known for an ability to balance heightened theatricality with truthful storytelling as is demanded in the modern American theater.
Her production of “August: Osage County for the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum received four Ovation Nominations, including Best Production, Large Theater, Best Director, and Best Lead and Supporting Actresses. The production was also been placed on numerous “Best of LA Theater” lists for 2015. Other productions include “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” (The International City Theater), “Other Desert Cities” and “The Imaginary Invalid” (The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum), “What May Fall” (Theater of Note, LA Weekly Pick of the Week and Broadway World Nominations), Jeffrey Archer’s “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” (Ovation and LA Weekly nominations, included in Bitter Lemon’s ‘Best Productions of the Year’ and part of the Actor’s Co-Op’s LADCC’s Polly Warfied Best Season in Los Angeles Award), and “Jane Doe” (The Blank Theater’s Living Room Series and the World Premiere for the Los Angeles Theater Ensemble). She has also musical directed “A Midsummer’s Night Dream” for Ellen Lauren of the SITI Company and “PATTY”, an original rock musical based on the phenomenon of Patty Hearst at Highways Performance Space, featuring the rap vocal tracks of Daveed Diggs, who she then trained for his Tony Award Winning role in “Hamilton.”
At UCLA, where Mary Jo is a faculty member of the School of Theater, Film, and Television, she directed Durrenmatt’s “The Visit,” Charles Mee’s “Big Love,”“MGM: My Visits with My Grandmother Marta,” “In the Company of Jane Doe,” “Who is Selma Teller?,” “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” and an original all female musical version of “Lysistrata,” most recently workshopped at The Musical Theater Factory in NYC.
For the past two years Mary Jo was happy to direct two Ten Minute Play Festival for Female Playwrights for Little Black Dress, Inc., including “Seedlings” which aired in a groundbreaking Live- Streamed performance by HowlRound at the LATC. Other readings include “The Barber of Seville” at A Noise Within, and “Anna in the Closet,” “Dolley,” and “Lost Cause,” for the Marianne Murphy Series. Associate Producer: the Indie Festival Award winning film “Nothing Special,” Karen Black’s last film appearance, available on Amazon.com.
A renowned vocal coach based in Los Angeles, Mary Jo is the only certified West Coast teacher of the Katie Agresta Vocal Technique, and draws on the performance theories of Wesley Balk, former artistic director of the Minnesota Opera, and Anne Bogart’s Viewpoints to create an approach to performance that is bold and highly innovative. She has served on the voice faculty of UCLA’s Ray Bolger Musical Theater Program. She is currently the touring vocal coach for Jon Bon Jovi and has accompanied him on his last US, European, and South American Tours. She trained Daveed Diggs for his Tony Winning performance in “Hamilton.” Other numerous students are currently and have appeared in Broadway’s “Hamilton,” “Spring Awakening,” “Beautiful,” “Book of Mormon,” “Jersey Boys, “Groundhog Day,” “Something Rotten,” as well as the National Tours of “Hamilton,” “Book of Mormon,” “The Little Mermaid,” and “Mathilda,” and “Les Miz,” amongst others.