Scenic Designer
Urban Nutcracker


Goodnight Desdemona, Good Morning Juliet


          I am a professional scenic designer based in Boston. I received my MFA from Brandeis University in scenic design and have designed over 200 shows since then.  My designs have been seen at the Lynn Redgrave Theatre (Off-Broadway), Theatre For a New City (Off-Off-Broadway), Ohio Star Theatre (OH), Lyric Stage Company of Boston, Speakeasy Stage Company, New Rep Theatre, Emerson Majestic, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston Children’s Theatre, Odyssey Opera, Stoneham Theatre, New Jersey Shakespeare Festival(NJ), American Stage Festival (NH), New England Conservatory, Boston Conservatory of Music, Barter Theatre (VA), Opera Boston, Boston Midsummer Opera, Huntington Theatre Studio 210, ART Institute, Nora Theatre, Central Square Theatre, Reagle Players, Weston Playhouse (VT), North Shore Music Theatre. I have been an exhibit designer for CONSENSES, Festival of the Senses since 2014. I have received 8 design awards in Boston. I teach at Emerson College and Wellesley College. I am a member of USA Local 829.
Links to articles:
    -Mention in Christopher Durang article in new Dramatist Play Service copy of Miss.Witherspoon


​Blog interview






        It’s about thinking outside of the box and communicating an emotional reaction through a visual, sculptural media that happens to be scenic design for the stage. It’s about creating an environment that influences the shared experience of a body of people. It is my art form. It is also a collaborative art form where I have learned to say “Yes, and....” Or “No, but...” and try to solve challenges put before me with a team of other artists.

I started my teaching career at Wellesley College in the fall of 2006, Theatre Studies-the basic art of scenic design, to theatre and non-theatre majors. I have taught hand drafting, design essentials, and SketchUp at Emerson College since the fall of 2010 and have since been a visiting lecturer at Northeastern University, Lasell College and Framingham StateUniversity.

My classes are about visual communication and presentation and can be translated into many fields. Students are taught to communicate their ideas in visual terms. Eventually, they are required to imagine specific designs for scripts, music pieces, exhibits, films, etc., that they have to present in front of their peers. The most important aspect is that students tap into an emotional response to a script or other material that leads them to a unique design. I enjoy exposing students of all disciplines to these abstract exercises. I want to draw the creativity out of neuroscience majors and engineers. We are all artists and all have the capacity to imagine worlds
that can impact others.

Teaching these past years has made me a better designer. I find that I am more accountable to the process that I am teaching. I share my process and my work with my students. As I teach them to find the meaning of a script for themselves and how to communicate that to an audience, I find myself trying to pare down my own designs to the essentials of my feelings about a script. What do I want the audience to feel when they enter the theatre? What is the essence of the piece? And how can I convey that in the simplest of terms? How does my work contribute to and influence the event happening on, and of, stage?

"I wanted to say thank you for everything you taught me while I was at Emerson. The lessons I learned from you are reflecting in my current work and life. You were a blessing to have as a mentor and friend, and I hope the new batch of kids see that as well."

-Bree Dagdagen

   Emerson 2019



Festival of The Senses

       I am one of the original set designers for CONSENSES, Festival of the Senses. CONSENSES was conceived by musician and artist, Sally Taylor as a way of bringing people together in a greater understanding of our world through art. It is an artistic "game of telephone". Creations that address the 5 senses are made into "chains" and then set designers create the exhibit space. CONSENSES premiered on Martha's Vineyard in 2014 and toured to Somerville, Massachusetts and Wellesley College.  I am also bringing the CONSENSES curriculum into my design classes. I was one of four designers to create exhibit spaces for Art Makes Sense at Mass Moca that was installed from June 2018 - May 2019. 



Email - jehowland@verizon.net

Phone - (617-771-9243)

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