Press and Reviews

Profiles and General press

“Roth’s myriad skills have served her well as a budding theater artist in Chicago.”

–”Recent TAPS alumna Jesse Roth forges theater career through University training, connections.” Alida Miranda-Wolff, University of Chicago News. April 25, 2014.

Deer and the Lovers

“First Floor’s production engages on the strengths of strong storefront-level design (Eleanor Kahn’s set is particularly clever) and an appealing cast. Even if you don’t fall in love with Deer, you could find yourself deeply in like.”

Kris Vire. TimeOut Chicago

World Builders

“In Johnna Adams’ intelligent, intoxicating, 90-minute drama language and imagination are the stars. Directed by Jesse Roth with a great deal of passion and empathy for her characters and their stories, this two-hander is simply exquisite. It’s mesmerizing and it grabs the audience within the first few moments and never releases its grip until long after the final curtain.”

Colin Douglas. Chicago Theater Review

“Directed by Jesse Roth, this First Floor Theater production features snappy dialogue and fearless performances by Carmen Molina and Andrew Cutler as two people coming to terms with who they are and how they choose to live, in realms both real and imagined.”

Matt La Peña. Chicago Reader

The Terrible

“Director Jesse Roth’s production is strongly informed by a sense of play…The play comes off as a bit weird, but interestingly so…..It sticks with the viewer long after the lights go down….This is one of the best examples of a cohesive design concept that I’ve seen in a while….I was able to forget that I was an outside observer and just be immersed in the world the play creates”

Review: The Terrible/The New Colony. Christopher Kidder-Mostrom, New City Stage. October 20, 2015

“The play engages as it looks like performance art, sounds like therapy sessions and feels like Jean Paul Satre’s “No Exit”…The talented ensemble is disconcertingly good about dying…repeatedly.  At one point, the three are in see-through body bags. The visual is unforgettable.”

“Review “The Terrible” (The New Colony): Therapeutic Performance Art with ‘No Exit’.” The Fourth Walsh. October 20 2015.

“This play thrives on the intricacies of the characters created… To the credit of these actors and director Jesse Roth, they created characters that are easy to empathize with. Roth wonderfully directed her actors to treat the absurdist nature of the script’s use of repetition with truth and honesty.”

‘The Terrible’ at The New Colony.” Chicago Stage Standard. October 22 2015.


“First Floor has attracted some of Chicago’s hottest playwrights—including Brett Neveu and Ike Holter—for this series of eight original works, a coup for the fledging company.”

“A Kafka–Inspired Theater Festival is coming to Wicker Park.” Zac Thompson. Chicago Magazine. August 2015.

“The Trial By Theater: Contemporary Playwrights Inspired by the Prague Master in Kafkapalooza Festival.” Hugh Iglarsh, Newcity Stage. August 2 2015.

Chicago theater shows to see this summer.” Kris Vire, TimeOut Chicago. June 2 2015

The Credeaux Canvas

“Your attention won’t wander far from the frames and movements of the characters who inhabit them. There are some nice surprises in the way words are spoken, and in the way glances are met or avoided. The characters share some extremely charged moments; it’s transfixing, and more than a little discomfiting.”

– “UT/TAPS stage heists and lows of twenty-something scam artists.” Will Dart, The Chicago Maroon. March 1, 2013.

Crime and Punishment

UT stages the crazier side of a classic.” Charna Albert, The Chicago Maroon. February 15 2011.