Jessica is one of the lead drama therapists in Witness Theatre, which is an intergenerational 9-month program that brings together Holocaust survivors and adolescents. During this time, she guides the group through the telling and witnessing of these stories. The process ends with a piece of therapeutic theater, which is written and directed by Jessica. Her work has been featured in the New York Times and the Jewish Link.
Jessica Asch, the drama therapist (who) works with us all year, has given all of us (adults and students included) the gift of a lifetime. – The Jewish Link
About the program from Witness Theatre’s site:
“We’ve made a promise to never forget — and we’ve kept it. In our first century and now in our second. Holocaust survivors pair with students to create original theater pieces about their harrowing experiences. Join us for a performance in commemoration of Yom HaShoah — when these powerful stories take center stage and come to life — so that we always remember.”
From the New York Times:
“There’s so few of us left, and it’s getting less and less every day,” (Jacqueline) Kimmelstiel said. “There are so many people who deny the Holocaust. I mean, my husband didn’t put that number on his arm by himself. It’s my duty to do the performance, and I do it willingly and in my husband’s memory.”
Jessica has worked with adolescents in the juvenile justice system using animation as a vehicle for self expression, as well as giving them professional skills to enter the job market.
Below is an example of one of the short films created with Jessica as the therapist.
From the site:
The Animation Project nurtures the social, emotional and cognitive growth of at-risk youth, using digital art technology as a therapeutic medium and a workforce development tool.