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Script Analysis

Jessica Holt is a distinguished theater director, educator, and MFA graduate from Yale School of Drama. With 20 years of experience, she has worked at prestigious theaters nationwide and taught at renowned institutions such as American Conservatory Theater and Stanford University. Passionate about storytelling, Jessica employs a holistic approach to script analysis helping actors create impactful characters and story arcs.


Jessica received her MFA in Directing from the Yale School of Drama, and holds an MA in Performance Studies from UC Berkeley. She has trained with Liz Diamond, Ron Van Lieu, Robert Woodruff, Peter Francis James, Christopher Bayes, Walton Wilson, Karin Coonrod, May Adrales, David Chambers, Jane Nichols, Jeanie O’Hare, Richard Seyd, and Paula Vogel, as well as many other artists.


Jessica has worked as a theater director, devised experience creator and educator for nearly twenty years. She has directed at nationally renowned theaters including Ensemble Studio Theater, En Garde Arts, Cape Cod Theater Project, Virginia Stage Company, Barrington Stage Company, Florida Studio Theater, Rivendell Theater, Oklahoma City Repertory Theater, Magic Theater, American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco Playhouse, Alliance Theater and many more. In addition to teaching at Maggie Flanagan Studio, she has directed, taught and coached students at schools and conservatories including American Conservatory Theater MFA, American Academy of Dramatic Art, The Studio/NYC, Fordham University, UC Berkeley, and Stanford University.


My work as a teacher is to guide an actor towards a holistic approach to script analysis so that they may fully understand how to lift up the larger vision of the play and the production through informed storytelling choices that pierce through to the poetic heart of the play. In addition to Meisner, my approach to script analysis is informed by the work of Konstantin Stanislavsky, Katie Mitchell, Declan Donnellan, and David Ball. By the end of my class, students will be able to break down a play into its parts in order to better understand how they translate into playable choices that impact the creation of character and story arc.


We have the powerful need to tell stories surrounded by other humans. I believe the impulse to tell and be told stories is primal, essential and necessary. And I believe, at the heart of it, actors are storytellers.


“I was placed in the intense reigns of Charlie Sandlan.  I became a better artist, actor, friend, sibling and daughter because of the studio. Even now, I crave the studio every day. What I learned is present in my work every day. I truly believe in everything they stand for.”

Marco Bettencourt Urbina

Jes Macallan

Maggie taught me that I could control my work, my acting, and to throw all of the bullshit out that I had in my head about ‘what I should be doing’ and to just listen and respond honestly, in the moment. She gave me a craft. She is, quite simply put, THE BEST.”

Marco Bettencourt Urbina

Leslie Bibb

Maggie Flanigan taught me the true meaning of artistry, passion, and professionalism. I am certain that I continue to work as an actress because of my training with Maggie. At every audition and every performance, her guiding voice is with me. It is a gift beyond measure.”

Marco Bettencourt Urbina

Andrea Anders