top of page

Photo: E. Lee

"Polished and evocative ... [Swan's] voice is clear and inviting, a wry observer."         - Kirkus Reviews

JESSICA SWAN is an American novelist, playwright, librettist, and screenwriter. Known for crafting authentic, visually-striking stories for stage & film, Swan’s upcoming work includes musicals that employ dance as a function of the narrative. Rooted in myth and psychology, Swan’s dreamlike stories translate the performing & visual arts across multi-platforms to resonate in meaningful ways for today’s audience. 

Swan conceived and wrote the libretto for "Sugar Hill: The Ellington/Strayhorn Nutcracker" (premiered December 2023 at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago), a dream-story told in dance, set to the music of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, with orchestrations/arrangements by Grammy Award-winner John Clayton and three-time Tony Award-nominee Larry Blank for a live 17-piece jazz orchestra and a 31-person cast choreographed by a team of world-class choreographers of ballet, street dance, jazz, tap, and Lindy Hop.

"Unforgettable and enchanting... Elegant coolness." - Rolling Out

"4 STARS. Like jazz itself, this show is just so darn American, infusing The Nutcracker with a boundless joy and optimism, all embodied in its extraordinary rhythm."The Chicago Sun Times

"Thrilling... glamorous and compelling... magnificent in concept and execution."Chicago Reader

"An intoxicating world of music and dance." - The Chicago Tribune

Swan holds a rhetoric degree from U.C. Berkeley and has published three books: The Big Book of Motivation Games (McGraw-Hill Companies) co-authored by a senior research psychologist as an addition to the best-selling The Big Book of Business Games series; Dear Isabelle (Harbor House Books); and Completely Lost (Odette Books). She is a former writer for Psychology Today magazine and has co-authored work published in the academic journal The Behavior Analyst. Her novels are featured on NPR, San Jose Mercury News, East Bay Times, and spotlighted in the Las Vegas Review-Journal as a must-read. Swan lives in New York City.

Photo: Laura A. Oda/ Bay Area News Group 

bottom of page