jacque drews photo

AYA Director and Teacher

Jacque is an award-winning actor, recognised in the U.S. and New Zealand for her work.

She was a founding member of the Tygres Heart Shakespeare Company (Portland OR) and served as an actor, artistic director, and educational coordinator for the company, garnering accolades (Oregon Education Association’s Outstanding Educator Award) for her lectures and touring show based on Shakespeare’s greatest works. 

 She has appeared in dozens of stage productions in Portland (where she received the local Drammy award for her performance in Sam Shepherd’s Buried Child), and has also worked on stage in Alaska, Idaho, California, Utah, Washington, Massachusetts, Hawaii and New Zealand.

Since arriving in New Zealand seven years ago Jacque has appeared at the SiLo Theatre (The Women, Suddenly Last Summer, Some Girls); at the Auckland Theatre Company (Twelfth Night, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof); and has produced her own work in Wellington (Danny & the Deep Blue Sea) for which she received a Chapman/Tripp acting award.  TV viewers may recognize her as Shortland Street’s Martha Riley and for guest roles in Interrogation, Doves of War, Jaquie Brown Diaries, and the upcoming What Really Happened...?.

Jacque is a trained voice and dialect coach and has served as a US accent coach for SiLo Theatre, Auckland Theatre Company; the feature films Bridge to Terabithia, The Ferryman, Johhny Kapahala, The Warrior’s Way, and soon-to-be shot Emperor; and at the country’s major drama schools – Toi Whaakari and Unitec.

She is also one of the founders of still water rising, a not-for-profit mentoring organization that partners theatre artists with young people to produce original plays.

Jacque received her training at the University of Portland (Portland, OR), The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (London, England) and Shakespeare and Company (Lenox, MA).  She is a proud member of New Zealand Actors’ Equity.