As a professional actress, Janna has played leading roles in Chicago with the 16th Street Theater, Chicago Dramatists, Courier 12 Collective, WNEP Theater, and The Second City's Skybox and DeMatt Theaters. In San Francisco she played leads with The San Francisco Playhouse, The Eureka Theater, The Magic Theater, The Exit Theater, New Writers New Works, Signal Theater Company and The BOA Festival in San Francisco. Janna studied performance in New York City at La Mama Etc and The Actors Movement Studio and with founding members of The Wooster Group, Physika Arts, and with East Coast Artists (Schechner, Cole and Minnick).
As an improvisor, Janna played with the iO Harold team Phoenix Lights
, was a member of The Improv Playhouse Touring Company
, and is a company member of Radiostar Improv
. She studied improv with Anna Halprin
, The San Francisco Mime Troupe
, and Bay Area Theater Sports
, and is a graduate of The Second City Conservatory
"I recommend Janna Sobel an actor of exceptional
talent and as a theater artist of professional caliber. I have worked
with Ms. Sobel over many years and in many capacities, and she has always
approached her work with a commitment that translates into skillful and memorable performances. Her outstanding performance as Carlotta
in The Ascension of Carlotta earned consistently excellent
reviews from critics and enthusiastic responses from audiences. Based on
my experience, I recommend her highly."
Dunne, Author of The Dramatic
Writer's Companion: Tools to Develop Characters, Cause Scenes, and Build
Stories, Chicago Dramatists Resident Playwright & Teacher
"Janna has the ability to
find the beating heart of any character she plays. She is luminous both
on stage and as she walks through her life."
Malinowski, Ph. D, critically acclaimed Author/Performer of What
Does the Sun Sound Like? and Aiming
Sobel is one of the most open-hearted, passionate, and dedicated improvisers
I've ever had the pleasure of working with."
~Jason Shotts, Improvisor/Teacher at iO
"Janna is an
immensely talented actor, and a very giving and attentive scene partner.
She has a uniquely gentle yet powerful comedic acting style, and in my opinion
she is just beginning to touch her full potential."
"Janna Sobel reminds us that any moment can be fully inhabited. The mere acts of listening and of letting, these are the actor’s greatest gifts. You’ll find yourself watching Janna--even when she’s not delivering lines."
~Peter Thomas, Playwright
"As an actress, Janna’s
tremendous intuitiveness makes her a powerful interpreter of new work. She
brings humor, compassion, and great sensitivity to the characters she plays,
and her fearless choices always reveal hidden layers and new possibilities.
When I am working on a new script, Janna is one of the first artists I
always think of to bring the work alive—‘cause that’s exactly what she