Helene Simkin Jara is an award-winning author, actor, director and teacher. Her poems, stories, and plays have been published over 32 times, and have won various awards.

Her self-published first book Because I Had To was on Kindle’s best-seller list in July 2014. She followed this success with her second book, True Doll Stories We Remember, an anthology of personal accounts of experiences with dolls. Her third book, Turn Left at the Gorilla and Turn Down the Hall: and Other Stories, is a collection of short stories that runs the gamut from humor to tragedy, taking the reader on a ride within the human and sometimes not so human experience. Her fourth book, Life On The Stand, is a memoir of her time working as an artist’s model. In December 2023, Helene published her fifth book, another collection of short stories called Me! Me! Me!

Helene is an active member of the Bay Area theatre scene. Recently, Helene was featured in SidexSide, a Zoomed play reading of three short plays by Jory Post, presented by 36 North Playwright’s Collective. She is also a frequent collaborator with Santa Cruz Actors Theatre, and directed a new play, Talking to Myself by Evan Hunt (alias Sam Weller), for the 2024 8 Tens at 8 Festival.

She returns to the stage this spring in two plays for the Best of The Rest Festival (Santa Cruz Actor’s Theatre, March 22-31st, 2024): No Stems, No Seeds by Pamela J. Haskin and Burnt Offerings by Liam O’Grady.

To stay up to date on Helene’s latest projects, be sure to follow her on Facebook and Twitter. To get in contact with Helene, click here!