|Born||Jan Pringle Eliasberg
January 6, 1954
New York City
|Alma mater||Wesleyan University, BA (magna cum laude)|
|Occupation||Director, producer and writer|
|Spouse(s)||Neil Alan Friedman
Life and career
Eliasberg is from New York City. She is the daughter of Ann Pringle Harris, an English teacher at the Fashion Institute of Technology and Jay Eliasberg, a retired vice president for research at the Columbia Broadcast Group. She has a brother, Peter Eliasberg, the managing attorney for the ACLU of Southern California and a sister, Kristin Eliasberg, an acclaimed modern dancer and writer.
She graduated magna cum laude from Wesleyan University (at the age of 20 in 1974) and earned a Master's degree at Yale School of Drama (1981). In 1973, she co-founded Second Stage at Wesleyan, an organization of students dedicated to producing theater and other performances, which may be the country's first solely student-run volunteer theater organization.
She began her television directing career in 1986 directing an episode of Cagney & Lacey. Later that year, she was hand-picked by Michael Mann to direct an episode of Miami Vice, becoming the first of only three female directors of that series. She directed two more Miami Vice episodes in 1987, including "Contempt of Court" starring Stanley Tucci. She was also the first woman to direct Michael Mann's Crime Story, as well as Wiseguy. Her other television directing credits include multiple episodes of Nashville, The Magicians, Blue Bloods, NCIS;Los Angeles, Parenthood, Criminal Minds, 21 Jump Street, Dawson's Creek, Sisters (also a producer and writer), Early Edition, Party of Five, among many other notable series.
Eliasberg's original screenplay, HEART OF THE ATOM, is currently the top screenplay on The Black List, 2015, topped the BBC Short List, earned her a place in the prestigious Fox Writer’s Intensive, and was selected for Film Independent’s Producer’s Lab.
Jan wrote W.A.S.P. about the Women Air Service Pilots in World War II, for Cameron Diaz and Nicole Kidman at Fox 2000, and THE GEMCUTTER, a magical family-film with Jan attached to direct at Sony. Additionally she’s written two music-driven films for Warner Brothers. As writer/director/executive producer, Jan sold the pilot, SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS, to CBS. She sold the pilots, THE BLUE WALL, with Angela Bassett attached, and FEARLESS to Fox Television Studios. Most recently, she wrote the pilot, SALEM, (with co-writer, Misha Rasovich) for FilmEngine, Fox Studios and FX.
In 2015 she completed BEFORE I SLEEP, an indie feature which she will direct.
She has also had a career in theatre, directing the plays Spring Awakening, Peer Gynt, Hedda Gabler, The Threepenny Opera, the American premiere of Howard Brenton's Sore Throats and The Importance of Being Earnest.
In 1991, Eliasberg married Neil Alan Friedman, a studio executive at Columbia Pictures. They divorced in 2008. They have a daughter, Sariel Hana Friedman, a published writer, artist and graphic designer, and student at Wesleyan University, as well as the founder and editor of the feminist literary magazine, The Riveter Review.
- Cagney & Lacey
- Jack and Mike
- L.A. Law
- Miami Vice
- Crime Story
- Dirty Dancing
- TV 101
- Booker (also writer)
- The Outsiders
- Brewster Place
- Sisters (also writer)
- Early Edition
- Party of Five
- Any Day Now
- Dawson's Creek
- Nash Bridges
- Strong Medicine
- Ghost Whisperer
- Criminal Minds
- NCIS: Los Angeles
- Blue Bloods
- In Plain Sight
- The Magicians
- Lovers, Partners & Spies (Independent film, 1988)
- Past Midnight (Feature film, 1991) starring Natasha Richardson, Rutger Hauer, Clancy Brown and Paul Giamatti
- Autumn Ladies and Their Lover's Lovers
- Spring Awakening
- St. Joan of the Stockyards
- Sore Throats
- Hedda Gabler
- Peer Gynt
- A Christmas Tapestry
- Brecht on Brecht
- A Lesson from Aloes
- A History of the American Film
- A Midsummer Night's Dream
- The Threepenny Opera
- The Cote D'Azur Triangle
- The Brides
- The Importance of Being Earnest
- Through the Leaves
- Request for "L"
- U.S. Public Records Index Vol 1 & 2 (Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.), 2010.
- Jan Eliasberg and Neil Friedman Wed, The New York Times Style Section Published: May 27, 1991
- Jan Eliasberg Expands Career From Stage To Film A Director Broadens Her Horizons
- Guide to the Second Stage Theater Records, 1973 - (ongoing)
- Wesleyan University Second Stage
- Wesleyan University (pgs 4-6, and footnotes 5, 6)
- Jan Eliasberg Biography at FilmReference.com