Chess Jakobs


Chess Jakobs (any pronouns) is a Black, Jewish, and Queer American creator.

BROADWAY: The Heart of Rock and Roll (Assistant Director). OFF-BROADWAY: Dracula: A Comedy of Terrors (Associate Director/Dramaturg). REGIONAL: Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Downstate), Alliance Theatre (Colassal), Indiana Repertory Theatre (A Christmas Carol), Olney Theatre Center (Fiddler on the Roof). FILM: Good Genes, Scott For Now. TV: NBC, BET, Bravo. You can watch his acting reel here.

Chess's new play, The American Five: The Giants Behind the Dream, is currently under development and commissioned by Ford's Theatre. It explores the relationship of Martin Luther King Jr, his three close confidants, Stanley Levison, Bayard Rustin, and Clarence Jones, as well as his wife, Coretta Scott King. The developmental workshop was directed by Aaron Posner and featured Yoni Bornstein, Jay Frisby, Noah Keyishian, Fatima Quander, and John Floyd. Chess is writing a new documentary for People over Plastic called Sister Nature and is developing another new play titled Great Minds Think Differently.

Chess currently serves as the Head of Social Impact at Culture Amp, a technology platform empowering companies to maintain, improve, and grow the employee experience. As a cultural designer, Chess used his Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism frameworks to design culture and influence product design at PokémonGO, Culture Amp, and LiveRamp. In 2022, Chess received Untapped's DEIB Walk The Walk Award for Diversity Strategy and 2018 the MLK Spirit Award for Leadership. Chess also used his theatre training to study racism in public housing in Chicago at Roosevelt University. Chess was the inaugural Chair of the Advisory Board at Broadway Dreams.

Chess received his BFA from the University of Michigan. Chess is a proud member of the Actors Equity Association and an Associate Member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and the Dramatists Guild.