Leslie Jacobson is a director, playwright, and educator who has over the past 36 years, followed her passion in using the performing arts to effect societal change. She is the Founding Artistic Director of Horizons Theatre, established in 1977, and producing full seasons of plays by and about women for 30 years. Under her leadership, Horizons introduced Washington audiences to over 60 new plays and playwrights through fully-staged productions, and another 50 through public staged readings during these years. Horizons Theatre has received many honors, including a special award from the Women's Committee of the Dramatists Guild for its outstanding work in producing plays by women playwrights. Jacobson has directed a number of world and area premieres, and has been nominated for the Helen Hayes Award in the category of Outstanding Director three times. Her production of A…My Name Is Alice received a Helen Hayes Award for outstanding production. The Body Project, which she co-wrote with Vanessa Thomas, has been professionally produced in DC, and produced at Cornell University in New York, and Flinders University Drama Centre in Australia. Since 2003, Jacobson has joined colleague Roy Barber in traveling to South Africa each summer to work with the at-risk youth of the Bokamoso Youth Centre, using theatre, music, and movement to give voice to their life experiences and to address the issues within their poverty-challenged community of Winterveldt.
Since 1977 Jacobson has been a full-time member of the faculty of The George Washington University. A Professor of Theatre, she served as Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance from 1995 through 2008. In 2001, Jacobson became a member of the Leadership America class, and she is also a past president of the League of Washington Theatres. In 2008 she received a Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship to Australia.