Jody Hovland (Distinguished Artist-in-Residence) is a founder and current Artistic Director of Riverside Theatre, Iowa City's resident professional company since 1981. She holds an M.F.A. in acting from the University of Iowa, an M.A. in English from the University of North Dakota, and is a member of Actors’ Equity.

Jody has appeared at the Kennedy Center and the Smithsonian Institution (First Lady Lou), with Karamu House Performing Arts Theatre in Cleveland (The Servant of Two Masters), and has toured in the solo shows The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, Shirley Valentine, The Median Strip, First Lady Lou, and Planting in the Dust.  Recent performances include Eileen in the Riverside-Cornell co-production of The Cripple of Inishmaan and, for the Riverside Theatre Summer Festival, Essie in Ah, Wilderness and Lucetta in The Two Gentlemen of Verona.  Other favorite roles include Kate Keller in All My Sons, Sylvia in End Days, Prospera in The Tempest, Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing, and Vivian Bearing in Wit. Her directing work at Cornell includes productions of  Baby with the Bathwater, Don Juan in Chicago, The Sirens, and several co-productions with Riverside Theatre including Tartuffe, Our Town, and The Laramie Project.