Biography

Jillian began acting when she was cast in Southern Illinois University McLeod Playhouse’s Summer Theatre production of Aida, and was one of 12 twelve members of the 2009 Illinois All-State Improv team. Before attending Union University to study Theatre Performance, Jillian had the opportunity to study at The Second City and emcee the Illinois High School Improv Festival in Chicago, IL.

As an improv artist, Jillian has worked at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, training for 4 months with the troupe We Are Vanessa, and performing in weekly Harold and Armando long-form shows, short-form shows, and hosting an audience-interactive "wet show," called Peebles' Court. She and Laurel George founded Memphis's premiere long-form duo improv comedy group, B&G Improv, in 2019. They performed during Midtown Opera Festival 2019 and Voices of the South Fringe Festival 2019. Jillian appeared on stage at Kismet Improv in Providence, Rhode Island in several improv shows and as a member of the Kismet Marquee Cast, as well as participating in an Improvised Shakespeare showcase hosted by Julie+Juliet at the 2022 Ocean State Improv Festival.

On stage, Jillian has performed in over 200 theatrical productions including several regional, national, and world premieres - Byhalia, MS (Playhouse on the Square, 2015), In Search of Tonto Goldstein (Women’s Theatre Festival of Memphis, Inc., 2016), Ricochet (Art with a Heartbeat, 2018), and The Parchman Hour: Songs and Stories of the 1961 Freedom Riders (Hattiloo Theatre, 2019). Her performances in Proof (Theatre Memphis), As You Like It (Theatre Memphis), and The Parchman Hour (Hattiloo Theatre) earned her nominations from the Southwest Tennessee awards organization, The Memphis Ostranders.

From 2016-2017 she participated in and successfully completed Tennessee Shakespeare Company’s Teaching-Artist Fellowship, performing in shows such as Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing, and Comedy of Errors. She returned to the company briefly at the end of 2017 as an Education Program Artist and Marketing Associate. During 2020's global pandemic shut down, Jillian joined Living Room Shakespeare Company's international cast for an online performance of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, directed by Kevin Anderton.

Her work in the film/television industry includes several Indie shorts as well as feature roles in Southland Gaming and Racing commercials, Fresh Big Mouf’s music video I Got What You Need, and work with television series Nashville and Million Dollar Quartet.

Reviews

Chris Davis, The Memphis Flyer

"The relationships in Proof are emotionally raw, and excruciatingly real. Before she says a word you can read the fatigue and depression in Barron's posture, as she putters around the backyard of her family home." (2013)

"Jillian Barron, who plays Laurel, [Evan] Linder's female protagonist, is especially strong here. Barron, it seems, can do no wrong. She was one of the more fantastic things about Jo Lenhart's fantastic As You Like It at Theatre Memphis. She followed that with an award-worthy turn as a talky millennial in Rapture, Blister, Burn in the same space. Her Laurel doesn't always make good choices but she's always trying (sometimes failing) to choose better. She owns her worst mistakes - eventually - and she learns from them, kinda. She's flawed but decent, and constantly awkwardly evolving. It's a terrific role on the page and Barron wears the character like school colors." (Byhalia, MS 2016)

"Jillian Barron plays the hardboiled detective and brings a fierce anime edge to her scenes." (The Nether 2018)

"Jillian Barron is joyfully weird as the geographer. She's one of those eternally chipper people that seems to love her job - and maps - just a little too much." (The Typographer's Dream 2018)

Jon W. Sparks, The Commercial AppealMemphis Magazine

 

"Proof is beautifully performed, particularly with Jillian Barron as Catherine. Barron's instincts are dead-on with every bit of sarcasm, panic, fear, hope and resolve emerging with unforced authenticity. This is her first time with Theatre Memphis, and let's hope for more." (2013)

"But what really makes [Rapture, Blister, Burn] pointed is the presence of Avery (Jillian Barron), a 21-year-old free spirit who has her generation's blindness to the past but is assured about what her future holds...Barron hits a bullseye with her gift for portraying an authentic know-it-all college kid who understands everything except what she doesn't." (2015)

"Jillian Barron finds the core of the new mom and makes her three dimensional, simultaneously earning sympathy and disapproval." (Byhalia, MS 2015)