Jo Harvey Allen

Jo Harvey Allen Short Bio


Jo Harvey Allen is an actress, playwright, poet, songwriter, and pioneer of women in radio. She has appeared in numerous films including co-starring roles in David Byrne's cult classic True Stories (1986), Fried Green Tomatoes (1991, dir. John Avnet), and The Client (1994, dir. Joel Schumacher).  She was featured in The Homesman (Cannes 2014, dir.Tommy Lee Jones), Women Film Critics Circle Best Ensemble, and was nominated Best Lead Actress, International Filmmaker Festival of World Cinema Berlin for her co-starring role in The Other Kind (2015, dir. Rosalyn Rosen), Los Angeles Film Review Honorable Mention for Best Feature Film. Allen appeared most recently in Killers of the Flower Moon, directed by Martin Scorsese (Cannes, May 2023).

She has written, starred, and toured her acclaimed one-woman plays throughout the US and abroad, including the off-Broadway productions of A Moment's Hesitation (Dance Theater Workshop & The New School, NYC), Counter Angel (The New School, NYC), and As it is in Texas (St. Ann’s Church, NYC). Her other one-woman plays include Hally Lou (originally produced by Aspen Museum of Art, Aspen, CO., MOCA, Museum of Contemporary Art, L.A.), Duckblind (Cornet Theater, L.A.), and Homerun (Remembrance Through the Performing Arts, Austin, TX.). She co-wrote and starred in Chippy...Diaries of a West Texas Hooker (American Music Theater Festival, Philadelphia, PA andLincoln Center, NYC).  Allen co-wrote, starred, and toured the opera Pioneer (Spoleto Festival, Charleston, SC), Do You Know What Your Children Are Tonight? (Washington Project for the Arts, Washington DC; Theater Artaud, San Francisco), and Covenant (Ann Hamilton’s Tower, Oliver Ranch Foundation, Geyserville, CA). She wrote and directed Every Three Minutes (Guthrie Theater Lab), and co-starred in Leon, Lena, & Lenz, written by Georg Büchner, directed by Joanne Akalatis (Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis, MN).

She is married to artist, singer/songwriter Terry Allen (1962-present) and has starred in all of his radio and theater pieces, including Juarez, The Embrace...Advanced To Fury, Anti-Rabbit Bleeder…A Biography, Reunion, Warboy (and the backboard blues), Ghost Ship Rodez, and MemWars Live.

Allen co-wrote Every Three Minutes (radio play, NPR) and hosted the radio show Rawhide and Roses (KPPC AM/FM-Pasadena, CA. 1965-'69), authored Cheek to Cheek, a collection of poems (Duckdown Press), and Homerun (self-published). She co-hosted the first Texas Funny Women's Symposium with Texas Gov. Ann Richards and was the MC for Little Feat’s Lowell George Tribute in L.A., Terry Allen’s “Lubbock (on Everything)” Tribute, Lubbock, TX, and the Guy Clark Tribute in San Francisco at Golden Gate Park.

Her photographs, lithographs and installations have been exhibited most recently at the National Museum of Peru, the Humboldt Museum in Havana, Cuba, the Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco, CA, and the BCA Gallery in Austin, TX.  Allen has presented stories from Homerun on Sirius XM Outlaw Country Cruises (2019, 2022). She is the recipient of Art Matters and NEA fellowships and 2015 inductee to the West Texas Walk of Fame. The Allen's have two sons, three grandsons, and live and work in Santa Fe, NM and Austin, TX.