Julia Ashworth has been working with young people as a theatre educator and director for over a decade. She received her bachelor's degree theatre education from Brigham Young University in 1996. After graduating, she worked as the performing arts department coordinator and theatre teacher at American Fork High School. In 2000, she relocated to New York City to study at New York University, where she received her master's degree in educational theatre from NYU’s Steinhart School of Education.
While at NYU, Ashworth worked both as a graduate assistant for the Program in Educational Theatre and as the coordinator of professional activities at the historic off-Broadway Provincetown Playhouse in Greenwich Village. There, she also had the opportunity to produce and direct in their Theatre for Young Audiences program. Over the next several years, Ashworth worked as a teaching artist and director in various New York City public schools and in-house theatre education programs, in, near, around, and most notably with The Young Women’s Leadership School, on Broadway. Concurrently, she worked in Lincoln Center with New York State Council on the Arts, where she facilitated professional development for artists and educators. While in New York, she also enjoyed acting as the performing arts program director for The Children’s Aid Society’s after-school programming.
Since returning to Utah, she is teaching Theatre Education at BYU, to create original theatre programs and productions with local public schools.
Ashworth continues to direct youth friendly plays at Brigham Young University. In 2011, Ashworth directed BYU's production of The Hundred Dresses, which toured local elementary schools and simultaneously became a dress drive. Almost 2,000 donated dresses were given to needy immigrants in Utah. In September and October of 2013, Ashworth directed The Nightingale, a play based on Han Christen Anderson's The Nightingale. She directed it in both English and Mandarin Chinese and was aided in authenticity by the research the BYU cast and crew conducted at the China Peking Opera house. The cast and crew trip to China was funded in part by the Laycock Center for Creative Collaboration in the Arts. During the tour, the play was performed for over 9,000 students.
In 2014, Ashworth presented a workshop at the annual Utah Theatre Association conference, where Shawnda Moss was the conference administrator. The following year, she was a co-author of Arts Education and Literacies, a book that was part of the Routedge Research in Literacy Series in 2015.
In 2017, Ashworth was recognized with a faculty award and a Good Samaritan Grant at the University Accessibility Center (UAC) banquet. The award comes as a result of her direction of The Taste of Sunrise in winter 2016.