Jennifer grew up in Fairfax County, Virginia, where she graduated from Woodson High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree in theatre from James Madison University. Later, she completed a master’s degree in theatre history, literature, and criticism from Illinois State University and a MFA from the University of Pittsburgh. In addition to Jennifer’s performance and production work, her research interests include theatre pedagogy, student learning styles, women’s studies, and voice/body therapy.
A professional actor and singer since 1989, Jennifer brings a wide variety of performance credits to the table. She has toured the country in two national companies, Nunsense and Smoke on the Mountain. Favorite performances have ranged from classical to contemporary, from Twelfth Night to Singin’ in the Rain. A real highlight was performing in RU’s own Hawes Studio Theatre as Vivian in Margaret Edson’s W;t. Although her work has taken her from New York to California and lots of places in between, she has also performed locally at Mill Mountain Theatre and the Taubman Museum of Art, and served as panelist for the Barter Theatre’s Festival of Appalachian Plays and Playwrights.
You may have seen Jennifer’s stagings of Cabaret, Major Barbara, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Comedy of Errors, Hay Fever, On the Verge, All My Sons, The Wind in the Willows, and Puss in Boots in the Pridemore Playhouse. Jennifer has also lent her directing skills to two summers of Quest, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), and My Name is Rachel Corrie at Radford. A musical theatre lover, she performed in the RU production of Baby, playing Arlene.
A strong believer in performing arts education, Jennifer has also been an active researcher in the art of teaching theatre. She has presented workshops and papers to the Lessac Training and Research Institute, the International Drama/Theatre in Education Association, the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, the Mid-America Theatre Conference, VTA/Southeastern Theatre Conference, and other organizations. In 2014, she traveled to Ireland to assist in teaching a Lessac Voice and Body workshop at the Gaiety School of Acting. Jennifer has a wide range of interests and hobbies, but her favorite thing is spending time with her husband, Jon, and their dogs.