Hello! Thanks for checking in. Since you're here, you might be wondering what I'm up to these days. Get comfortable: I'll just tune up my lyre and share the latest installment in the Song of Vosters: Pandemic Edition.
Like everyone else on Earth, my plans have changed pretty dramatically since the start of 2020. I was excited to have the entire year booked with projects I was thrilled about: directing my first Sam Shepard play in Flagstaff; assisting my directing mentor on two beautiful productions in Milwaukee; joining American Players Theatre for my second summer season; and returning to A Christmas Carol at Children's Theater of Madison. I'm happy to say the Shepard play was able to open in March, though its second weekend was postponed until November. Less happily, the two plays in Milwaukee have been canceled and/or postponed. After weeks of strategizing, APT has announced they are canceling their 2020 season. And it remains to be seen whether A Christmas Carol will be happening this winter, at any theatre.
I'd be lying if I said I'm not worried for the future of our industry, or my place in it. I'd also be lying if I pretended it hasn't been really, really hard to bid farewell to these projects. A small price to pay for good health and safety, to be sure, but...a high price nonetheless. One that I'm sure has hit you, too.
So, now that this "What's Next" section feels especially poignant, and even a little cruel, what have I been up to?
I've been listening to a lot of classical music. My heavy rotation includes Mendelssohn (both Felix and Fanny), Holst, and Coleridge-Taylor.
I've made some good progress on several long-term writing projects, including one about the aforementioned Mendelssohns. Stay tuned! (GET IT?!)
I've started The Clone Wars and, honestly, what took me so long.
I've joined an amazing, life-giving play reading circle with friends and artists I admire. Some highlights have been Sarah Ruhl's Orlando, Tennessee Williams' Stairs to the Roof, and the screenplay of All About Eve (an absolute riot).
And yeah, I've baked bread.
There's a lot I haven't figured out. How to stay productive when I'm spending all day, every day, at my parents' house again. How to deal with the spikes of anxiety and feelings of uselessness. How to wrangle the upshoots of bottled-up creativity and the spirals of depressed lethargy. How to make money. How to be a good friend. How to stay well in all the ways that matter (and if you've got tips, send 'em my way!).
Nevertheless, my family is safe and well, I am safe and well, and theatre will survive. It always has. In a world that's going wrong, that's a lot going right.
Please stay healthy, and stay in touch. See you on the other side of this.
A LADY IN WAITING / June 10, 2020 Jennifer is excited to reunite with playwright Liz Shipe and try her hand at "Zoom theatre"! She will direct a virtual live reading of Ms. Shipe's A Lady in Waiting, produced by Three Crows Theatre and presented by Milwaukee Chamber Theatre. Tune in to MCT's Facebook page at 7:00pm on June 10, 2020!
A LIE OF THE MIND / February-March 2020 Jennifer directed Flagstaff Shakespeare Festival's production of A Lie of the Mind by Sam Shepard, which opened March 12. The second weekend of performances was postponed due to COVID-19 and is currently set for November 12-14.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL / November-December 2019 Jennifer made her Christmas Carol debut with Children's Theater of Madison, where she performed as the Ghost of Christmas Present in an adaptation by Colleen Madden (directed by James Ridge). She also provided live music for the show.