Jen arrived in Olympia in 2001 after a lifetime of performing and loving music, children’s literature and theater. She studied music and drama in high school and her early college years in Seattle. Over the years, she has gained experience directing, acting, singing and supporting local performing arts groups.
During her first 6 years in Olympia, you would have found her busily volunteering at Lincoln Elementary as the choir director and creating performance opportunities for many different classes of children. Jen is indebted to Lincoln and grateful for the opportunities she had there to perform, direct, adapt children’s stories into short plays, to make music and work with children. Lincoln provided a place for her to grow as a parent, an artist and a person.
Jen completed her BA at The Evergreen State College in June of 2006. She focused her studies on expressive arts, business and education with the goal in mind of creating a children’s theater here in Olympia. She worked for three summers with her friends at Creative Theatre Experience (CTE) and for 5 years, she was a community specialist at the Olympia Regional Learning Academy (ORLA) teaching classes on everything from creative dramatics and puppetry to reader’s theater and crafts. For her own professional development in 2012-13, Jen completed a certificate program- “Directing for the Stage and Screen” at the University of Washington.
Jen is OFT’s co-founder and Artistic Director. She also works behind the scenes as the production manager for every show in addition to assisting with props, scenic painting and costumes when needed. For OFT Jen has directed; Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (3 times), The Giver, Rapunzel, The BFG, Winnie the Pooh, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Go, Dog. Go!, Lyle the Crocodile, Busytown, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, The Phantom Tollbooth, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and Cinder Edna.
Jen is living her dream, watching OFT as it grows and flourishes. She looks forward to expanding OFT’s educational offerings, school break camps, and creative classes for all ages. She feels so lucky to work with amazing people; actors, designers, technicians, teaching artists, volunteers, sponsors, and donors who are passionate about sharing the magic of theater with families and our community.