Virtual Event — Conversation with a Theater Maker: Branden Jacobs-Jenkins ’06
June 5, 2020
4:45-5:30 PM (EDT)
FREE and open to public
Since late March, Program in Theater Director Jane Cox has invited special guests to join her students for informal conversations about theater-making and the creative process. The broader community is invited to join these virtual conversations on Zoom. We ask — what inspires these significant theater artists? What does community mean to them? How do they think about audiences, casting, design, arts education?
Each virtual event features 20 minutes of conversation with Cox and guest, followed by 20 minutes of Q&A with the audience. All of the guest artists either collaborate with Cox professionally or have connections to the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Theater.
On June 5th, two-time OBIE Award-winning playwright and alum Branden Jacobs-Jenkins ’06 joins Cox in a virtual conversation.
This series of conversations will continue on Fridays throughout the summer. Future guests TBA.
Photo courtesy of the MacArthur Foundation
BRANDEN JACOBS-JENKINS’ plays include Everybody (Signature Theater), Neighbors (Public Theater), An Octoroon (Soho Rep, OBIE Award for Best New Play), Appropriate (Signature Theater, OBIE Award for Best New Play, Outer Critics Circle nominee), Gloria (Vineyard Theater, 2015), and War (Yale Rep, forthcoming). His plays have been performed at such venues as Lincoln Center Theatre/LCT3, Soho Rep, the Public Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, Actors Theater of Louisville, Center Theatre Group, Victory Gardens Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theater, The Matrix Theater, CompanyOne, Theater Bielefeld in Germany and the HighTide Festival in the UK. He is currently a Residency Five playwright at Signature Theatre and master-artist-in-residence in the Playwriting MFA program of Hunter College, City University of New York. Other honors include a 2016 MacArthur Fellowship, the Paula Vogel Award, a Fulbright Arts Grant, a Helen Merrill Award, the Dorothy Strelsin playwriting fellowship, and the inaugural Tennessee Williams Award. He is a Princeton alum from the Class of 2006, holds an MFA in Performance Studies from NYU, and is a graduate of the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program at Juilliard.
Photo by Evan Alexander
JANE COX is a lighting designer for theater, opera, dance and music based in Princeton, New Jersey. Designs in 2019 included The Marriage of Figaro at San Francisco Opera; Fefu and her Friends at Theater for a New Audience in NYC, directed by Princeton alumna Lileana Blain-Cruz; King Lear with Glenda Jackson on Broadway, directed by Sam Gold; a new musical adaptation of Secret Life of Bees (the design was nominated for a Drama Desk Award 2020); The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui, directed by fellow faculty member John Doyle; a theatrical adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates book Between The World and Me, directed by Kamilah Forbes and a revival of True West on Broadway, directed by British director James McDonald.
Projects postponed due to COVID included Assassins at Classic Stage Company in NYC; Three Sisters starring Greta Gerwig and Oscar Isaacs, at NYTW; and As You Like It for Shakespeare in the Park NYC, directed by Laurie Woolery.
Other exciting designs include Othello for the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park and Jitney on Broadway, both directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson; All the Way and Roe directed by Bill Rauch; Annie Baker’s The Flick, directed by Sam Gold; a new musical of Amelie, directed by Pam MacKinnon; Color Purple directed by John Doyle; and Hamlet directed by Lyndsey Turner (with Benedict Cumberbatch).
Jane has been nominated for two Tony awards, for her work on Jitney (2017) and on Machinal(2014). Jane has also been nominated for four Drama Desk awards and three Lortel awards, and in 2013, was awarded the Henry Hewes Design Award for her work on The Flick. In 2016, Jane was awarded the Ruth Morley Design Award by the League of Professional Theater Women, and a British What’s Onstage award for her work on Hamlet.
Jane has been a company member of the Monica Bill Barnes Dance Company for twenty years. Highlights of work with the company include Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host with Ira Glass; a museum workout at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, partly developed at the Princeton Art Museum, with illustrator Maira Kalman; and Happy Hour, a piece involving karaoke, cocktails and suits. Jane has long-standing collaborations with directors John Doyle, Sam Gold and Bill Rauch, among others. Jane has taught at NYU (Tisch School of the Arts) where she also got her MFA in theater design, at Vassar (drama department) and Sarah Lawrence (dance department) and has been teaching about light and theater design at Princeton University since 2007. Jane became Director of the Program in Theater in 2016.