Faculty Associate, Department of English
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Creative Writing & Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies

2016 OMAI/First Wave Outstanding Faculty/Staff Award recipient
2016 & 2018 University Housing Honored Instructor

Fall 2019 Course
ENGL 173: Introduction to Ethnic and Multicultural Li­­terature
Performing Race in America: Black and White Onstage and in the Present Tense

From A Raisin in the Sun to Hamilton, this class will look at how live theatrical performances challenge and inform our perceptions of whiteness and blackness, and ultimately the social concept of “race.” 

We will study playwrights, stand-up comedians, politicians, musicians, filmmakers, and ordinary people who all use the language of theatre to tell a story–focusing on those who write about and/or “perform” African-American life and culture. What happens when a black playwright restages  a text about race from the 19th century? What is “color-conscious” casting? How is Beyoncé like Shakespeare? Examples of writers and artists studied in past semesters include: Anna Deavere-Smith, Lorraine Hansberry, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Spike Lee, Key and Peele, Suzan-Lori Parks, President Obama, and Public Enemy. Guest speakers, attendance at local performance events and a final performance-based/creative project will be integral parts of this course.


“I like to live at the intersection of theory and practice. Intellectual inquiry and creative expression are partners in creating embodied performances that invite audiences and performers to be part of a conversation, rather than dividing participants into exclusively receivers or transmitters.”

“Anything is a Text”

See video from Jen’s workshop “Anything is a Text” presented at 2015’s Mad Theory 2 (an art-theory-action event at the intersection of performance and philosophy.)

Read more HERE about Jen’s November 2014 Verbatim Theatre Master Class, presented as part of “Speech Acts,” a Theory-Practice Collaboratory sponsored by the Art+Scholarship A.W. Mellon Workshop at UW-Madison.

Participants practice the radical art of listening at Jen's Verbatim Theatre Master Class, fall 2014.
Participants practice the radical art of listening at Jen’s Verbatim Theatre Master Class, fall 2014.

Complete academic C.V. available upon request.


MFA Acting, Florida State University/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training


University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 2014-present
Faculty Associate, Department of English
Creative Writing & Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies

Drew University, Madison, NJ 2009-2013
Instructor of Theatre, Department of Theatre and Dance (2009-2013)
Program Coordinator, London Semester (in residency in the UK, 2012)
UK Admissions Representative (in residency in the UK, 2013-2014)

Hood College, Frederick, MD 2003-2008
Assistant Professor and Theatre Program Director
Founder of the Theatre Program at Hood College


University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI:
     ENGL 173 — Introduction to Ethnic and Multicultural Literature:
     Performing Race
     ENGL 236—Real-Life Drama: Truth, Text and Art in Verbatim Drama
     ENGL 410—Playwriting Workshop
     THEA 619—Contemporary Dramaturgy (graduate seminar)
     ENGL 699—Thesis: Full-Length Playwriting 
     T&D (Theatre and Drama) 423—Drama in Context/in Translation 
     T&D (Theatre and Drama) 525—Theatre for Youth: Applied Theatre

Drew University, Madison, NJ:
     THEA 101—The Art of the Play (page-to-stage text analysis)
     THEA 310—Theatre History II
          (The Enlightenment to Pre-WWII)
     THEA 138—The Business of Acting
     THEA 165—The Stage and Its Plays: New York Theatre Now
          (NYC-based course)
     THEA 400/401—Capstone
          (the business of theatre and the creation of original work)
     CSEM 1—First-Year Seminar: The Secret Life of Theatre
          (performance studies)
     The Craft of Comedy, The Bite of Wit
          (5-week course at the Madison Public Library)

Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, NJ:
     THEA 1201—Development of the Theatre I
          (The Greeks through Shakespeare)
     THEA 1202 (Honors)—Development of the Theatre II
          (Restoration through today)

Hood College, Frederick, MD:
     THEA 101—Elements of Acting (Acting I)
     THEA 201—Theatre History (Ancient Greek to 18th century Drama)
     THEA 210—Acting II: Scene Study
     ENGL 274—Modern Drama (19th century to Contemporary Drama)
     ENGL 299—Performing History
          (creation of devised non-fiction work)
     ENGL 299—Acting Shakespeare
     ENGL 375—Independent Study
          (Directing, Dramaturgy, Audition Technique)

Towson University, Baltimore, MD:
     THEA 101—Acting I for Non-Majors

Jen with students at Hood College.