Helen Hayes Award recipient, Jenna Sokolowski is one of Washington's most versitile artists. She currently plays Laura in The Glass Menagerie at Ford's Theatre through February 21. In this week's Take Ten, she shares her excitement in her current role and a certain production that made her laugh out loud!
1) What was the first show you ever saw, and what impact did it have?
My father was in the military and we were stationed in Germany until I was 10. We used to go see the USO variety show whenever it came to town: dancing, singing, a live band, and lots of spectacle!
2) What was your first involvement in a theatrical production?
The very first experience I had on stage was as the narrator for my second grade class production of The Three Bears. It was unbearably cute!
3) What’s your favorite play or musical, and why do you like it so much?
I fell in love with the theatre – truly fell in love – while watching a production of The Seagull at Stratford Upon Avon in 2000.
4) What’s the worst day job you ever took?
I’ve actually been really lucky to find great work outside of the theatre that lets me explore my other passions like running and food. During the first show I did in DC, I was doing some temp work and got placed at the NRA for a couple of weeks. Every day, a lady would call asking for Charlton Heston so she could give him a piece of her mind; I had to inform her that Mr. Heston hadn’t shown up for work that day at the Fairfax offices.
5) What is your most embarrassing moment in the theatre?
While wearing three corsets (it was a complicated costume), I once laughed at a fellow actor so hard I peed. Luckily, it was right at the end of the play!
6) What are you enjoying most about working on The Glass Menagerie?
I’ve really enjoyed having elements of design incorporated into our rehearsal process. From the earliest stages, we were working with music and sound cues, which informed the creation of our characters.
7) Other than your significant other, who’s your dream date (living or dead) and why?
I’d love to have met Tennessee Williams and hear him tell his stories in person.
8) What is your dream role/job?
I never imagined I’d have the opportunity to play Laura in The Glass Menagerie – it’s truly a gift.
9) If you could travel back in time, what famous production or performance would you choose to see?
The premiere of The Glass Menagerie in NYC!
10) What advice would you give to an 8 year-old smitten by theatre / for a graduating MFA student?
I’d tell the 8-year old this: We need more people in the world like you! Share this joy you have for the theatre with your friends and their parents! To the MFA student: DC is a great town for getting started on your brilliant journey! Be kind, make friends, and take chances.
JENNA SOKOLOWSKI's Washington area work includes: The Shoplifters (Arena Stage); Pygmalion, Candida (Everyman Theatre); The Clandestine Marriage (Folger Theatre); Typographer’s Dream, Act a Lady, John and Beatrice (The Hub Theatre); Savage in Limbo (MetroStage); The Sound of Music, Annie (Helen Hayes Nomination), Fiddler on the Roof, Cinderella (Olney Theatre Center); Eurydice (Round House Theatre); The Rivals (Shakespeare Theatre Company); [title of show], Urinetown (2006 Helen Hayes Award), Allegro (Signature Theatre); Grey Gardens, Ivanov, Prometheus Bound (Studio Theatre); Mr. Burns, a post-electric play, Civilization, Antebellum, She Stoops to Comedy (Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company).