Thursday, April 21, 2016

Meet the Cast: Jenna D'Angelo (KEEP)

Jenna D'Angelo is an actor, producer and yoga instructor based in NYC. She is a co-founder of Mastodon Theatre Company as well as a guest artist with Wide Eyed Productions. She has appeared in many films, webseries, and plays around the city. She is currently starring, co-producing, and writing for the upcoming digital series Bar Crossed Lovers premiering in May! Credits include: How Alfo Learned to Love (59E59), Elemeno Pea (Mastodon), Animals (FringeNYC), Leah in Vegas (FringeNYC), The Wedding Guest (reading: Moisés Kaufman), The Perfect Murder (Discovery ID), Madeleine Zabel (Cambridge Film Festival), Silent Wave (Best Supporting Actress in a Short nomination), Vlogger (Take Two Festival), Bruiser (Intendance Film Festival), Kin (Nitehawk Film Festival). Jenna received her BA from Western Michigan University.

You’ll be performing in the world premiere production of Keep, which we are co-producing with Mastodon Theatre Company. How was the rehearsal process? Can you tell us a little bit about the character you’ll be playing, and your favorite thing about this role? (No spoilers!)

It was a really fascinating rehearsal process, in large part because the show takes place in a hoarders house (which in and of itself almost acts as a fifth character in the play), so the room is filled with all different kinds of things. In the rehearsal room, we didn't have the luxury of having a lot of stuff to interact with, so we had to experiment a lot with miming and working to build this world in large part with in our minds. I think I speak for everyone when I say we couldn't WAIT to load in and have a fully packed living room to play with!

I'm playing Kara, one of the sisters who come to help stage the intervention. I love playing Kara—on the outside she is really tough and sarcastic and always feels like she is in charge, but underneath it all she is really battling with a lot of her own issues and fears. I love that dichotomy between her interior and exterior life.

This is a play that deals with – among other things – hoarding belongings. What’s one thing that you really should release from your own personal stash of objects?

Hah! Ummm, ALL OF MY CLOTHES. I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up last summer, and as I read it I felt really inspired and I started to get rid of some things...but I have a LONG way to go. My closet is filled with clothing that I barely touch, but I always think, “but I COULD wear this!” or “it MIGHT come back into style!” I need to just bite the bullet and get rid of things.

When did you know that you wanted to be an actor? How did you get started?

I've wanted to be an actor ever since I was a little kid. I always loved to perform for people and make people laugh. I always watched a lot of movies and musicals—I had a phase where I came home from school every day and watched Annie and sang along to all the songs. I did school plays and musicals in elementary school and never stopped.

Who or what do you consider to have been your biggest creative influences to date?

Oh wow. That's a really hard question! I guess I would have to say the other artists around me. I find a lot of inspiration from the actors / writers / directors / producers who I work with or who I see work. Reading plays, seeing shows, watching movies and TV shows, going to museums—all of those inspire me to create more, do more, push myself more.

We’d love for our audience to get to know your work a little more. Could you tell us a little bit about your last project?

I just did my first Off-Broadway show at 59E59 over the holidays this past year - How Alfo Learned To Love - and had a really amazing time. The entire team across the board was phenomenal. The cast had a really incredible bond and I felt very blessed to be a part of the production. Plus I got to play a really sassy, loud-mouthed Brooklynite, so you can't beat that.

Are you working on any additional projects at the moment? Is it something you can tell us about?

A few things! Mastodon is producing a night of Pint Size Plays at The Barrow Group on April 25th which will be a great time.  I wrote a piece, will be acting, and may also be directing a piece. And Bar Crossed Lovers, the digital series that Wide Eyed Productions and StagNation Productions are co-producing, will premiere in May! I'm starring in it, working as a co-producer, and wrote a couple of episodes, as well. We are so proud of this series, and I think it is going to be a ton of fun.

Outside of the arts, I started teaching yoga this year after getting my certification this winter, and it is has been such a fun transition to make! If anybody reading this in NYC wants to try out yoga or just chat, please check out my website (

Keep begins previews at The Barrow Group Theatre on April 7 and runs through April 30. Get your tickets here. Bar Crossed Lovers Episode 1 premieres on May 11. Stay tuned!

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