MMT Company Spotlight: Meet Jenn Hsiao!
A few years after Jenn had her third child back in 2010, she decided she wanted to audition to be in shows at the Washington Crossing Open Air Theatre. When artistic director Louis Palena cast Jenn in her first production, he warned her “Once you are hooked, you will never turn back!”, and he was right. Jenn also brought her family along for the ride and can often be seen performing alongside her husband, Mike, and three children, Katie, Gavin, and Zoe! For Jenn, MMT is a full family activity.
Jenn has lost track of how many productions she has been involved with between the Open Air Theatre days and here under the Music Mountain Theatre roof, but has been involved with every season since the theatre opened in 2017! You can often find Jenn supporting our front of house staff as a volunteer user or in concessions, and is an expert on the clean-up crew after our performances of Rocky Horror! She also loves to help out backstage with scene changes and quick costume changes because she loves the thrill of problem-solving on the fly.
While she can’t pick a favorite show she has seen at MMT because she says there are “too many to choose from!” she is always a fan of the children’s shows written by our very own Louis Palena. Her favorite experience at Music Mountain so far has been playing A Bride of Dracula, since she loved vampire stories growing up and getting to live out that vampire fantasy took very little acting.
When asked about her biggest takeaway from working with Music Mountain Theatre Jenn notes, “Community theatre is so much more than just a hobby, it's a way to provide a safe and judgement free zone for all types of people from all different types of backgrounds.” She continues, “We can constantly challenge ourselves year after year to improve our craft and to better understand who we are and our place in this world.” She also so much appreciation for the way the cast, crew, management and directors at MMT all collaborate and interact with the young talent coming up the ranks whether they are doing theatre for fun or because they want to make something out of it as a profession. Outside of MMT, Jenn is a Product Owner for Educational Testing Service, a member of the Lawrence Township Education Foundation, president of the National Intercollegiate Women’s Fencing association, and loves geocaching, gardening, and collecting houseplants! She is also excellent at shuffling a deck of cards and popping gum very loudly. We are so glad that Jenn auditioned for us back in 2010, never turned back, and then brought her whole family to play on the stage at Music Mountain Theatre. Be sure to come see Jenn in our current production of The Producers, running now through May 22!