We are pleased to give you another actor spotlight, this time on company member Jeremy Jenkins. This February, he plays Cletis (Lone Star) in our first ever rotating repertory. Find out who is Jeremy's favorite actor and whether or not he owns that actor's autograph. (Spoiler: he does.)
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF.
Originally from Nashville, TN, I moved to NE Ohio in 2008 after earning my B.A. in English & Theatre from Cumberland University. Since my move, I have been fortunate enough to perform in over 50 local productions, 10 of those being with OSF. In 2014, I married the love of my life and best friend, Debbie, another local talent. It has been a wonderful 2 ½ years. We relocated to Strongsville in 2015 after finding our dream home. I just began my student teaching experience at Parma Senior High School in a sophomore English classroom. I am also the biggest Abe Vigoda & Twilight Zone fan and have personally collected over 1,000 celebrity autographs.
DO YOU OWN ABE VIGODA'S AUTOGRAPH?
FDuh! Fun fact: In the late 60’s, before he was known as Tessio or Fish, he received great acclaim for playing the titular role in Richard III with the Public Theatre’s “Shakespeare in the Park” in NYC.
WHY PLAY WITH US AT OSF?
First, artistic integrity. I know that each production is going to be a great one. Each OSF leader, company member, and technical advisor brings every ounce of knowledge, talent, and passion to make great art. I feel safe every time I am part of an OSF show. Second, the people. OSF has given me the opportunity to meet some of my closest friends, two of whom were in my wedding (Joe Pine & Derrick Winger). My first summer with OSF, As You Like It & Romeo & Juliet, was the third gig I booked when I moved to Ohio. I am forever grateful!
WE HAVEN'T SEEN YOU AT OSF RECENTLY. WHAT GIVES!?
Truth! But it’s all for good reasons, I promise. I have missed the past three summers with this wonderful company. The first year, I was getting married. The second year, we were moving into our house. The third year, I was taking two 6-week summer courses concurrently and we had a vacation planned. I hope to be back at Stan Hywet with OSF soon, though. That being said, I am very pleased to make my debut on the Henry C. Bishop Stage at Greystone Hall!
WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO BE IN LONE STAR?
Any time that I can portray a Southern boy, I am game! I love sinking my teeth into my roots and allowing my Southern drawl to come back to life. However, the dialect is always a bit different from character to character. The Southern dialect I did for Tommy Boatwright in The Normal Heart was completely different to what I did with James Keller in The Miracle Worker. I already know that Cletis is going to be nothing like either of those two. Also, I love being directed by Nancy Cates! I think this is my 6th show under her direction.
BEST THING YOU'LL GET TO SAY?
***Jeremy's response was edited due to inappropriosity. Lone Star is a little more racey than Shakespeare! We challenge you to come to the show and try to guess which one it is. And woowee, it's a good 'un.***
WHY DO YOU LOVE SHAKESPEARE?
The fact that most of his plays tap into the human condition that still resonates hundreds of years later. He must be the most often performed playwright of all time. He is taught in every English grade level classroom, so he must’ve done something right. His language is pretty, too, I guess...
FAVORITE OSF ROLE AND WHY?
Lorenzo in The Merchant of Venice. There are some roles that immediately fit the actor. Lorenzo seemed to come naturally to me (except for the stealing a girl from her father act). He served as the first true romantic of the show, but also a sincerely trustworthy friend to Bassanio and Gratiano. Plus, he has a beautiful speech about music towards the end of the play.
FAVORITE OSF ANECDOTE?
This may have been told already, but I don’t care. This is my spotlight! During a performance of Love’s Labour’s Lost, light rain began to fall from the sky during our second act. Lightning was not present, so in true OSF fashion, the show continued as normal, but with typical safety precautions such as walking up/down steps slowly. As the show progressed, so did the rain. Soon, it felt like we were in the midst of a tropical rain storm. It was really coming down hard. Finally, Andrew Cruse, who was playing Berowne, broke the fourth wall and asked the poncho-covered and umbrella-wielding audience, “Shall we continue with the show?” In unison, over 150 people exclaimed, “Keep going!” They were in it to win it and were experiencing the conditions just as much as we were! This is one true example of how important an audience is to the show. Without them, we’re nothing.