Getting Lively, Lush & Local With: Meri Jenkins

Who are you? Meri Jenkins

What do you do? Program Manager, Massachusetts Cultural Council

Where are you from originally? London, UK

How long have you been working in Boston? 20 years

Why do you stay? Cultural life, of course! (and family…)

What’s your earliest theatre memory? A theatre in education troupe that came to my school when I was about eight years old, and I can still see, smell and feel that performance.

What’s your first theatre memory in Boston? I worked on the original production of Vinegar Tom by Caryl Churchill in London, and when I moved here, there happened to be a production of the play – I wanted my partner to see it. It was a much smaller production!

What was your first job in theatre? Having left drama school, I joined a group of people rehabbing a warehouse space on the River Thames for live/work space for artists on the upper floors, and performance space on the first floor. We presented and produced, and did everything involved between us.

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had before a show? Curry.

What’s your favorite rehearsal snack? Nuts.

Do you eat before you go on stage or do you wait until after your performance to eat? After the performance – always. No one wants you to upchuck when you step into the footlights.

If you could change one thing about theater, what would it be? Locally? Have the guts to do the work you want to do at a scale you can do it…

What kind of theater excites you? Physical, unconventional, well written, performed with care, directed with attention to detail, and with lots of heart.

What advice do you have for artists just starting out? Just do it. Don’t wait. Find like minded people. Work hard. Don’t complain. And the work will get better.

The Boston Theatre Conference is focusing on the lively, lush and local aspects of our theatre community. What do you think? It is lively if you ignore the local spin, it is lush in that there is a lot of it in the region to choose from, and it is blessedly local, which translates into being accessible.

YOUR TURN! Write to us here!

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