As a child I had the privilege of attending the opera, ballet and theater often with my parents in and around Chicago. In high school, in Southern California, I discovered an affinity for theater production while working backstage. I went on to receive a BFA in Technical Theater at UCSB. I was awarded a full academic scholarship to attended Southern Methodist University as a graduate student studying Theatrical Design at the Meadows School of the Arts. I received my MFA with a specialty of Lighting Design. At both SMU and UCSB I spent a good deal of my time designing the lighting for dance presentations.
After graduate school I was hired by the San Francisco Opera to work in their lighting design department. I worked in the War Memorial Opera House assisting with the design and execution of over 70 productions. In the off season I freelanced around the country lighting dance, opera and theater productions. I even had the opportunity to light a ballet choreographed by Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson at the San Francisco Ballet.
In December 1995 I transitioned to a position, with the City and County of San Francisco, booking the War Memorial Opera House, Davies Symphony Hall and Herbst Theatre. Later I was promoted to Assistant Managing Director with oversite over facility operations. Over 26 years, I saw every production of the San Francisco Opera and the San Francisco Ballet, as well as many Symphony and Herbst presentations.
Attending performances is my favorite activity. On average I see 3.5 nights shows a week. While I enjoy all genres of live performance, my preference is for contemporary dance. I love site specific dance, intimate small venue productions and more traditional presentations in formal settings. When traveling I often seek out a performance. I have been known to squeeze in as many as five different live events in a long weekend.
Articles About Jen
S.F. Opera House renovation complete in time for ‘Tosca’ opening night