Saturday, February 25, 2012

FRIGID Festival Interview - Jennifer Anderson of "Missed Connections"

By Byrne Harrison

Jennifer Jean Anderson is beyond thrilled to be a part of "Missed Connections" and the FRIGID Festival! Her credits include: Off-Broadway - THE HOLE (Theatre at St. Clements); New York - A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF...VERONICA SEXTON (RAW Theatricals), MARNIE'S MUSICAL (NYU/Tisch); National Tour: A CHRISTMAS CAROL (NTC East); and regional favorites - World premiere of COLLEGE: THE MUSICAL, THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAILER PARK MUSICAL, SHOUT! THE MOD MUSICAL (All with The Hippodrome State Theatre), GREASE (Roxy Regional Theatre), among others. Jennifer recently finished a 6-month stint originating the role of Sofifi in CIRQUE DREAMS AND DINNER onboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship, the Epic. Upcoming: "John & Jen" to benefit the Born This Way foundation. BFA from the University of Florida. Member AEA.

Show: "Missed Connections"

How did you first get involved in theatre?

My childhood piano teacher used to direct shows at the community theatre in my hometown. She asked me to audition for one of the children’s roles in “Finnian’s Rainbow” when I was in 5th grade. I got hooked, and the rest is history as they say! I continued doing shows throughout middle and high school, and was accepted to a BFA program for college.

Who are your biggest influences?

I’m really influenced by writers and performers who are doing something different or unexpected. My latest obsession is “Portlandia.” I love all of the hilarious characters they play, and I think the writing is brilliant. The old Upright Citizen’s Brigade show on Comedy Central from like 10+ years ago introduced me to Harolds and long form improv. And anything Amy Sedaris says or does is like the Gospel.

Tell me a little bit about your show.

We’ve pulled real posts from Craigslist’s “Missed Connections” sections - they’re all completely unedited and authentic. We got all of these amazing posts together, organized them a little bit, added some funny voices and characters, and created a show.

What inspired you to help create it?

Ricky Dunlop approached me with the idea of the show, and I immediately thought it was brilliant. I loved the idea of breathing life into these bizarre, outlandish, and sometimes really touching messages - it was a simple concept that I thought could work really well in front of an audience. Being able to collaborate with friends was an added bonus.

Who are your collaborators and how long have you been working with them?

Ricky Dunlop approached myself, Jake McKenna, and Lauren Roth last March with the idea, so we’ve been working on this specific show for about a year. However, we all went to college together at the University of Florida so we’ve all known each other and worked together for several years. Dean Roth with Royanth Productions saw our first performance in April of 2011 and became involved with the process then.

What's next for you after FRIGID?

We’ve applied the show to several upcoming festivals, so we all have our fingers crossed for that! The beauty with the show is that there’s never a “final draft” so to speak, we’re always adding newer posts that we find. It continues to grow and change and that’s really exciting. Aside from "Missed Connections," I have another show in the works that I’m helping to submit to the Fringe festival this year. I’ll also be doing a production of “John & Jen” at the end of March to benefit the Born This Way foundation. More info about that is on my website. 2012 is definitely off to a great start for me!

And finally, if you could say anything to your potential audience, what would it be?

Have a few drinks before the show, and ENJOY!

"Missed Connections: An Exploration into the Online Postings of Desperate Romantics"
Created by Ricky Dunlop, Jennifer Jean Anderson, Jake McKenna, and Lauren Roth
Company: Royanth Productions
Directed by: Ricky Dunlop

The Kraine Theater
85 E. 4th Street

Feb 25, 7:00PM
Feb 27, 6:00PM
Mar 01, 10:30PM
Mar 04, 1:00PM

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