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playwright, professor, actor, director

Caleen Sinnette Jennings is Professor of Theatre in the Department of Performing Arts at American University in Washington, D.C. where she joined the faculty in 1989. She teaches Acting, Directing, Playwriting, Voice & Speech, Acting Shakespeare, Theatre History, Children’s Theatre and 6 different courses in General Education. In 2003, she received A.U.’s Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award and in 1997 she received A.U.’s award for Outstanding Scholarship, Research and other Professional Activities. She has been a faculty member of the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Teaching Shakespeare Institute since 1994 where she teaches Shakespeare through performance. In 2016, she was Project Manager on an NEH grant to the Folger entitled Crosstalk: D.C. Reflects on Identity and Difference. Jenningsis an actor, director, playwright, and a founding member of The Welders, a D.C. Playwrights’ Collective. Eight of her plays have been published by Dramatic Publishing Company, and her work has appeared in 7 play anthologies. Her 2015 Kennedy Center commissioned stage adaptation of Walter Dean Myers’ novel, Darius & Twigwas produced at Kennedy Center and went on a three-month national tour in 2018Her play, Queens Girl in the World, did an extended run at Theatre J. and Mosaic Theatre commissioned her to write Queens Girl in Africafor the Women’s Voices Theatre Festival in 2018. The two plays will run in repertory in May 2019 at Everyman Theatre in Baltimore. She is currently working on part 3 of her Queens Girlseries. Jennings’ plays have been produced at the Kennedy Center, The African Continuum Theatre, Imagination Stage, The Folger, The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Horizons Theatre and The Source Theatre Company. Jennings has received playwriting awards from the Kennedy Center and The Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, as well as four nominations for outstanding new play from the Theatre Washington’s Helen Hayes Awards. Jennings graduated from Bennington College with a B.A. in Drama, and received her M.F.A. in Acting from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. She is the book writer for Liquid’s musical MARIAN.