Go Deeper

Philly Fringe Vital Stats: Jenny Jacobs

Posted July 14th, 2011

Iris Theatre Company‘s 2011 Philly Fringe show, The Greek Theatre Project brings four Greek heroines to life in the midst of modern entertainment media. We’re excited to see what this fusion of music, visual art, theater, and modern media does for the stories of Cassandra, Psyche, Pandora, and Atalanta. In the meantime, get to know Jenny Jacobs, shoelace thief and the founding artistic director of Iris (some of whose members at pictured at right, performing in Prague).

Name: Jenny Jacobs.

Age: 28.

Where do you live now? South Philly.

Where were you born? Long Beach, California.

What was the first thing you stole?
An elastic neon curly shoelace. I was about 7 years old and playing with the mysterious item while waiting in line with my mother at store. After she finished paying for various things (curly shoe lace NOT included), she me picked up we walked out the door. I stopped dead in my tracks about eight feet away from the automatic door and started crying. When my mom realized I was no longer keeping pace with her, she turned around to find me sobbing in front of the doors, holding a strange curly thing in my hand, muttering, “I’m a thief! I’m a thief! They’re going to send me to jail!” We walked back in to the store to return the item and for me to apologize. The woman at the counter looked at me and must have felt so sorry for me. She reached into the jar of curly shoelaces and handed me three more—one to match and a pink pair. Best theft ever!

What’s your favorite alcoholic beverage?
Kombucha—technically it’s not an alcoholic beverage, but it is fermented tea and has a teeny trace of alcohol in it. Mostly though, I don’t drink.

What’s your favorite Philly intersection?
10th and Ellsworth. I heard a parrot screeching there once; I mistook it for an angry badger attacking some helpless creature at first. Turns out it was a beautiful huge parrot. Legend has it that bird frequents that corner but I haven’t seen it since last summer.

If you were a “Founding Father,” which one would you be and why?
Josiah Bartlett—yes, I LOVE West Wing.

Do you care about the Civil War Sesquicentennial?
Totally! It’s a fascinating period of history and I have some relatives who were influential residents of Gettysburg and Pennsylvania.

What’s the worst thing you ever did for money?
Drove three hours every day to teach a one-hour class.

Do you know what the Internet is?
You pick up a receiver and dial 0 when you need the operator right?

Do you have pets?
Just plants: Alfalfa, Jessica 1, Jessica 2, Christmas, Basil Forest, Tomatillo, Toma-teeny, Frederico, Mrs. Lady, and Bailey.

If you weren’t an artist, what would your job be?
Math teacher, I think. Maybe a therapist. Or a travel writer. Or a film editor. Or a book binder—I love the smell of books. You know what? I have no idea what I’d be if it weren’t in the arts. Currently, though, I’m the program director for the Wolf Performing Arts Center as well as a freelance choreographer, dramaturg, director, voice-acting- and sometimes-piano-teacher, theater historian, and total theater nerd.

What’s the most disgusting thing you’ve ever seen on SEPTA?
A mom smack her kid for dancing.

Iris Theatre Company’s The Greek Theatre Project runs during the 2011 Philly Fringe. Tickets on sale soon!

–Logan Tiberi-Warner