jakub | May 2, 2024

AMERICAN THEATRE | The Subtext: Jenni Lamb Shops Local


Jenni Lamb. (Photo by Claudia Parker)

Each month on The Subtext, Brian speaks with a playwright about life, writing, and whatever itches we are scratching.

On this month’s episode, Brian speaks with writer and producer Jenni Lamb about her artistic journey. Jenni Lamb is a Chicago-based playwright, producer, and former improviser. Lamb’s plays include Mother Lode, Quiver, Candy Store, Memento Polonia, Period Piece, Thou Proud Dream (a site-specific adaptation of Henry V), Jumble of Bones, and Waterway. In their conversation, Lamb recalls becoming a teacher right out of undergrad, at the time being only a few years older than her oldest students. Lamb started taking improv classes on the side, and eventually pivoted to improv in Chicago. They discuss her path into writing and her decision to pursue an MFA, with the goal of someday writing for television. But life as a playwright and screenwriter wasn’t easy, and Lamb found her projects got trapped in “development hell.” She now focuses her creative energy on local, site-specific projects and nurturing new writers.

Lamb has worked across the country with Pivot Arts, the Road Theatre, the Gift, Stage Left Theatre, Project Y, and more. Her play Quiver was cited by the Kilroys List. She has been a member of the Goodman Playwrights Unit and a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists. She is the founder of Second Site, a writing collective focused on creating new work in nontraditional spaces. Their most recent production, Wants and Needs, was set in a furniture store/clothing boutique, and featured new audio and live plays written by 11 writers. She was awarded a 3Arts Make a Wave Grant in 2021, and holds an MFA in writing for the screen and stage from Northwestern University.

This episode can also be found here.

Subscribe to the Subtext on iTunesSpotifyStitcherGoogle PlayTuneIn, or via its RSS feed. Listen to the first season of the Subtext here.

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