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Meet the Judges — Caleen Sinnette Jennings

photo of judge Caleen Sinnette Jennings

Caleen Sinnette Jennings is Professor of Theatre at American University in Washington, D.C. She teaches Acting I & II, Acting Shakespeare, Play Writing I & II, Directing, Voice & Speech, Theatre History, and several courses in the general education curriculum. In 2003, she received the University's Scholar/Teacher of the Year award. Ms. Jennings is a two-time Helen Hayes nominee for Outstanding New Play. In 2003 she won the award for Outstanding Teaching of Playwriting from the Play Writing Forum of the Association of Theatre in Higher Education. In 2002 she received the Heidman Award from Actor's Theatre of Louisville for her play Classyass, which has been published in five anthologies. In 1999 she received a $10,000 grant from the Kennedy Center's Fund for New American Plays for her play Inns & Outs. Her play, Playing Juliet/Casting Othello was produced at the Folger Elizabethan Theatre in 1998.

Dramatic Publishing Company has published several plays by Ms. Jennings: Elsewhere in Elsinore: The Unseen Women of Hamlet, Playing Juliet/Casting Othello, Inns & Outs, Free Like Br'er Rabbit, and Sunday Dinner. Her play, Bach in Time, will tour schools through the Washington Bach Consortium. Jennings was commissioned to create Birthday Presence for Roundhouse Theatre's senior citizen's performing company in 2007. In 2000, her children's play Free Like Br'er Rabbit was produced for the Kennedy/Center's New Visions/New Voices festival. Her two short plays: Pecos Bill and The People Could Fly, are featured in Walking the Winds, which premiered at the Kennedy Center and toured nationally with Kennedy Center's Programs for Children and Youth.

Ms. Jennings received her B.A. in Drama from Bennington College and her M.F.A. in Acting from the N.Y.U. Tisch School of the Arts. She has been a faculty member of the Folger Shakespeare Library's Teaching Shakespeare Institute since 1994. She moderates panels, does workshops and presentations for cultural institutions such as the Smithsonian institution, the Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, Ford's Theatre, The Folger Shakespeare Library, and the Shakespeare Theatre.