Alumna Spotlight: Jennifer Thorn

Alum Profile: Advocating for Women Through Theatre

By Samantha League, Communications Coordinator

“Be fearless in the pursuit of your ideals and you will be rewarded.” This is a true statement for Jennifer Eve Thorn ’97, who is the Associate Artistic Director and Founder of MOXIE Theatre in San Diego. Jennifer founded MOXIE Theatre a decade ago with the mission to “create more diverse and honest images of women for our culture using the art of theatre.” With female playwrights accounting for only 22% of plays produced in the U.S., Jennifer’s theatre is giving female playwrights the exposure they deserve. MOXIE is run by women, producing women’s stories and plays that defy female stereotypes, because Jennifer knows that “when women are empowered – as I was at OLP – the world is better for it.”

Jennifer’s passion for theatre was cultivated in theatre and speech classes at OLP – it was here she learned that she “had something to offer as a performer and public speaker.” Jennifer grew from a “wanna­be tough kid” with dark lipstick and hair in her face to a confident young woman who understood the value of her own voice.

Jennifer encourages those who are thinking about an artistic career to find mentors through internships and apprenticeships. She personally allows young women to watch her direct at MOXIE Theatre. “Never, never, never stop arming yourself with new skills,” she notes. “If you see someone succeeding at something you want to be good at, ask them to teach you or let you observe them working.”

During the month of May, MOXIE Theatre is playing OUR LADY OF KIBEHO, a story based on true events in Rwanda. Three girls claimed to have received a message from the Virgin Mary foretelling the impending Genocide in Rwanda. These girls were then ostracized by schoolmates and labeled as disturbed – until the Genocide began. Playwright Katori Hall has won an Olivier Award for this piece, and Wall Street Journal named it “the most important new play of the year.” OLP students and families can receive a discount and are encouraged to attend the performance on May 15, which includes a special Q&A session with Jennifer. Purchase your tickets here.