Pulaski alumna, Jenni Shine, has found success as a professional stage actress, performing this summer at the American Folklore Theatre (AFT) in Peninsula State Park.
“People love this company,” said Shine. “This is my first experience with such a loyal and devoted fan base.”
Pulaski High School is what initially sparked her interest in theatre. She participated in one act plays, musicals, and melodramas. Shine said, “Pulaski was my happy place and I learned so much from my time there.” While in high school, Shine’s track was guided by the Green Bay Community Theatre, as well.
After graduating from Pulaski High School, Shine moved on to study Theatre at Marquette University with an emphasis in Performing. She performed in many main stage shows such as All My Sons, She Loves Me, The Odd Couple, and Spitfire Grill where she met Jeff Herbst, the Artistic Director of AFT. Also, she did an original theatre project with the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin, Ireland, called Poor Tom.
While at Marquette, Shine was also able to obtain a degree in Peace and Justice Studies. In 2011, she became an ensemble member for Erasing the Distance, a non-profit theatre organization that sheds light on mental health issues.
In addition to performing several pieces, the production manages its season and travels to facilitate talk-back sessions about the performances and mental health. “It’s the perfect marriage of my two passions–theatre and social justice,” said Shine.
Shine’s thespian passions charged on. These works include Heddatron at Sideshow Theatre/Steppenwolf Garage Rep (a play about Hedda Gabler and robots), Main Travelled Roads at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, My Fair Lady at Paramount Theatre in Chicago, Jeeves Takes a Bow at First Folio Theatre, Midwest New Musicals, and A Chorus Line at Village Players.
AFT is an outdoor live stage that produces original musicals tailored to its audience. From sailors of the 19th century, a strong-willed woman of World War II, or fishermen of Green Bay, the theatre’s productions include a wide range of profound interest for the whole family.
Shine explained, “I love doing live theatre because of the powerful impact it has on people. It is a chance to inspire people and have them reflect on their own lives and their responsibility to other people. Theatre artists have a responsibility to tell the truth and do it well. I love being a part of that.”
If at all possible, it would be worthwhile to travel to Peninsula State Park to experience a performance by the great Jenni Shine at the American Folklore Theatre. The whole Pulaski community supports her in her theatrical endeavors