Chat with... Jen Woldman
Published 12:00 am, Thursday, October 19, 2017
NEW CANAAN — Jen Woldman hadn’t acted in over 20 years when she went to see the Town Players of New Canaan’s production of “John Loves Mary” over the summer. When Woldman went to see the comedy, she was instantly enchanted, especially by the Powerhouse Theater, home to the Town Players.
“I fell in love with the theater itself,” she said. “I love cozy and intimate theaters. I just love them, both to see and perform. It was like ‘I have to do a show here.’”
The 42-year-old is returning to acting as Louise, a frazzled tech crew leader in “Play On!,” a “play within a play” comedy about a community theater group putting on a mystery under the demands of its interfering writer. Woldman’s character is one of many trying to put on the show, which is opening in four days, despite the playwright coming in with constant revisions.
“It’s a really funny,” Woldman said. “One of the challenges in rehearsal is we can’t stop laughing at each other. That’s a good sign. I think people will have a good night out at the theater. The cast is really talented. I’m so excited to be working with these guys. They’re really funny.”
Woldman now works as a program manager for Salesforce, working with New England clients on digital marketing, following a career in video games, but her role in “Play On!” harkens back to her original ambitions to become an actress.
Play On! will take place at the Powerhouse Performing Arts Center in New Canaan’s Waveny Park on Friday and Saturday Oct. 27, 28, Nov. 3, 4, 10, and 11 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 29 and Nov. 5 at 2:30 p.m.
Tickets are now on sale and can be ordered by calling 203-594-3636 or visiting www.tpnc.org.
“When I was in junior high school, I caught the bug,” she said. “It was all about the school play for me in junior high and high school and I did some dorm productions in college.”
Woldman said she was involved in improv groups and even played a Star Trek alien at a theme park one summer before going into video games. She spent most of her career as the director of digital operations for Sony Network Entertainment. Two years ago, Woldman and her family, including two children at Saxe Middle School, moved to New Canaan from San Francisco when her husband got a job working at WWE. Since then, they’ve enjoyed everything the town has to offer including Woldman’s new involvement with the Town Players.
“I didn’t remember (theater) being so time consuming and crazy,” she said. “But I love it. I really love being part of a cast again. There’s an intimacy you have with other people sharing a stage with you that I missed. Theater people are fun people and wear hearts on sleeves. It’s a fun and energizing community to be part of.”
Woldman said she was drawn to the show because it has an ensemble cast, allowing each person a role where they work together. While she never worked the tech side of theater like her character, she said she can appreciate where she’s coming from as she struggles to get her cast together.
“I knew enough tech people to appreciate how hard working they are,” Woldman said. “She’s at her wits’ end and trying to get her job done. She has a real sarcastic sense of humor. I get to yell a lot which is very cathartic.”