Area of Expertise:
Playwriting, acting, Shakespeare performance, African American theatre, children's theatre, voice and diction for theatre, presentation skills
Caleen Sinnette Jennings, professor of theatre, is an expert on playwriting, African American performing arts, Shakespeare performance, and children's theatre. Since 1994 she has been a summer faculty member at the Folger Library’s Teaching Shakespeare Institute. Jennings is the author of more than 80 plays. A a recipient of the 2002 Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Heidemann Award, Jennings also received a $10,000 award from the Kennedy Center’s Fund for New American Plays in 1999 and two Helen Hayes nominations for outstanding new play (1999, 2000). In addition, Jennings garnered for her productions two awards for meritorious achievement in directing from the Kennedy Center's American College Theater Festival. She was also American University's Scholar/Teacher of the Year in 2003 and in fall 2004 was a distinguished professor of English at Colgate University. Jennings has published numerous plays, including Same but Different, Playing Juliet/Casting Othello, Inns and Outs, and A Lunch Line. Her play Classyass appears in four theatre anthologies. Her recent publications are "Uncovered" in a new anthology entitled Shorter, Faster, Funnier, Chem Mystery(a children's play); Elsewhere in Elsinore: The Unseen Women of Hamlet; and "Magic, Royalty, and Inheritance: Teaching Shakespeare's Hamlet and August Wilson's King Headley in the Same Classroom" in the journal Theatre Topics. Jennings regularly engages her students by having them collaborate with her on creating new theatre projects. For more information, go towww.american.edu/research/success/jennings-collaboration-070109.cfm. She was recently invited to sit on D.C. School Chancellor Michelle Rhee's Blue Ribbon Commission to create a D.C. middle school devoted to the arts. For more information, go to
To request an interview please call AU Media Relations at 202-885-5950 or
submit an interview request form.