American Players Theatre
5950 Golf Course Road
P.O. Box 819
Spring Green, WI 53588
Box Office: 608-588-2361
Get to know the amazing folks around APT who make the magic possible. For this week's Quick Chat, we sit down and get to know artist, musician, and infamous cat-walker Jennifer Vosters.
Jennifer Vosters is celebrating her third season at APT. First seen as a member of the Acting Apprentice Company in 2019, Jennifer has performed in American Players Theatre's productions of Book of Will, She Stoops to Conquer, Macbeth, as well as been featured in the 2020 video series, Artist at Home. This season, you can catch her in Sense and Sensibility, Hamlet, and Love's Labour's Lost.
APT: Welcome back to APT! How’s the season been going so far?
Jennifer Vosters: Thank you! Working here is a dream come true for me, so it feels wonderful and deeply fulfilling to be back for another season. Certainly, the challenges of the past few years continue to be a big part of what it means to make theatre right now–especially the ongoing pandemic–but it feels so good to be reunited with so many people I love and artists I admire. It feels like we’ve been waiting for this for years…and we have!
APT: The last time we saw you at APT was during our 2019 season in She Stoops to Conquer and Macbeth as a part of the Acting Apprentice company. How did that experience impact you as an artist?
Jennifer Vosters: I don’t think I can overstate how much of an impact being an Apprentice has had on me. One of the biggest gifts it gave me was confidence. From taking classes to completing the Apprentice Project to working alongside the rest of the company in the regular season, I felt like a sponge just absorbing so much wisdom and technique and skill from the people around me, and that made me a lot more confident in my own abilities. It still takes work for me not to doubt myself from time to time, but I am very proud of the work my fellow Apprentices and I did that season, and that gives me a boost when I need it.
APT: You’re quite the musician and are so talented! We got to hear you play the violin in She Stoops to Conquer in 2019. If you could play one instrument that you do not already, what would you like to add to your resume?
Jennifer Vosters: Without a doubt, the BANJO! I love bluegrass, a love I shared with my late grandpa, and he thought I should take up the banjo one day. I still think it’s a great idea and would love to try it sometime!
APT: You’re busy this season! We see you in Sense and Sensibility, Hamlet, and Love’s Labour’s Lost! What is your process like in preparing three separate and very different roles for three very different shows?
Jennifer Vosters: I love the variety of these shows and roles–it’s a delicious challenge that stretches me and keeps me on my toes. But in spite of the differences, I think I take similar pathways to connect with each of them. It starts with cracking open the language, of course: how do they speak, what do they say, who do they speak to, and in the Shakespeare plays, what can I learn from the verse or the prose? Then I try to understand how they relate to their bodies: how do they move, what do they lead with, how free or constricted are they physically? And then at some point later in the process, I usually make a playlist of songs for each character to help me drop into their point of view…once I feel like I really understand what that is! I’m always interested in finding new ways to expand or improve my “process,” but these goalposts help me find grounded and personal ways to take on a new character’s particular journey.
APT: When not performing or working on a new project, what do you like to do in your free time?
Jennifer Vosters: I think I’ve developed a bit of a reputation in town as “that lady who walks her cat,” because I have my kitty, Felix, harness-trained! I also love to read, so listening to a good audiobook while taking my cat for a walk is a lovely recharging ritual I’ve been enjoying in my free time.
APT: Wild Card Question: If you had to have tea (and spill tea) with one other Jane Austen character, who would you invite over?
Jennifer Vosters: Oooo, this is a tough one. I think I’d say either Charlotte Collins from Pride and Prejudice–I want to make sure she’s doing okay!–or Anne Elliot from Persuasion. But really I’d just love to have tea with Jane herself! What an icon.
APT: Anything else you’d like to share?
Jennifer Vosters: Just that I find it exciting, heartening, and fiercely hopeful that five of this year’s nine plays are written by women! Marisela Treviño Orta gives us The River Bride, Jane Austen and Jessica Swale together bring us Sense and Sensibility, Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun goes up the Hill this August, along with Jen Silverman’s The Moors in the Touchstone, and Marie Jones closes the season with Stones in His Pockets. That means a lot to me. Women playwrights have always been underrepresented, especially Black, Brown, and Indigenous women, yet they have always deserved to be included in the canon of our great “classic” stories. It’s meaningful and rewarding to see them performed–and be part of performing them!–where they rightfully belong: at outstanding theatres like APT.