It’s Pride Month and this week’s #WomanCrushWednesday goes out to a Portland actress and one of Advocate Magazine’s 2019 Champions of Pride, Jennifer Lanier.
Jennifer grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina and attended the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where she received her acting training. While not on a stage or in a classroom, she found time to create the Lesbians Thesbians theater company and she became a founding fellow of the A+ Schools Program, intended to instruct school faculties in arts integration and curriculum enrichment.
In collaboration with Robert Moyer, Jennifer wrote and performed BRER RABBIT MEETS COYOTE – it’s about the challenges of growing up as an ethnically-mixed person. They even had a run at the Smithsonian Institution’s Discovery Theatre! She eventually expanded the show into a solo comedy titled NONE OF THE ABOVE. She toured all across the country with it, to colleges, theatre festivals and Pride events.
Jennifer is currently the co-artistic director of Original Practice Shakespeare Festival (OPS Fest). OPS Fest brings no-cost Shakespeare plays to parks and venues all over Portland and showcases actors who are trans, queer, female, fat, people with disabilities and people of color in Shakespearean roles. This is the group’s 11th season.
She also manages a production company called Many Horses Productions (her spirit name is Jenny Many Horses – having a lot of horses used to be a sign of wealth and is how some folks refer to people who are highly skilled at what they do.). Many Horses Productions specializes in varity shows, drag events and theatre.
Jennifer loves stories about people who don’t fit society’s pre-defined gender norms. She despises stories about suicides from people who feel they have no place in the world, and strives to create art that shows them that they do. Jennifer would also like to see more kindness in the world, since kindness breeds kindness. Plus, it’s powerful – one act of kindness can be the difference between life and death.
Jennifer is happily married to her wife of 11 years. They live in Vancouver with their two sons and four pets – including a tortoise!
#WCW #pride #pridemonth #diversity #dogoodbegood