Catch a Rising Star

BY SAM ZAPORA // DEC. 5, 2011 //

Alumna Jennifer Fogarty returned to campus last month to lend her talents to a Curry theater program where her career first took shape.

Having graduated from Curry in 2009, Fogarty has already performed in regional shows such as “RENT,” “Hairspray” and “High School Musical.” She worked as a body double for actress Mila Kunis in the comedy film “Ted” (to be released next summer) and will soon star in “Monsters,” a musical by Ernie Lejoi and Curry senior lecturer Gail Phaneuf, at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, Mass.

Class of 2009 graduate Jennifer Fogarty returned to Curry in late November to perform in a student-directed production alongside senior Tyler Richards. // PHOTO BY ANDREW SCHNEIDER

“She is one of the few individuals with both immense talent and a willingness to work hard,” said John Barrett, a senior lecturer in the Communication department who had Fogarty as a student throughout her years at Curry. “Not everyone has that gift.”

In late November, Fogarty returned to Curry to perform in a student-directed short show on the Blackbox performance stage in the Academic & Performance Center. Directed by junior communication major Marissa Mancini in “Getting it Back,” Fogarty starred alongside senior communication major Tyler Richards. The overall show, titled “Almost Maine,” contained eight shorts, each directed by a Curry student.

“I feel like it was an opportunity to learn something,” Fogarty said. “It’s like I was going back to my roots; it’s like I was home again. Every time I work with the directors and crew at Curry, I feel like I walk away with something more.”

Gail Phaneuf, a senior lecturer in the Communication department and one of three “directing mentors” for the “Almost Maine” show, said Fogarty was orginally only going to be in a quick intro scene. “A couple students ended up dropping out of the play, and Jen happened to have time, so she took up a larger role,” she said.

Mark Alexander, a senior communication major and assistant general manager of Curry Theater, fondly recalls working with Fogarty his freshman year. She served then and continues to serve as an inspiration for many current theater students, he said. “Jen has a surplus of energy that she gives to a project,” said Alexander. “I was working tech on the “Love Note” when she was a senior; she set an incredible example for all the freshmen.”

Phaneuf said many professors who teach in Curry’s theater concentration often discourage students from pursuing careers in professional theater, unless they have an uncanny talent. Fogarty has been among the exceptions, said Phaneuf, a playwright, director and producer with her own company, GP Productions. Fogarty works there as a project manager and is also manager of the children’s theater at the Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine.

“Curry gave me my foundation,” Fogarty said. “Not only do we act, but we learn directing, script writing, graphic design and how to run a theater. Even if you don’t get acting gigs right away, you can perform other theater jobs.”

In April, Fogarty will be performing in Boston in “Little Shop of Horrors,” at the New Repertory Theater.

“Jen has been able to sustain herself so far,” said Phaneuf. “She’s been keeping very busy.”

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