Jenna Liddle is proud to join the Cuckoo’s Theater Project team in bringing Lisa Loomer’s fun and thought-provoking piece to the Prop THTR stage. Her most recent credits include LANGUAGE OF ANGELS (Celie) (The Cuckoo’s Theater Project), THE ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS CAROL (Charity Woman, Mrs. C, Doris, Marilyn, etc.) (Steel Beam Theater) and MARY-KATE OLSEN IS IN LOVE (Amazing Girl) (The Comrades). Jenna graduated from Illinois State University’s School of Theater and Dance. At her Alma Mater, she played a role in Sandi Zielinski’s production of “Mother Courage and Her Children”, which won the KCACTF national award for Outstanding Production of a Modern Classic. Jenna has done work for the ONION, and appeared in WGN’s Vegas Season Promo. Jenna would like to thank her friends and family for their support, her skilled artistic team, the bottom of the Cuckoo’s Theater’s drive- way for being spatially sufficient for her 2006 edition soccer-mom van, and Grace DeSant for being the certified wizard that she is. Lastly, but certainly not least, Jenna would like to thank her father, Robert Liddle, who is missed dearly, and will always be the great example to her.
Get to know Jenna!
TCTP: Jesse gets in trouble a lot at school. Were you a troublemaker as a kid?
JL: My rebellious moment of glory was probably when I got a time-out on the first day of Mrs. Puz’s Kindergarten A.M., (Btw, I had no idea I had an option at the time. If I had known that these slackers were going to school in the P.M., I’d be reading“Goodnight Moon” with the cool kids. But for me, it was Goodnight, you’re getting up super early so you can cut out paper snowflakes, so that one day when you’re twenty-whatever you can become a strong, millennial, “snowflake” of the Earth. I actually mean that in a good way.) Anyways! So it’s playtime in Mrs. Puz’s Kindergarten A.M., and I was playing that classic game from the 90’s “Don’t Break the Ice”. Then, suddenly, my teacher yelled, “FREEZE!” (how fitting!), to let us know the free-for-all had ended. But, in my 5-year- old head, I was all NOOOO! I need to knock this guy and his little red chair off of this plastic box thing. And I’m also, not a quitter, obviously. So I looked at my teacher, and I think I did it just to see what her reaction would be, but with all my might I tried to hit all this fake ice out of the game at once. She then called me by my first AND last name, and pointed me to the time-out corner. I never realized my full potential as a student till I was in high school, because I did grow up with ADD. Prior to that, I’d get in trouble for not completing some assignments. Also, in high school it was fun to sneak out for lunch, but it was also frowned upon, as that was only meant for seniors. Overall, I was never LOOKING for trouble.
TCTP: This is a show where characters (and the actors themselves) break the fourth wall. How do you feel about breaking the fourth wall, when you're working on a show? How about as an audience member?
JL: Breaking the fourth wall is fine with me. I think, as an audience member, eye contact with an actor can be a little uncomfortable at times. You don’t know what’s going to happen next. I guess it might not be for everyone. As an actor, breaking the fourth wall can be fun. I’ve had to do it a few times, and if I make eye contact, I try not to stare anyone down.
TCTP: What distracts you?
JL: Everything. I was actually diagnosed with ADD. If I’m inspired, it’s awesome, but a lot of thoughts come to you at once, and you sometimes feel overwhelmed by them. ADD is a constant thing, whether you’re simply having a conversation with someone or trying to complete a task. I think a lot of people jokingly label themselves ADD when it’s time for them to sit down to do a task. But it’s more than that. Though, I am actually very focused while performing. It’s a way for me to channel my energy and trust new impulses. It’s strange, but I don’t drift at all. I also think social media can distract people with ADD, especially. You’ll go to do something, and 5 seconds later you’re doing something different, and it happens a lot.
TCTP: In the play Mama has a big decision to make about Jesse’s future. what kind of decision maker are you? You do research? Make a pro-con list? Trust your gut? Something entirely different?
JL: Terrible. I always tell people “You decide!’ or I will actually say, “I’m the worst at making decisions.” But, I do believe in pro-con lists, I have used those while worrying about whether I’m making the right decision or not. I try to go with my gut, but on scantrons, I’d often fail at that. I’d over-think and be like how can there be 3 c’s in a row?! And then I’d choose B, and get it wrong. :) Lastly, Sometimes I think of someone I admire and do what I think they’d do.
TCTP: Jesse loves rap. His parents don't love that he loves rap. What kind of music did you listen to as a kid?
JL: Everything. My first big concert that I was really excited for was ‘Nsync: Pop Odyssey. In grade school, the TRL and Vh1 countdowns were part of my after-school ritual. The countdowns would often feature Marcy Playground, Fiona Apple, Matchbox 20, Paula Cole, Aaliyah, and Kci and JoJo. In 7th grade, I really got into classic rock and alternative music. My family also listened to a lot of Motown in the car.
Come see Jenna and the rest of the cast of DISTRACTED, running September 8 - October 7 at Prop Thtr.
Get Tickets Here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/distracted-by-lisa-loomer-tickets-36324934858?aff=eac2