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San Domenico School News & Events

#FacesOfSD - Jennifer Grimes


In order to share more of our amazing community here at SD, we offer this weekly #FacesOfSD to give you a chance to learn more about our faculty and staff. Today, we are thrilled to introduce Jennifer Grimes, Upper School Theatre Arts Teacher.

Jennifer is a 2015 Tony Awards and Carnegie Melon University Excellence in Theatre Education Award Nominee. In her teaching and directing, Jennifer combines methods from her training and experience in American realism and classical British technique. She received her Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, in Theatre Arts, from UCLA, and continued her acting studies, at the Drama Studio London and the British-American Acting Academy. She is a proud member of all three professional actors’ unions (stage, film, and radio/television). Shortly after graduating from the Drama Studio London, Jennifer co-founded The Chamber Theatre, a non-profit corporation in San Francisco. She served as co-artistic director and production manager, as well as performing in and directing productions for five years. She later left the company to pursue acting opportunities in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. After working as an actor and director, for several years, she obtained a master's degree in drama, from San Francisco State University. Prior to coming to San Domenico, Jennifer taught acting and Theatre Imagination in the Theatre Department at SFSU, and at Solano College’s acclaimed Youth Theatre program, she directed plays and musicals, and taught acting. Additionally, Jennifer has taught Shakespeare text and performance, in the youth theatre program of the California Shakespeare Theatre, and acting in Shakespeare, for the Marin Shakespeare youth program. Jennifer enjoys archery, rapier and dagger swordplay, and swimming.

Q. Full name?

A. Jennifer Grimes

Q. Where were you born?

A. Walnut Creek, California

Q. Favorite word?

A. Shakespeare!

Q. What do you do here at San Domenico? And what is your favorite part of your job?

A. I teach Theatre Arts, in the Upper School, and am incredibly fortunate to have Beth Kellermann as my Department Chair, glorious colleague, and great friend. My favorite part of my job is when a young actor "gets it." This is when they realize that all their work on their role - the rehearsals, working with the director and on their own - becomes fused, and the character they are playing comes alive with the other characters on stage. I love this because this is when they understand that inspiration won't strike unless the ground has been prepared by the actor. And this is when they truly understand acting and become actors. It's the most important realization anyone who wants to act can make, and it's a privilege to work to make that happen.

Q. Which Dominican value inspires you the most this week and why? (Study, Reflection, Community, or Service?)

A. It was recently Discovery Week, in the Upper School, so it's absolutely Community. Each group made its own community within the whole during that week, and I must say, I had a jolly good time with the wonderful students in my Spring Discovery offering.

Q. What might an average weekend look like, for you?

A. For the semester, I'm directing a play. It means working on the show - costumes, set, props, sound, scheduling - and working on my classes. When I'm not working on a show, one of my favorite things to do is make time for a lovely, long walk, with my husband, in beautiful Forest Knolls, where we live.

Q. List 1-3 of your most significant personal accomplishments, to date.

A. The most important thread, which has run through my entire life, is theatre; theatre is both personal and professional to me. So, perhaps the most significant accomplishment is that I'm still doing it after all these years. It is a true love - not an easy life.

Q. List 1-3 of your most significant professional and/or academic accomplishments, to date.

A. 1. My Master's Thesis, "Unsex Me Here: Lady Macbeth and Gender Representation" 2. My performance in "A Kind of Alaska" by Harold Pinter 3. I co-founded a theatre company in San Francisco, and was co-artistic director and production manager for five years.

Q. What was your best, professional "I wish someone had seen this" moment?

A. Well, actually, people are always there, in what I consider to be my best professional moments in the last ten years, at San Domenico, because these moments all take place during performances of the plays I worked on. It's always on stage in what the students do.

Jennifer, you are a shining light in our community who helps so many young thespians to find their light. From the way you bike around campus with a smile and a wave, to the way you bring theatre to life, with meaningful relativity to current goings on, thank you. We are so grateful for all you bring to, and share with, our SD community!