Fertile Ground Portland

A Festival of New Works Blog

MEET THE ARTIST: Jenny Newbry Waters January 10, 2013

Welcome to the 5th Annual Fertile Ground Festival of New Work!  Over the next few weeks we’ll be profiling various participant artists on the blog in an interview series where you can get a sneak peek at the origins of their projects and get to know them as artists. 

Cinnamon & Cigarettes

By Jenny Newbry Waters

Jenny Newbry Waters Headshot 1

Part of Ripen: A Feast of New Works at Milepost 5
Devised in collaboration with Cassie Greer
Dates & Times: 1/29/13 – 1/31/13 (5 pm)
Tickets: $10 door ($2 off with “DIG IT!” festival discount button)
Contact: jnewbry@gmail.com

Cinnamon and Cigarettes - Jenny Newbry WatersJenny Newbry Waters is an actor, teacher, director, and theatre artist who has been living in Portland for two years.  She received her MFA in Acting from Florida Atlantic University in 2011 and studied for a semester at the Moscow Art Theatre School in 2010.  She is also a certified Fitzmaurice Voicework ® teacher, and teaches Voice for the Apprentice program at Portland Playhouse.  She had her directing debut this past fall, directing Pericles at the College of Idaho while also teaching two classes there.  She is passionate about finding truth through storytelling.  In her spare time, she works out a lot, spends time with her husband and her cat, and tries to imaginatively transform the clouds into sunshine.


1. An Artist in My Field I Have a Giant Artist Crush On Is . . .
Matthew Cameron Clark, actor/director and founder of Boise Contemporary Theater.

2.  A Work That Has Shaped My Artistic Voice Is . . .
Richard III at the Satirikon theatre in Moscow.

3. When I’m Not Creating Art You Can Often Find Me . . .
At the gym!

4. Five Songs On My Writing Playlist Are . . .
“Breathe,” Anna Nalick
“The A Team,” Ed Sheeran
“Breakeven,” The Script
“One Man Army,” Our Lady Peace
“Schizophrenic Conversations,” Staind

5. A Portland Artist or Company I’d Love To Work With Is . . .
Portland Center Stage

6. I Am Terrified Of . . .
Settling for less than my passions/dreams.  And cockroaches.

7. I Am Obsessed With . . .
Physical fitness, Winnie the Pooh, cute furry animals hamster-sized or smaller, growth, discovering connections that point the way to truth.

8. The Book Currently On My Nightstand Is . . .
A collection of Sam Shepard plays.  Actually, it’s on the floor by my nightstand.

9. Three Adjectives That Describe This Work Are . . .
Terrifying, Exhilarating, Necessary

10. In the Indie Art-House Bio Film Of My Life, I Should Be Played By . . .
Me!  (What?  Eminem did it; surely I can too . . .)


1) Tell us about your Fertile Ground Festival work. 
Developed through a lens of Fitzmaurice Voicework ®, Cinnamon and Cigarettes is a devised solo piece about growing up and making difficult choices.  The storyteller and her best friend Jeremywere happy, normal kids in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado: they rode bikes, caught roly poly bugs, and played in the rain.  Jeremy’s life took a series of sharp turns, and with each turn came a tougher decision that affected more people’s lives.  It’s an intensely personal story that explores themes of friendship, love, unanswered questions, and the importance of nurturing our children.

2) How did this work come about?  What inspired it?
You’ll have to come see it to get a complete answer; I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag.  But, a landmark event happened several years ago that planted a need in me to tell the story of this play.  I was stuck for a starting point, though.  My “in” came from the Fitzmaurice Voicework training I completed this past summer, that gave me the tools and the confidence to just dive in and create.

3) Talk about your creative process.  (How do you work?  When do you work?  What gets you inspired?)
I work best when I create a schedule for myself and stick to it; when I combine working alone with collaborating with others; when I am busier than I think I have time to be; and when I fill my life with multiple, seemingly unrelated projects.  Variety allows me to keep everything fresh.  Continually creating keeps me continually inspired, and surrounding myself with supportive, creative people helps too.


One Response to “MEET THE ARTIST: Jenny Newbry Waters”

  1. Gary Corbin Says:

    Cool stuff, Claire!

    Let me know if you’re looking for more peeps to blog about. I’m willing!

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