Wordsmith + Translator + Theatre Director | Telling Stories That Move People
With a background in theatre direction and more than nine years in the publishing industry, there’s no denying it: I love collaborating with people to tell stories. My work bridges the relationship between the art and the audience, and my hybrid experience allows me to communicate fluently with creative types and style-guide enthusiasts.
I’m also a French-to-English translator with more than a decade of experience in communication and public-relations materials, websites, virtual-reality projects, grant applications, user guides, and academic publications. Previous clients include the National Film Board of Canada, Ex Machina, Le Diamant, etc.
Jenny Montgomery is a stage director who focuses on plays that explore social issues and transcultural connection. She has lived in Quebec since 2009, when she moved from the United States to Montreal for a Fulbright grant to create a bilingual documentary play from interviews with immigrants, Québécois, and people in between cultures. Déraciné/Uprooted examines themes of cultural belonging, identity, and concepts of home. In March 2012, it had a public reading at the Balustrade Theatre of the Monument-National in Montreal. In 2014, Déraciné, a new version of the play entirely in French, had a reading at Concordia University in Montreal and during the events of the Carrefour international de théâtre in Quebec City.
Before moving to Quebec, Jenny spent seven years directing, assistant directing, and writing plays in Chicago. Her assistant directing credits include the world premieres of Arthur Miller’s Finishing the Picture, directed by Robert Falls (Goodman), and Joanna McClelland Glass’ Trying, directed by Sandy Shinner (Victory Gardens). In 2008, Jenny was the SDCF Observer for Tina Landau and assistant to Tracy Letts on the world premiere of Tracy Letts’ Superior Donuts (Steppenwolf).
In addition to Déraciné, she has written three other documentary plays: When All Other Lights Go Out, created from interviews conducted with twenty Chicagoland survivors of seven different genocides; Stain, an adaptation of Euripides’ The Children of Herakles interwoven with text from interviews with refugees from Darfur; and Raining Season, created from interviews with five survivors of three genocides.
In Quebec, she has had two directing observerships with Robert Lepage: Lipsynch (2007) and Frame by Frame (2015). Frame by Frame is Lepage’s ballet project developed with Guillaume Côté and the National Ballet of Canada (Ex Machina). In 2015, she assisted directed Kevin McCoy’s Norge (Le Trident). Jenny’s first dance-based play, L’Envol, was presented in the 2016 program of Les Chantiers/constructions artistiques du Carrefour international de théâtre. L’Envol examines loss, grief, and the resiliency of the human spirit. In 2018, she participated in the 13th edition of Bloc.Danse for a developmental workshop of a dance project with Esther Carré.
She did the English translation of the new version of Robert Lepage’s Needles and Opium. Needles and Opium won the Toronto Theatre Critics Award for Best Canadian Play (2014). She also did the English translation for The Library at Night, a virtual-reality project by Alberto Manguel and Robert Lepage.
Jenny Montgomery is an associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and the Dramatists Guild, and she is a member of the Literary Translators Association of Canada. She is an alumna of the 2005 Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab (New York) and the 2014 Directors Lab North (Toronto). She has served on the Steering Committee of DirectorsLabChicago since its beginning in 2005, and she is the artistic director and founder of Lab Québec, a francophone directors lab based in Quebec City. Jenny has trained with the SITI Company at Skidmore College and in Chicago. Jenny serves on the board of the Théâtre du Trident, where she is involved in the Condition des artistes commitee. She is also a member of the Table théâtre of Culture Capitale-Nationale et Chaudière-Appalaches, where she serves on the diversity committee and the committee working to improve the conditions of theatre practitioners in the region. She is currently developing a new theatre project mixing theatre and dance.