What’s your deal? Who are you and what’s your story?

My name is Jennifer Fok. I am the Lighting Designer for Enchanted April and Dial “M” for Murder. I grew up in Palm Springs, CA. I now live in New York City where I design lighting for plays, concerts, musicals, and dance.

What most excites you about in taking on this design/directing opportunity at TAM?

In recent years, it’s been really exciting coming back Monmouth and working at a theatre that I love, seeing old friends and making new ones – it feels like a family. I love meeting new people and getting a chance to work on a theatre project. This will be my fifth (I think) year coming back to Monmouth and every year I am so inspired by work and the people who come and make Monmouth their creative home for the summer.

Why Shakespeare (or classic theatre)?

Shakespeare can be interrupted in so many ways and speaks to so many types of people and situations. No matter what age you are or where you come from in the world anyone can find something or someone to relate to in his work. His work is so focused on human nature. It’s really exciting for me as a designer getting to either design a production in the time period or taking his words and finding a way to make them resonate in a completely different context.  I love older pieces of theatre or classic theatre because it gives me a chance to learn and delve into a world or time period that I know nothing about, or perhaps wasn’t born during. It certainly makes it more of an artistic challenge, but I love a challenge!

Who is your role model, and why?

My father is a pretty big role model. My father has shown much love and support for the arts. I admire his own passion for theatre having not been a theatre person most of his life. As someone who immigrated to the United States, he took a risk and sought to make a better life for himself and his family.

You can have dinner with any three powerful women in history. Who would you choose and why?

Jean Rosenthal—considered a pioneer of the theatrical lighting design field. Many of the techniques she was using in the early 30’s and 40’s are still in use today. She’s credited as the woman who really made the lighting designer an integral part of the design team. She quickly became a very prolific and in demand Broadway lighting designer. In a field dominated by mostly men, we owe a lot to her incredible personality and talent.

Katharine Hepburn—I am a fan of old Hollywood films and Katharine Hepburn starred in some of my favorites.

Billie Jean King—for her fierce determination to her craft of tennis but also advocating for women and equal pay, which we still don’t have today.

What is your super power?

Being able to make people laugh during tech.

Describe yourself in three alliterative words.

Independent, Fluid, Caring.