We look to the past to shape our future. Who are you? Where are you going from here? My name is Jen Fok. I am a New York city based Lighting Designer. I am originally from Palm Springs, California. After TAM I’ll be heading back to New York City to start work on a new off-Broadway musical called The Little Princess.

What most excites you about being a part of TAM’s 50th Anniversary Season?

TAM has been my artistic home since 2012. It was one of the first places I worked at during my time in college. Hamlet is the one of the first plays I ever read. I am excited to be getting a chance to bring light to the piece at TAM. I am excited to be returning to see old friends and to meet and work with new artists.

We’re all about making old things new and new things classic. Why are you drawn to Classic Theatre? How do you shake it up?

As a lighting designer, I really love researching specific time period and digging into what lighting fixtures existed in that time period. Architecture of the time period also gives a lot of clues into how light can enter and reveal a space. Depending on the piece you can really make large or minimal lighting gestures throughout a show.

Who inspires you and why?

I am constantly inspired by many of my collaborators who identify as women. They are all extremely talented, insightful, kind, and push me artistically. We definitely need more women, especially women of color who are leaders in the theatre world. I am currently following Jiehae Park and Lauren Yee, both who are Asian female playwrights.

You can have dinner with any three influential people. Who are your dream guests, why them, and what is the topic of conversation?

The photographer, Gregory Crewdson. He’s been one of my favorite photographers, I am struck by his images of small-town America. His use of light is so visually striking. The conversation would be very technical of how to light for the camera.

The painter, Vincent van Gogh. I love his use of bold colors and brushstrokes. Probably not so much a conversation, probably would just be me watching him paint and staring in awe at his technique.

Walt Disney, probably one of the greatest story tellers. I grew up in California going to Disneyland with my family, there is a lot of nostalgia and memories connected with my childhood. If he were alive today, the main topic of conversation would be how technology today has advanced that we are able to tell so many more types of stories in many different forms.

What recent accomplishment are you most proud of?

Traveled to Niagara Falls.

What’s your super power?

Being able to make people smile.