Jenna Murphy

Actor, writer and teaching artist



Jenna Murphy is an actor, writer and teaching artist based in the D.C. area. Originally from Missouri, Jenna came to Washington in the summer of 2014 to complete an internship at Arena Stage in Community Engagement. Upon graduating with a B.A. in Theatre and minors in Music and Dance from Drury University, she returned to Arena Stage to complete a season-long fellowship in Education and Community Programs. In this role, she devised and directed original theater with the Voices of Now program, promoted literacy through drama in early-elementary classrooms, and worked on programming that promoted theater accessibility for students in D.C. Public Schools. After her fellowship, she continued to work with Arena Stage as the Young Company Supervisor for Carousel, A Raisin in the Sun, and Snow Child. She has also worked with young actors at Ford’s Theatre in A Christmas Carol and at Shakespeare Theater Company in Noura. She began her work with Story Tapestries with the Building Bridges program, where she created socially-conscious theater with sixth-grade students at Montgomery Village Middle School. Her local acting credits include The Princess and the Pauper: A Bollywood Tale (Imagination Stage), How I Became a Pirate (Adventure Theatre), Assassins (Pallas Theatre Collective), I Oughta Be in Pictures (Peter's Alley), The Very Last Days of the First Colored Circus (Restoration Stage) and Timon: 2016 (Off the Quill). Regional credits include She Loves Me (Black Hills Playhouse), Shrek the Musical (Black Hills Playhouse), Annie Get Your Gun (Way Off Broadway), Gypsy (Great Plains Theatre), Ragtime (Great Plains Theatre).

Arts and Humanities Education Philosophy

Arts education is for every child, whether or not they pursue a career in the arts. Arts education develops self-management skills, interpersonal skills, and gives children an outlet in which to explore and respond to the world around them.

Why is Jenna an advocate for Arts and Humanities Education?
When I began my work as a teaching artist, I was primarily interested in teaching students who were on a pre-professional track. However, in my work promoting literacy and creating socially-conscious theater, I have seen how every student benefits from theatrical training, despite their career goals. Theater promotes reading and writing skills, socio-emotional development, communication strategies, and inspires confidence in students. While I still enjoy coaching students who are on the career path, my true passion lies in teaching a child life skills through theater that will help them live more fully and truthfully.

How does she promote Arts and Humanities Education?
Whether I work with a student for a day or a year, I want them to come away from my class having learned that they have stories, ideas and feelings that are important, and that they possess the inherent ability to express them. I want to inspire my students to use the tools they have honed to continue to create art as a source of reflection and joy.

Partnership with the DC Collaborative

DC Collaborative Member since 2017.

"Just as art cannot exist in a vacuum, neither can education. The DC Collaborative provides teaching artists a place to network with other professionals who work at the intersection of art and education."

Fun Fact! Jenna Murphy enjoys singing and song-writing in her leisure time.

Contact Jenna:



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Mailing: 975 F Street, NW
Location: 923 F Street, NW, #303
Washington, DC 20004
P: 202.470.6467

The DC Collaborative is a FY19 Service Organization grant recipient of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

The DC Collaborative is proud to receive a grant for its Collective Impact work supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.