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Etta Jenks

Senior Company | December 4-6, 2020

Layered images show a woman in a trench coat wearing a face mask standing on train tracks and an office scene.

The Swarthmore College Department of Theater Senior Company 2020 presents ETTA JENKS by Marlane Meyer, directed by Jack McManus '21.

About the Show

This darkly humorous drama explores the inner world and off-camera life of a young woman who dreams of being a Hollywood actress, but becomes a star of a different kind.

Lured into the sex-industry of the 1980’s, Etta finds that she’s good at her job and even better at being a recruiter for so-called “skin flicks.” But she struggles to find true intimacy in this make-believe world. Meyer describes ETTA JENKS as having a sense of "contained isolation,” which feels particularly resonant to this moment -- isolation from one another, the separation of ourselves from our bodies, and a lack of intimacy where it should be.

The production combines a patchwork of filmed, live-dubbed, and live-streamed scenes, leaning into the disjointed feeling of digital performance, and of our socially distant lives.

Creative Team

Each Fall, the Swarthmore College Theater Department seniors form a company and produce a play of their choosing with department support. This production is directed by Jack McManus ‘21 and stars Amaechi Abuah ‘21, Zaina Dana ‘21, Grace Dumdaw ‘21, Rohan Hejmadi ‘21, David Melo ‘21, and Jake Rothman ‘23.

Stage Management by Melanie Leeds, Assistant Stage Management by Max Winig '24, Dramaturgy by Amaechi Abuah ‘21, Lead Cinematography & Editing by Jake Rothman ‘23, Assistant Direction by Rohan Hejmadi ‘21, Set/Visual Design by John Baek ‘21 & Zaina Dana ‘21, Costume & Hair/Makeup Design by Laila Swanson, Sound Design & Editing by Elizabeth Atkinson, Lighting Design and Props by Michael Lambui, Production Management by Scott Cassidy, Set/Visual Advising by Matt Saunders, Dramaturgy Advising by Madeline Charne '14, Publicity & Program Design by Jillian Jetton, Poster by Sam Thuman. Laila Swanson is the Senior Company Advisor.

Content warning: discussions of sex, discussions of non-consensual sex, and mentions of drug use. 

Etta Jenks Poster

Against a misty night sky, a neon yellow highway sign reads "Etta Jenks By Marlane Meyer, Directed by Jack McManus '21." Beneath the sign is a paved road with white letters that read "December 4 8p, December 5 2p & 8p, December 6 2p; Free and open to the public with reservations."