New teacher brings fresh ideas to theatre department


Submitted by Jennifer Banda

Actor and new theatre teacher, Jennifer Banda

During this new post-coronavirus era there have been many changes taking place at Perry, especially within the Perry Theatre Company. Ranging from online performances to new guidelines, many changes have taken place in this 2020-2021 school year. 

One of the most significant adjustments has been to the staff of the theater department. Jennifer Banda, a new theatre teacher/director, joined the school at the beginning of the school year and has been bringing new ideas, inspiration, and charisma to the Perry Theater Company.

Before joining our school, Banda had a long career in theatre, not just behind the scenes, but on the stage as well. “I started acting professionally when I was a child. My father worked in an Off-Broadway theatre and in TV and the movies, so I was around it my whole life,” Banda states, “I have acted and directed all over the world. I received my MFA in theatre directing in London. Before I came to Perry, I was teaching acting at San Diego School for the Creative and Performing Arts.”

Banda is passionate about the art of theater and how the program sheds light on the human condition, going on to say, “What I love most about the theatre is telling human stories and the ability to shine the light on the truth and wrongdoings. The theatre often gives a voice to the voiceless. This is important in our world. I am very happy that it’s becoming more inclusive and diverse.”

When asked why she chose to work here at Perry, Banda explains that, “I chose to work with Perry Theatre because it seemed like an exciting new challenge and group of students. My favorite part has been getting to know everyone in the ensemble.”

Even after joining in the midst of a pandemic, Banda was able to get together and work well with students and staff; “The biggest challenge was working online, but we got through it and went on to place at the Utah Shakespeare Festival.”

As the school’s theatre department continues to grow, Banda is excited to grow along with it as well as lead and direct some amazing projects.