Jennifer Apple from CTC’s ‘Detroit ‘67’ talks about passion for theater

Who: Jennifer Apple, 28, Chautauqua Theater Company conservatory actor.

This summer, she’ll be seen as Caroline in Detroit ’67 and Lady Capulet in Romeo & Juliet, and appear for young audiences in the CLSC Young Readers program. Apple’s Chautauqua debut was in CTC’s “Young Playwrights!” performance, in which conservatory members acted out short plays written by local children, as part of the Family Entertainment Series. She was also seen in “The Community Engagement Project.”

Jennifer Apple

Where she’s from: Apple is from Westchester, but considers New York City home. She attended high school in Manhattan, and, after graduating from Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania, was based in the city while doing regional musical theater.

She recently switched coasts to attend American Conservatory Theater’s M.F.A. Acting Program.

“I knew that if I were to stay in New York, I would be distracted and wanting to audition and continue doing what I was doing, and I wouldn’t be able to focus on the craft, so I actually purposefully didn’t look in New York,” Apple said.

Theater credits: This past spring, Apple portrayed the lead character in Bertolt Brecht’s The Good Woman of Setzuan. In contrast to that challenging play, Apple also has experience with musical theater and comedy, and another favorite role was the Lady of the Lake in Spamalot. During this year’s Sky Festival, an annual event of productions from actors studying at A.C.T, Apple appeared in her one-woman show Bystander Effect.

Dream roles: Instead of building on an already-established character, Apple would like to originate a role. She is also hoping to do more television and film work.

“Emmy Rossum in ‘Shameless,’ that’s like my dream type of role,” Apple said. “Where it’s like funny and comedic, but it’s also really serious and dramatic and sexy and compelling and has life to it.”

Looking through her lens: Although she became interested in theater first, Apple became passionate about photography while growing up.

“I was always the girl with a camera growing up,” Apple said. “I actually went home a couple months ago and was cleaning out my room and I saw all the cameras that I had gone through.”

She will now shoot headshots and, occasionally, events. Apple is also an extensive traveler, having visited 40 countries, and takes her camera with her.

Favorite food: “I love mint chocolate chip ice cream.”

Why Chautauqua: CTC’s reputation and “amazing alumni” first attracted Apple to the conservatory. When CTC Artistic Director Andrew Borba told her the season would include Detroit ’67, her interest spiked. Her character in the play will be Caroline, a white woman with a mysterious past who finds herself living in a black family’s basement during the 1967 Detroit riot.

“I believe that art and theater, the whole purpose of doing it is that we get to engage in the conversations that no one is potentially having out in the open,” Apple said, “and showing people things that they might not want to see or might not want to actually hear or recognize in themselves.”

Tags : Chautauqua Theater CompanyctcDetroit ’67Jennifer AppleThe Artstheater

The author Dara McBride

A recent graduate of Syracuse University’s Goldring Arts Journalism program, she comes to Chautauqua after covering Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, South Carolina, for The Post and Courier. A Delaware native, she spent three years as a lifestyles editor on Maryland’s Eastern Shore writing about local authors, musicians and artists. Her work has also appeared in American Theatre magazine. She can be reached at or @DaraMcBride.