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"John Fenn wrote “A Servants Christmas”, which has been one of the History Theatre’s greatest hits, and the longest running original play in the Twin Cities.  John was a Resident Playwright is a mainstay of our Theatre.  He has distinguished himself as a excellent teacher in writing for performing art."

—Ron Peluso, Artistic Director History Theatre, Minnesota

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AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL NARRATIVE PDF Print E-mail

During my years at Harvard, and later in New York City, I worked as an actor, and as a production stage manager with:
•    The New York Shakespeare Festival
•    The Robert Joffrey Ballet
•    The Circle-in-the Square Theater
as well as
•    Many other individual New York productions, and national tours
•    Three seasons of musical summer stock (tents and theaters)
and
•    Two seasons of straight plays in summer stock

Just before moving to Minnesota as production stage manager for the Guthrie Theater, I worked with Circle-in-the-Square, ran the Circle-in-the Square Theater School, and wrote my first play … which won a national competition.

In Minnesota, I made the transition from being a production stage manager to a career as a playwright, and:

•    Wrote 20 plays or musicals, which have had 70 productions in 17 states.
•    Was playwright-in-residence at the St. Paul History Theater
•    Received 7 grants or awards

While working as a playwright, I have also written 6 screenplays, 5 have been produced on cable TV, and one was awarded a:

•    GOLD MEDAL, counseling International Film & Video Festival San
Francisco
•    SILVER MEDAL Aids Education National Educational Film & Video
Festival
and was a
•    Finalist, Aids Education category, American Film & Video Festival.

In Minnesota, I also began teaching theater, playwriting, filmmaking and English for the:

  •    Minneapolis and St. Paul school systems
  •    Minnesota Conservatory of Performing Art 
  •    Children’s Theater Conservatory School
  •    The University of St. Thomas
  •    The Playwrights’ Center
  •    The University of Minnesota
    and am currently teaching screenwriting and playwriting at
  •    Hamline University•   

I also ran over 40 residency/workshops with:

•    COMPAS writers in the schools, the State Arts Board,
•    Wisconsin Theater Association
                              and
•    For many school systems throughout the five state area