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"For decades I've witnessed John Fenn work his unique and magic manner, engaging learners young and old, experienced and newbies, fearful and willing, and wringing from them skills and competencies they never knew they had.  Whether words written or spoken, … John shares with each of them the joys of creative thinking, writing and doing. What a gift he has!"

—Dr. Thomas King, St. Thomas University

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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