Temple University, MFA
Southern Oregon University, BFA
email: jenifer.cote [at] sonomaacademy.org
phone: (707) 636-2015
Jenifer Coté has been the director of Sonoma Academy’s theater program since 2010. She loves live theater and she believes in the power of storytelling to engage and create community and build confidence and skills in young performers and designers. Jenifer believes that educational theater should be inclusive, challenging and growth orientated. Before joining our community, she studied theater and received her BFA from Southern Oregon University and her MFA in Philadelphia at Temple University. Jenifer has also worked as a professional actor and casting director before deciding to teach fulltime.
Jenifer Directs three mainstage shows a year at Sonoma Academy and nurtures and fosters Student-Directed work as well. Her favorite classes to teach at Sonoma Academy are Contemporary Theater—because it allows the students to work with new, interesting pieces/current playwrights in the theater world—and Studio Production because it combines acting with design, technical theatre and producing. Jen’s favorite moments as a teacher are when students enter her intro class Foundation Arts Theater and find a hidden talent/passion, whether that be directing, acting, or design and return to collaborate on a production. Each spring, Jen directs and produces a play with her Production and Design Studio class. Rehearsals for this production are held during the school day, which creates a unique opportunity for students who normally cannot be in a play due to sports or other extracurricular activities, to be a part of this play. She strongly believes anyone can be a "theater kid".
In her free time, Jen acts in local commercials and plays and sees as much live theatre as she can. "I love teaching theater here because our community truly celebrates and nurtures the arts and that we give students the freedom to do plays that cause the audience to think and reflect on the material." Jen hopes that her role in the youth theater community will create an appreciation for the arts, both within the Sonoma Academy community and beyond. She hopes that her students will carry the skills built in the arts - empathy, ensemble, confidence, and creativity with them always.