On a whim, Jenna Langbaum decided to enter her play, “The Night of Blue and Salt,” her senior project at Hamilton College, in the New York International Fringe Festival.
By Georgetta L. Morque
On a whim, Jenna Langbaum decided to enter her play, “The Night of Blue and Salt,” her senior project at Hamilton College, in the New York International Fringe Festival. The largest multi-arts festival in North America, the Fringe showcases nearly 200 of the world’s best emerging theatre troupes and dance companies. In April, she found out that her play had been accepted! Not only did Langbaum, a 2011 Rye High School graduate, write the play, but she is also the director. She performs, along with Hamilton alumni Andrew Gibeley and Anna Jastrzembski. Cat Raynor, a Rye High classmate, created the show’s artwork.
The play follows a young married couple – the husband, an aspiring doctor, and the wife, an aspiring writer, and their challenges and tragedies along the way. Langbaum, 23, describes the piece as both dark and funny and one that reveals how people who are in love or in a relationship communicate. BroadwayWorld.com ran a preview article, noting the play’s dark humor and writing style, Theatre of the Absurd.
Two summers ago, Langbaum interned at the Fringe Festival and was inspired. She always loved theater and performed in Rye starting in elementary school at Milton. At Rye High, she played the lead in “Grease,” starred in “Les Miserables,” “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” and others, and was a member of the chorus. She also directed a short piece for Senior Scenes. Writing was her favorite subject.
“Jenna was in many of the Parsons Street Players productions, but she was unforgettable as Sandy in ‘Grease’,” recalls Michael Limone, RHS acting, debate, and public speaking teacher and director of Parsons Street Players productions. “She is a wonderful performer with a gorgeous voice, but more than that, she is a kind young woman with an instantly likable, effervescent personality.” He added, “I am so proud of the direction she has taken her talents. I can't wait to see the play.”
Langbaum graduated from Hamilton College in 2015 with a double major in creative writing and theatre. She also spent a semester at NYU studying playwriting and screenwriting. Throughout her college career she not only performed but also contributed to the literary magazine, Red Weather, sang a cappella, and belonged to a comedy improvisation group.
Currently, she works at Beanstalk, a brand management company in New York, where she is able to use her writing talents and creativity. Her passion for theater remains strong. “I wanted to keep my love of theater alive with the Fringe Festival,” said Langbaum, who raised money through GoFundMe to cover some of the play’s expenses. After the festival, she would love for the play to travel to other theaters.
This year’s Fringe Festival is currently underway, and you can see “The Night of Blue and Salt” at the Iati Theater, 64 East 4th Street, on August 20, 23, and 26. For tickets, visit FringeNYC.org.