Jenny Turner Hall juggles things.
Her family, an arts organization, half a dozen shows, a creative writing career. You name it. And she does it all from her home base of Maplewood, New Jersey. Her work is inspired by humor, underdogs, gutsy dames, and her own life, which includes raising a child with special needs.
Jenny Turner Hall is an irrepressible storyteller with a DIY spirit. She writes, produces, and performs stories in almost every genre. She is currently executive producer, writer, and director of a new scripted podcast series for children ages 8-12, The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel (#4 on iTunes). The Guardian has named Mars Patel one of the top fifty podcasts in the world. It won the Peabody Award. Her children are 9 and 11, and they love it.
Inspired during the 90s by Spalding Gray, she mounted her first monologue play at Collective Unconscious, followed by others at the landmark music venue Tonic. These stories, bittersweet and funny, are often rooted in her Appalachian heritage.
She’s written half a dozen feature film scripts, one currently in development. She has also written four television pilots. Her TV writing has advanced in competition at the Austin Film Festival. Her plays Milkwood and Biscuits & Bourbon were commissioned by South Next Festival (South Orange, NJ). In the podcast world, Jenny has created/written/produced three shows currently available on iTunes, including Milkwood and The B Word. As a spoken word performer, Jenny has appeared at venues such as Joe’s Pub, in comedy festivals (Funny Ladies), and in story slams. She is the co-host of a wildly popular story slam in Maplewood, New Jersey, a place that (to the delight of real estate agents) The New York Times refers to as “Brooklyn West.”
After a decade working in film and television production (NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Directors Guild of America), Jenny started Studio B, a non-profit art house that serves Northern New Jersey. The mission of Studio B is to build community through the arts, and to showcase local artists. She is one of these artists. Since its inception seven years ago, Studio B has produced over fifty events, collaborating with inimitable artists such as Michael Arenella (featured entertainer Jazz Age Lawn Party, NYC's Governors Island), playwright Ethan Lipton (Obie Award winner), journalist David Brancaccio (host of Marketplace), cultural commentator Julie Burstein (Peabody winner, co-creator of Studio 360) and many more. At Studio B, Jenny co-writes all the scripts for the shows and for the stand-alone plays. From an overheard conversation between two nickeled-and-dimed waitresses, to elaborate meditations from the mind of Mary Shelley, to the portrait of a town crippled by systemic corruption (with a little song and dance), Jenny’s writing for Studio B can span the gamut.
Taking her cue from another comedy dame, Jenny runs a literary salon inspired by Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Circle. For eight years and counting, playwrights, poets, screenwriters, essayists, satirists, journalists, and novelists continue to share their work in a curated but casual environment. Participants include Ethan Berlin (Emmy-nominated writer for Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell), Tina Kelley (New York Times reporter, published poet, bestselling author), Ben Niles (award-winning documentary filmmaker, PBS), Abby Sher (Second City), Jacob Lambert (Associate Editor at MAD Magazine), Daniel Wright (comedian, featured on The Graham Norton Show), and Elizabeth Trundle (The MOTH, featured on Girls). Jenny and Daniel Wright regularly perform their long-form comedy act, in the style of Nichols and May, at The Comedy Roll Lab.