Erin Leigh decided she wanted to be an actress by the time she'd entered the first grade. At the age of 11, she got her Equity card playing "Laurie" in the First National Tour of Neil Simon's Brighton Beach Memoirs. The following summer, she spent a season as Jane Kaczmareck's daughter on the CBS primetime drama Hometown.
After high school, Erin Leigh attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts as a Drama major. She spent two years studying acting at Circle in the Square and two more at Musical Theater Works. She filmed a CBS after school special called Same Difference and spent a summer at the Berkshire Theatre Festival playing "Debbie" in Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing. But Broadway was beckoning, and after graduation Erin Leigh was thrilled to be cast in the First National Tour of Broadway's Grease. She performed in the ensemble and understudied the roles of Marty, Frenchy and Patty Simcox. Eventually, she moved on to the Broadway Company as a vacation swing.
Erin Leigh spent the next few years doing occasional film and TV appearances including As the World Turns, Guiding Light, One Life to Live, One True Thing and The Astronaut's Wife. She continued her dramatic training at the William Esper studio, and studied Musical Performance with NYU teacher and composer Craig Carnelia.
Her favorite role came along in 1998 when Erin Leigh joined the cast of I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change. She played over 16 different characters each night to packed houses and loved being a part of this long-running, Off-Broadway hit.
In 2000, she traveled to LA and played Anthony LaPaglia's spoiled ex-wife on the John Goodman sit-com Don't Ask. The show was later revamped and re-named Normal, Ohio. She started recording demo albums for composers of new musicals, and filmed an episode of Law & Order, SVU. She also appeared in several national television commercials including those for Pilot Pens, Verizon and Subway, as well as radio spots for Herbal Essences and AFLAK.
In 2001 and 2002, Erin Leigh originated roles in several workshops of exciting new musicals. The first was "Lisa" in Dirty Dancing, based on the hit movie by the same name. She played the scheming "J.J." in the 60's Beach Party Musical Go-Go Beach, and the aimless "Pickles" in the wacky Great American Trailer Park Musical. But the role closest to Erin Leigh's heart has been "Polly" in the ground breaking Normal, starring Barbara Walsh. Co-written by Erin Leigh's I Love You, You're Perfect... co-star Cheryl Stern, Normal explores the struggles of a mother dealing with the breakdown of her "perfect and happy" family.
In 2002, Erin Leigh fulfilled a life-long dream to originate a role in a new Broadway show. She created the role of "Zsa-Zsa", the nerdy village girl-turned vixen vampire in David Ives, Michael Kunze and Jim Steinman's Dance of the Vampires at the Minskoff theatre. Erin Leigh played 117 performances and had a blast being a part of a legendary mega-flop. Immediately following the close of Vampires, Erin Leigh was thrilled to work on a piece she's admired for years, Little By Little by Brad Ross, Ellen Greenfield and Hal Hackady. She revived the role originated by Liz Larsen and the show is currently being looked at by producers and theatres for a future run.
While performing Little By Little, Erin Leigh and her husband Josh were blessed to learn they were expecting their first child. Mia Bobbe Penner was born on December 8, 2003. Mia had appeared "in utero" while a pregnant Erin Leigh taped an episode of Guiding Light, as well as television commercials for Resolve Spot Magic Carpet Cleaner and Payless shoes. At the age of 5 months, Mia joined her Mommy in a print add for Pediarix that is still being featured in magazines and on the web.
Today, Erin Leigh is keeping busy with demo recordings, benefits and commercials while spending most of her time with Mia. She recently taped a national network spot for AOL and another for Mohegan Sun. She is looking forward to returning to the stage soon, but for now is loving being a mom!