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Words From the Wings: Jenna Augen of LEOPOLDSTADT Shares Backstage Must-Haves, Favorite Moments, and More!

Words From the Wings: Jenna Augen of LEOPOLDSTADT Shares Backstage Must-Haves, Favorite Moments, and More!

Augen also shares her favorite moments to watch from the wings, pre-show rituals, and more!

BroadwayWorld is bringing you Words From the Wings, a new series of interviews that take fans behind the scenes of some of their favorite Broadway stars' backstage routines!

Today we're chatting with Jenna Augen of Leopoldstadt, who told us all about her favorite backstage moments, must-haves, and more! Check out her answers, along with photos taken by BroadwayWorld's Jennifer Broski, below!


What's the first thing you do when you arrive at the theatre?

At first, I was quite good about getting to the theatre early for a vocal warm-up, but lately, I've been warming up in my apartment, so now I just do a bit of make-up in the dressing room and head straight to my wig call.

What's the last thing you do before you go on stage?

I run through the first few lines I say.

What's your must-have backstage snack?

It varies. The brilliant Betsy Aidem had the wonderful foresight to stock up on some excellent nibbles for the dressing room before we began the run. I am especially partial to the little sour pumpkin candies she found for a mini sugar rush mid-show. It's very nearly my turn to replenish our supplies and I'll be sure to look out for more of those. And 'tis the season for candy corn.

Pre-show ritual that others may think is weird?

I've had several over the years depending on the show and the character. Lately, though, I just go over a bit of Wilma in the first scene full pelt while getting into costume. I have apologised to Deirdre and Betsy profusely.


What are five must-haves in your dressing room?

I'm pretty typical here:

A kettle.

Tea. (Lemon/ginger or peppermint especially...)

A blanket.



What's your favorite moment in the show to watch from the wings?

The beginning of the show is great fun and, for me, is filled with quite a few sparky quick changes backstage, so it isn't really until the "1938" scene that I get to watch anything from the wings. But it is hugely important to get to watch it. I am immediately catapulted into the heart of the play- its necessity, its drive, its responsibility, its truth, and the family at its core. Any/every line, reference, fact, theme, irony, or juxtaposition in that scene is an automatic anchor.

What has been your favorite backstage moment in your time with this show so far?

I'm lucky to say there are many possible answers to this, including some glorious moments from my time in the show in London, but to narrow it to one- it would have to be backstage on Opening Night. I have never experienced anything like it. It was the Broadway debut for many of us, and the air was so filled with electricity and excitement and love and support. I burst into tears before the show even began (happy, grateful, overwhelmed tears), and the magnificent Caissie Levy just held me in the stairwell until they abated. I got through the performance, but they were back in force at the end of the curtain call.


About Jenna Augen

Theatre includes: Leopoldstadt (Wyndham's Theatre), Bartholomew Fair (Shakespeare's Globe); The Comedy About a Bank Robbery (Criterion); The Knowledge (Charing Cross Theatre); The Witches (West Yorkshire Playhouse); Bad Jews (UK Theatre Award/The Arts Theatre/St. James Theatre/Theatre Royal, Bath); The Way Of The World (Chichester Festival Theatre); Sleeping Beauty (Birmingham Repertory Theatre); Chicken Soup with Barley (Royal Court); The Gondoliers (Sierra Madre Playhouse); A Christmas Carol (Grove Theater Centre); A Murder Is Announced (The Lyceum/Arrow Rock); The Two Gentlemen Of Verona (Commonwealth Shakespeare Co). Television /film includes: "Episodes," The Night Watch, Josephine and the Roach.

About Leopoldstadt

Set in Vienna, Leopoldstadt takes its title from the Jewish quarter. This passionate drama of love and endurance begins in the last days of 1899 and follows one extended family deep into the heart of the 20th Century. Full of his customary wit and beauty, Tom Stoppard's late work spans fifty years of time over two hours.

Leopoldstadt's cast, which includes several members of the original West End company and 24 actors making their Broadway debuts, features Jesse Aaronson* (The Play That Goes Wrong off-Broadway), Betsy Aidem (Prayer for the French Republic), Jenna Augen* (Leopoldstadt in the West End), Japhet Balaban* (The Thing About Harry on Freeform), Corey Brill ("The Walking Dead," Gore Vidal's The Best Man), Daniel Cantor* (Tuesdays with Morrie off-Broadway), Faye Castelow* (Leopoldstadt in the West End), Erica Dasher* ("Jane By Design"), Eden Epstein* ("Sweetbitter" on Starz, "See" on Apple TV+), Gina Ferrall (Big River, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum), Arty Froushan* (Leopoldstadt in the West End), Charlotte Graham* (The Tempest at A.R.T.), Matt Harrington (Matilda The Musical), Jacqueline Jarrold (The Cherry Orchard), Sarah Killough (Travesties), David Krumholtz ("Numb3rs," Oppenheimer), Caissie Levy (The Bedwetter; Caroline, or Change), Colleen Litchfield* ("The Crowded Room" on Apple TV+), Tedra Millan (Present Laughter, The Wolves), Aaron Neil* (Leopoldstadt in the West End), Theatre World Award winner Seth Numrich (Travesties, War Horse), Anthony Rosenthal (Falsettos), Christopher James Stevens*, Sara Topham (Travesties), three-time Tony Award nominee Brandon Uranowitz (Assassins, Falsettos, Burn This), Dylan S. Wallach (Betrayal), Reese Bogin*, Max Ryan Burach*, Calvin James Davis*, Michael Deaner*, Romy Fay* ("Best Foot Forward" on Apple TV+), Pearl Scarlett Gold*, Jaxon Cain Grundleger*, Wesley Holloway*, Ava Michele Hyl*, Joshua Satine*, Aaron Shuf*, and Drew Squire*.

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