About AnneAbout AnneAbout Anne

Salome JensSalome Jens

Salome Jens’ 2012 interview

on working with actress
Geraldine Fitzgerald.

...About Anne

“Jens is poetry in motion”
San Francisco Chronicle
“Jens is magnificent”
Los Angeles Times

“Jens’ rich and brilliant performance gleams in the memory.” The New York Times

Salome Jens shines in the award-winning production of the poetry of Anne Sexton.  Following the show’s Los Angeles premiere at the Actors Theatre and  its New York premiere at the Interart Theatre, ... About Anne went on to win The L.A. Dramalogue Award and the San Francisco Critics Circle Award.

...About Anne consists solely of Sexton’s poetry. “Each poem is an event – dramatic, personal and true,” says Ms Jens.  “Anne wrote of her children, her feelings, her husband and her falling apart.  Anne speaks.  I arranged the sequence of the poetry and it’s coming through me.  No filler. Anne filled it all.  It’s me zinging the words Anne wrote out into the air – it’s me and Anne.”

And by the time Salome Jens has spoken a few lines, the poems come to life and Sexton, her parents, her husband and daughter,  larger than life people and God fill the stage.  From Cripples and Other Stories there are reflections on the poet’s childhood: “My father was a perfect man / clean and rich and fat. My mother was a brilliant thing. / She was good at that.”  InMy Little Girl, My String Bean, My Lovely Woman,” Sexton wrote a tender, delicate and blazingly honest tribute to her adolescent daughter. While her love affair with death is well documented throughout her work, and revealed here in the harrowing “Sylvia’s Death,” there are other equally fierce urgings for life.  “Your Face on the Dog’s Neck” expresses Sexton’s jealousy of the dog on which her sleeping husband lies.  “When Man Enters Woman” deals with the sexual unity of men and women.

With her mane of gold hair, her pale, mobile face and her tall, insinuating body, Jens commands the stage without imposing anything alien to the spirit of Sexton’s poems.  She can be subtle as well as strong and lets us see beyond the tormented soul “rowing toward God” to the artist who found Him and made Him in her own words.


SALOME JENS began what would become a distinguished stage career in theatre at Northwestern University and continued in New York with Herbert Berghof and Lee Strasberg and became a lifetime member of the Actors Studio. She also studied dance with Martha Graham.  Her professional career started Off Broadway with Ionesco's The Bald Soprano and Jack, Synge’s Diedre of the Sorrows and Jose Quintero's acclaimed production of Genet's The Balcony for which she won the Clarence Derwent Award. She also starred in Eugene O'Neill’s Desire Under the Elms and Moon For The Misbegotten. Other Off Broadway productions include Robert Audrey's Shadow of Heroes, John Dos Passos' U.S.A. and more.  Her Broadway credits include Henry Denker's Far Country, Sidney Kingsley's Night Life, The Disenchanted by Breit and Schulberg, John Osborne's Patriot for Me, and Sam Shepard's Lie of the Mind. She was a charter member of Elia Kazan's company at the Lincoln Center and starred in Arthur Miller's After The Fall, Moliere's Tartuffe, S.N. Behrman's But For Whom Charlie, Schiller's Mary Stuart and Peter Handke's Ride Across Lake Constance.  She played the lead roles in Joe Papp’s productions of The Winter’s Tale and Antony and Cleopatra as well as Milton Katselas’ Macbeth. She appeared in Sean O’Casey’s Pictures in the Hallway and I Knock On the Door.  Her Los Angeles theatre appearances include Hamlet with Stacy Keach at the Mark Taper Forum as well as Brian Friel's Crystal and Fox with Anthony Zerbe, One Flew Over the Cuckoos's Nest, Moon For the Misbegotten, Donald Freed's White Crow and How Shall We Be Saved?,  Strindberg’s The Pelican, Kroetz’s Request Concert and Sigurdsson’s Day of Hope at the Los Angeles Theatre Center.  In addition to her one woman performance in ... About Anne, she performed An Evening with Marlene Dietrich for The Grove Shakespeare Festival and for several theaters across the country. She received the L.A. Critics Award for Leipzig and directed Bad Hurt on Cedar Street in association with The Actor’s Studio, and Majority of One with Paula Prentiss in Los Angeles. Her extensive television work include appearances in classic T.V. shows: Gunsmoke, Bonanza, L.A. Law, Gabriel's Fire, Blue Knight, Tales From The Crypt, MacGyver, Stoney Burke, Hart to Hart, Cagney and Lacy, Naked City, Trapper John, and Medical Center. Her T.V. movie appearances include From Here to Eternity, Killer in the Family, Sharon, Portrait of a Mistress, Three by Tennessee, The Grace Kelly Story, Tomorrow's Child, The Glitter Palace, and A Matter of Life and Death.  She was a recurring cast member in Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, Superboy, Falcon Crest, Melrose Place, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine / The Next Generation. Her movie roles include Angel Baby, John Frankenheimer's Seconds, Me, Natalie, Foolkiller, Just Between Friends, Clan of Cave Bear, and I'm Losing You. She was also the narrator of The Great War and the Shaping of the Twentieth Century, the much acclaimed eight hour series for PBS. She is an adjunct Associate Professor at U.C.L.A in the MFA acting program.