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by: Erika Jenko


After suffering an unimagineable loss, Joe chooses a quiet life at home. As the years progress and the scars become deeper, he loses the drive to seek connection outside of his home. His only solace in life is the puppet he's built who he raises as his own daughter. Inspired by "Pinnochio," "Penelope" examins the magnitude of depression and agoraphobia and the need for connection and empathy to survive.


I wrote this play in this midst of a cross-country move from New York to California. At some point, plans changed and I found myself living in Boise, Idaho. Feeling more lost than ever, I started writing a story about a little girl who was trying to figure out her path in life. As her story started to unfold, I started to closely focus on the story of the father and what might have led him to a life of solitude. Finding inspiration from the Boise community, I found that for both myself and Joe, life is an adventure when you step outside your front door. I was incredibly lucky to have been wrapped in the warm hug that is the Boise theatre community when Penelope first came to life.

Cast/Crew + Production History

Staged Reading: Garden City Projects (Boise, ID)

Produced/Written/Directed by: Erika Jenko

Puppet Designer/Builder: Jessica Nebeker

Ensemble: Jaime Nebeker, Luke Massengill, Susan Shake, Kelly Barker, Leah Reynolds, Noel Nelson

Production History:

Garden City Projects (Boise, ID): Staged reading w/ puppet

Blip! Reading Series (Homegrown Theatre, ID): Reading


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