Home » Resources » Pandemic Performances: How Did Bookworm Brittany Jansen Keep Musical Theater Alive?
Interact’s Brittany Jansen found creative ways to keep her passion for singing and acting alive when musical theater shut down in March 2020. Keep reading to find out how she did it!
Most know Brittany Jansen for her work as a project coordinator and editor at Interact Communications. Not only does she keep administrative tasks running smoothly with her attention to detail, but she is also a mean typo-eliminating machine.
“I enjoy organizing things,” says Brittany. Whether it’s putting tasks in order or focusing her attention to detail proofreading, she says it’s satisfying to make sure Interact is putting forth its best work.
For Brittany, what fuels her work is bringing higher education to more and more students.
“I love the work, atmosphere, and community at Interact,” says Brittany. “I’m proud to help with Interact’s mission of working with community colleges and inspiring people to continue their education.”
In fact, Brittany says she’s impressed by students at two-year colleges. Despite many of them having full-time jobs, families, and other challenges, they are set on earning degrees.
Brittany Jansen‘s Passion for the Written Word
“Ever since I was little, I’ve loved books and reading,” says Brittany. It’s no surprise that the literate learner would go on to earn her bachelor’s in English literature. While at the University of Wisconsin -Eau Claire, an elective course on publishing sparked her passion for becoming an editor.
“It’s always satisfying to finish proofing a long document on a tight deadline,” says Brittany. “I hope that my proofing can help everyone’s projects get a spot on Mom’s Fridge!”
According to Brittany, her proudest accomplishment was graduating from university with honors: “Education is important to me, and I’m proud to play a role in helping others keep learning at community colleges.”
Of course, becoming a language lover wasn’t always what Brittany thought her career would be. At first, she’d had aspirations to become a veterinarian because she loved animals. However, when she realized English was her favorite subject, and not so much math and science, she knew it was time to hit the books.
Musical Theater with Brittany Jansenand Beyond
A La Crosse local, Brittany says her hobbies have always included musical theater, singing, guitar playing, hiking, and camping (on top of her love of reading).
From being a volunteer member of her church choir to community theater, Brittany says she values the network of friends these creative outlets have given her.
When the pandemic hit in 2020, she kept her love of performance alive by going the distance. She has been a part of no less than three virtual choirs, put on an online musical and short play, and has taken countless theater classes on Zoom.
“Surprisingly, I’m feeling more connected to the arts than ever!” beams our oh-so creative project coordinator and proofer.
Singing Together, Though Far Apart
Brittany was a part of the famous choral composer Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir 6: Sing Gently. According to Brittany, “I’ve performed several of Eric’s pieces in high school and university choirs, and some of the virtual choir’s record-breaking 17,572 members are people I sang with in high school and college!”
She also sang with her alma mater’s choir at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, joining in with current students, alums, and incoming first-years.
She’s especially proud of her part in “Caledonia” by the Stay at Home Choir:
“This Scottish folk song by Dougie MacLean reminds me of my time studying abroad in Glasgow, Scotland, and later visiting the UK after I graduated college,” recalls Brittany. “The first time I heard this song, it was sung by a street performer in Edinburgh!”
The Show Must Go On: Taking the Stage, on Zoom and Outside!
From her performance in the self-taped virtual musical, Pete(her) Pan, produced by Musicals from Home, to the La Crosse Community Theatre’s annual 24-Hour Project continuing on Zoom, Brittany has kept her creative juices flowing. She was also in her first non-musical role in the short play Between the Breaks, written by Dustin Luecke.
Last summer, Brittany played Starveling and Mustardseed in an outdoor production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Shakespeare from the Ground. The new and local Shakespeare company focuses on making Shakespeare’s plays fun and accessible for everyone.
In her free time, Brittany also takes online theatre classes through Broadway Weekends at Home and has made friends worldwide, including new community from Malaysia and New Zealand!
“Through those classes, I’ve not only been able to keep up with my theatre training but it’s also brought a much-needed sense of community,” beams Brittany. “During the pandemic, I’ve met people I would never have otherwise met and had opportunities I wouldn’t have otherwise had.”
Brittany Jansen Bookworm Recommendations
Of course, Brittany has also kept up with her love of reading. She has so many favorite books, she says it’s hard to pick her top reads, so she broke it down for us by category so you can read like Brittany:
Best Young Adult Books:
Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
Given Brittany’s love of musical theater, #1 shouldn’t come as a surprise!
Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Best Recent Releases:
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Brittany Jansen‘s Final Word
In closing, Brittany says that her adjectives are definitely “Creative, determined, and perfectionist.”
We’re proud to have her on our team. And if Brittany could offer any advice, it would be this:
“Try your best, help others whenever you can, always keep learning, and be kind.”
Want to meet more of our team members? Check out these blogs:
Blog written in collaboration with Rachel Rosen-Carroll, Interact Copywriter.For fun, Rachel reads style guides and the dictionary, especially The American Heritage Dictionary… We wouldn’t make this up. When Rachel’s not writing feature stories about inspiring community college alums, the author works on novels, micro fiction, and poetry, and has been published by various lit journals. Reach out with questions or blog ideas at email@example.com.