Jennifer Damiano

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Jennifer Damiano
Born (1991-05-12) May 12, 1991 (age 25)[1]
White Plains, New York
Occupation Actress, Singer
Years active 2006–present

Jennifer "Jenn" Damiano (born May 12, 1991[1]) is an American actress and singer, most known for originating the role of Natalie Goodman in Next to Normal on Broadway. She was nominated for the 2009 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance. She appeared in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark on Broadway as Mary Jane Watson; the musical opened officially on June 14, 2011.[2] She returned to Broadway in March 2016 in the musical adaptation of American Psycho.

Personal life[edit]

Damiano was born in White Plains, New York to Mark and Nancy Damiano. Her father, Mark, owns an amusement company, and her mother Nancy works at a hospital. Damiano is one of three children. Her brother Pat attends University of Tampa, and her sister Elizabeth graduated as an arts management major at Purchase College in May 2011. When she was nine years old, she began taking voice lessons and joined a children's theatre, The Random Farms Kids' Theater, playing parts such as Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz", the title role in Cinderella, Gertrude in Seussical and Marion Paroo in The Music Man. As Damiano began her acting career, she stayed enrolled in her hometown's public high school, where she graduated in 2009.[3]

She remains friends with her onstage boyfriend, Adam Chanler-Berat.[4]



At the age of nine, Damiano made her professional debut in New York City playing Samantha and Josefina in a show based on the American Girl dolls. While continuing to participate in suburban community theater in shows such as "Oliver!", Damiano continued to perform professionally, in small professional roles in New York City. Off-Broadway, she appeared in Inner Voices: Solo Voices at the now-defunct Zipper Factory.[5]

On December 10, 2006, at the age of 15, she joined the original cast of the musical Spring Awakening on Broadway as an ensemble member and understudy for the roles of Anna, Martha, Ilse and Thea. She was the youngest performer in the cast. Damiano was originally hired also to understudy Lea Michele in the leading role of Wendla, but she was not legally able to cover the role because she was under 16 and the role requires brief nudity.

She remained in the cast until December 2007, when she began rehearsals for the role of Natalie, the angsty teenage daughter of a woman with manic-depression in the musical "Next To Normal". She was cast in the role of Natalie for the show's Off-Broadway production at Second Stage Theater. The show later moved to Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. for an out of town tryout and eventually to Broadway at the Booth Theatre. She was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance. She left the production on July 18, 2010 (along with co-stars Alice Ripley and Brian d'Arcy James). She was replaced by original Natalie standby Meghann Fahy.

Following Next to Normal, Damiano originated the role of Mary Jane Watson in the musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark on Broadway. The show, which began previews on November 28, 2010, and, after a record-setting number of previews, opened officially on June 14, 2011, was originally directed by Julie Taymor and later by Philip William McKinley of The Boy from Oz.[6][7] After almost a year with the show, Damiano played her final performance on November 6, 2011, and was succeeded by Rebecca Faulkenberry of Broadway's Rock of Ages, from Nov. 10.[8] Following her departure from Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Damiano took part in a variety of readings, workshops, and concert works.

In 2013, Damiano joined the Off-Broadway dystopian musical Venice at the Public Theater for a limited run. The cast included Haaz Sleiman, Leslie Odom, Jr., and Uzo Aduba.[9]

On November 9th, 2015, it was announced that Damiano will return to Broadway (for the first time in 4 years) and reunite with Spring Awakening composer Duncan Sheik and Next to Normal co-star Alice Ripley in the musical adaptation of American Psycho in the role of Jean (as portrayed by Chloë Sevigny in the 2000 feature film of the same name). The new musical will begin previews on March 24th, 2016, at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on Broadway.

Other appearances[edit]

Damiano appeared on Gossip Girl in the episode entitled "It's a Wonderful Lie."[10] In 2013, she starred in the acclaimed indie film B-Side,[10] her first movie. Damiano has already appeared in Vogue, Teen Vogue, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, and Nylon Magazine on behalf of her role as Mary-Jane Waston in the infamous "Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark" musical.

Reviews and awards[edit]

Damiano was nominated for the Helen Hayes Award for her performance in Next to Normal's out-of-town tryout in D.C. Later, she was nominated for the 2009 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical when the show moved to Broadway.

In his review in the New York Times following the 2009 Broadway opening, Ben Brantley observed, "The notion that personality is fragile, always on the edge of decomposition, is exquisitely reflected in Ms. Damiano’s astringent, poignant Natalie".[11] Peter Marks of the Washington Post said she "locates a new depth of adolescent disdain and need."[12]

Year Award Ceremony Category Result
2007 Audience Awards Best Ensemble Won
2009 Helen Hayes Awards Outstanding Supporting Performer, Non-Resident Production Nominated
Tony Awards Best Featured Actress in a Musical Nominated

Broadway credits[edit]

Preceded by
N/A (Original Broadway Cast)
Understudy, Spring Awakening
December 10, 2006 – 2007
Succeeded by
Eryn Murman
Preceded by
N/A (Originated Role)
Natalie, Next to Normal
March 27, 2009 – July 18, 2010
Succeeded by
Meghann Fahy
Preceded by
N/A (Originated Role)
Mary Jane, Spider-Man
Nov 28, 2010 – Nov 6, 2011
Succeeded by
Rebecca Faulkenberry
Preceded by
N/A (Originated Role)
Jean, American Psycho
March 24, 2016-Present
Succeeded by


Year Title Role Notes
2013 B-Side April Simon
2015 4th Man Out Tracy
Outliving Emily Helayne
2016 American Dresser Kate post-production
Year Title Role Notes
2008 Gossip Girl Justine one episode "It's a Wonderful Lie"
2013 It Could Be Worse Stacy four episodes


External links[edit]