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Jennifer Cetrone Sets the Stage for Theatrical Excellence

A spitfire of a Latina, the actress/producer takes "let's put on a show" to a whole new level‘«™from the ground u

Published on LatinoLA: June 4, 2009


Jennifer Cetrone Sets the Stage for Theatrical Excellence


Founder of the avant-garde theater company From The Ground Up (FGTU), actress/artistic director/business entrepreneur Jennifer Cetrone has successfully planted the seeds for quality theater in Los Angeles - an artistic heritage that has positioned Cetrone as a creative voice to be reckoned with. FGTU earns its present fame as one of the only "bi-coastal" theatre companies in the country with residencies in both Los Angeles and New York City.

An inspiration to young Latinas and artists alike, Cetrone sets the stage for theatrical excellence! She literally started something from nothing and built it From The Ground Up - quite an impressive accomplishment for a woman who is under 30.

And indeed, From The Ground Up Theatre Company a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was created in the fall of 2006 by one spirited and stubborn brunette who was simply sitting perplexed on the floor of her guesthouse looking for avenues play parts she felt passionate about. She quickly realized that the only way to bring those parts to life was to produce the plays herself.

Under her FGTU flagship Cetrone heralds the fact that, despite contrary beliefs, Los Angeles, does not lack culture or a sense of artistic history. LA may be pretentious and shallow to some degree, mainly because of its stature as the entertainment core of the world, but the city also has a deeply rooted cultural center derived from such landmarks as The Getty Museum, The Hollywood Bowl, The Los Angeles County Museum of Arts, The Music Center, to name a few.

Now FGTU is another influential venue that can confidently find its place among these popular venues that make for the Mecca of LA's cultural epicenter.

From the Ground Up Theatre Company is all about visionary theatre art. Cetrone's mission is to provoke unique thoughts and creativity within the community, while developing a deeper understanding of how theatre can directly affect the human condition. Founded in 2006 by Jennifer Cetrone, FGTU particularly caters to an ensemble of artists committed to sharing the vision of producing strong theatrical pieces. Cetrone succeeded in creating a new voice and platform for actors - including herself - to express their skills and for the public to embrace theatre as a whole art.

Evidently the Theater Company was getting a little too big for its cozy digs on the west coast forcing Cetrone to look eastward to her native New York to make the organization bi- coastal and extend its presence on the New York and Los Angeles' theater scene.

Cetrone recently pulled quite a coup when FGTU was named Company in Residence at the Roy Arias Theatre in New York City in the heart of Times Square and at The Lyric Hyperion Theater - the newly revamped, intimate "black-box" theater of about 70 seats in the trendy Silverlake area.

The buzz for FGTU has also grown beyond its geographical locations to develop a prominent web presence with Facebook and Myspace web pages. It has as well as earned numerous media recognition with New York Times and Los Angeles Times critics giving past performances such as "Trailerville" rave reviews.

This talented New York native of Spanish and Italian origins has certainly come a long way in a short period of time!

At 16 she received her first professional Equity stage contract and then went on to secure a very large scholarship to major in Musical Theatre at NYU. She spent 4 consecutive years touring the entire United States playing leading roles such as "Eve" in "Children of Eden", "The Narrator" in "Joseph", "Hodel" in "Fiddler on the Roof", &"Kathy Selden" in "Singin' in the Rain" just to name a few. She also had the opportunity to work classically in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at the prestigious American Stage.

The discipline and constant requirement to be a quick study certainly prepared her for the road ahead.

After rigorously traveling for four years, Jennifer then felt she was ready to take break from the road and take the next step in her career: making her home in Los Angeles.

During the first couple of years in Tinseltown, Jennifer managed to land a few small television roles and admittedly some rather forgettable film roles. But, still her chops were getting recognized by the likes of the Entertainment Department at ABC News calling her "clearly the best [actor] in the film." She was also quickly cast in two leading roles with Tony Plana's ("Ugly Betty") prestigious classical theatre company, East LA Classic Theatre where she still performs in reparatory today.

Yet Cetrone shot to fame via quite a different entertainment medium. She almost overnight became the "it" girl for all things spokes-modeling.

Name a company or product, and Cetrone has probably stood in front of a booth at a trade show and spoken at great length about it! What proved invaluable about those jobs was the wealth of knowledge she garnered about marketing strategies and staff management.

Never resting on her laurels, Cetrone has recently signed on as Vice President of the production company, Public Displays of Affection, Inc., and partnered with writer/actor Gino Anthony Pesi ("Chuck", "Cold Case", &"CSI: Miami") to produce and star in the up and coming web series "Broken Hartman".

A young woman of great wits and ambition armed with a wicked sense of business, artistic sensitivity, acting talent and oozing with that certain fiery Latin charisma ‘«™surely for Cetrone the only way is up!

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