Jen Shirley is a native of Portland, Oregon. She received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College and her MFA from The Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University, (a joint program between the American Repertory Theatre and The Moscow Art Theatre). Further training includes The Actors Center Conservatory program here in New York. She has worked as a Teaching Artist with Lincoln Center Theater, Arts Connection, The 92nd st Y, Early Stages, The American Globe Theatre, Theatre for a New Audience, The National Shakespeare Co, Enact, Stages of Learning, and The Brooklyn Art Exchange (BAX). She was the Shakespeare Instructor at the Pittsburgh Public Theatre where she directed Macbeth, The Winter's Tale, and Hamlet in their summer education program. She is currently the Director of The Acting Lab for MCC’s Youth Company, and directed their 2011 production of “Uncensored.” She is a co-founder of Creative Stages NYC, an arts-education company that serves students 3rd-12th grade. As an actor, she has been seen in many independent films, and such TV shows as Guiding Light, All My Children, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. She is a member of The Chekhov Theatre Ensemble.