Jennifer Hope Wills was born in Baltimore, MD to proud parents William and Sue Wills. She spent the first two years of her life in and out of rehearsal halls, dressing rooms and even a closet or two due to the fact that her parents were active participants in Baltimore Actors' Theatre (BAT). Jennifer made her stage debut before her first birthday with a 102-degree temperature as the baby prince in Rumplestiltskin...what a trouper! Before her second birthday, her parents dropped the bomb when it was discovered that a baby brother was on the way. Lots of things were about to change. Not only would she no longer be the only child, but also her parents decided that they had to leave Baltimore. With two children, there was no way that they could support a family on theatrical wages and if one of them would have to leave the theatre...then both of them would have to leave. They decided to move down to the family resort town of Ocean City, MD where there were absolutely no theatrical outlets. That's what they thought anyway…
An old movie theatre down on Worcester Street right off the boardwalk went up for rent and the crazy mind of her father went to work. A children's theatre in Ocean City...what an idea! There was no theatre in town, the theatre was right off the boardwalk and after all, this was a family resort. The idea couldn't fail! Her parents sold everything and her father left his lucrative job at the Sheraton Hotel and Parker Playhouse (Parker Productions, Inc.) opened its doors. And the outcome? Well, the idea failed miserably and they lost everything. Did that stop the Wills? No indeed. "Where there's a Wills, there's a way!" Somehow they managed to keep the theatre going and after several moves (Jolly Roger Amusement Park, The Sheraton Hotel and finally the Carousel Hotel) and many years of struggle, Parker Productions became a moneymaking operation and the sole source of income for the Wills Family. For seventeen of the twenty years that Parker Productions was under operation Jennifer performed alongside her mother, father, brother Dan and sister Rebecca. Even her grandmother Dolores got into the act. It was truly a most unique childhood and one that would mold her love for theatre and music and would make it difficult for her to choose any other direction.
Jennifer attended Salisbury State University and began her college career as a History Education Major...something perhaps a little more useful was her thinking. Gradually she began taking more music classes than history classes, began taking voice lessons, had joined the college choir and the college theatre club (Sophanes). By the middle of her sophomore year she officially became a music major. She appeared in the college theatre productions of Grapes of Wrath (Elizabeth Sandry), West Side StoryThe Secret Garden (Maria...yes complete with dark skin and hair) and (Lily). She also won first place in several state and regional NATS Vocal Competitions. She graduated suma cum laude with a BA in Music Education.
On the encouragement of her teachers, Jennifer's next step was to attend graduate school at prestigious Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. This was her first real move from home. During her two years at IU she performed in many of the main stage and chamber productions. She quickly graduated with honors with a MM in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy and a concentration in Theatre. It wasn't long before Jennifer came full circle with her decision to return to the world of theatre and found herself with two suitcases on a bus to NYC. She was cast in productions from her first two auditions in New York and by the end of that year she had obtained equity status and had been cast in leading roles up and down the east coast. The rest of the story can be seen on this web site.