Jakob Kleeman, 14, is a triple threat. He can act, sing and dance. He can also keep an audience in stitches with his comedy improv characters. He has appeared in MacGuffin’s productions of The Tale of Ebeneezer Scrooge, The Fiery Furnace, 13, Romeo and Juliet, Wicked, Much Ado About Nothing and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This summer he’ll appear in MacGuffin Summer Musical Theatre Camp’s production of Rent. At Rodeph Shalom Synagogue in Philadelphia where MacGuffin is a production partner he has appeared in Eden, Jonah and the Big Fish and Vito and The Fiery Furnace. At Masterman, where he will be a freshman in the fall, he has appeared in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Guys and Dolls, The Wiz and The Little Mermaid. Last Christmas he appeared as Flick in the Walnut Street Theatre’s production of A Christmas Story. Last month he was made a new member of MacGuffin’s cabaret troupe, The Singin’ Bohemians.
MacGuffin Questionnaire for Jakob Kleeman
- What is your favorite word? My favorite word is definitely ‘penultimate’. ‘Penultimate’ means second-to-last, and it is amazing to me how so few people uses such a practical word.
- What is your least favorite word? My least favorite word is ‘no’. It builds an immediate wall in any conversation.
- What sound or noise do you love? I love the sound of walking on cobblestone. Something about the hollowness in the sound is so satisfying.
- What sound or noise do you hate? I hate the frustration of trying to hear something that is too quiet to decipher.
- What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? If I couldn’t be an actor, I would probably go into neuroscience. The brain is so interesting and is so mysterious that there is bound to be things we have yet to know about it, and I’d love to figure out more about how the brain works.
- What profession would you not like to do? I would hate to go into any career that requires little to no thought. I need to use my brain.
- Who are your personal heroes? Besides my parents (of course), my hero is Justin Timberlake. Everything about him screams cool and capable! I really admire his diverse career path.
- What is your favorite food and drink? I love lokshen & cheese. It’s a family dish consisting of warmed up macaroni and cottage cheese. It is a traditional Jewish dish that my grandmother made and passed down to my dad. It instantly brings me out of a bad mood.
- What is your idea of happiness? My idea of happiness is being okay with where you are right now. Not feeling the need to do something if it does not directly relate to your well being and good health.
- If you could come back as any person in history, who would you be? If I could come back as any person in history, I would come back as a notoriously bad person so I could change his/her ways.
- Name a recent theater piece or film that moved you. I recently watched The Big Short, directed by Adam McKay, and it taught me a lot about how the stock market works and how the there are loopholes in any system.
- Name something that you learned at MacGuffin. At MacGuffin, I learned so much about acting, but above all, I learned the social skills to help me live a more healthy life.