Jocelyn Bioh ’01
Jocelyn Bioh ’01 has always had a love of performing and knew from her time at Milton Hershey School that she belonged in the arts.
“My fondest memories were performing. I looked forward to every parent weekend show, with the New Horizons choir and dance performance,” she shared. “I felt so alive and free. I loved, loved, loved it. It never felt annoying or like work—it’s how I know I was meant to be in the arts.”
After arriving at MHS in 1995 as a seventh-grader, Jocelyn became heavily involved in the Visual and Performing Arts Program (VPA). Throughout her time on campus, she participated in dance, varsity choir, gospel choir, New Horizons choir, and theater. She also was a cheerleader, participating in the competition cheer squad for one year.
Among her many MHS memories, Jocelyn points to one project she’s never forgotten.
“There was one year, when I was a junior, I went with MHS to an International Talent Support (ITS) competition where we did a super creative seven minute showcase version of ‘The Lion King.’ It was unique in that the cast was comprised of students from different departments of the VPA program, and we made all of our costumes and performed the whole thing in blacklight,” Jocelyn recalled. “We all knew it was cool, but the reaction we received when we performed was magical. The audiences applauded for 10 minutes straight, and we were all so overwhelmed with emotion. I will never forget that feeling. It was one I didn’t have again until my opening night on Broadway.”
Currently a working actor and writer in film, TV, and theater, Jocelyn has written for the Netflix shows “Russian Doll” (where she also guest-starred as an actor) and Spike Lee’s “She’s Gotta Have It.” Her play “School Girls: Or, The African Mean Girls Play” had a successful run Off-Broadway and is expected to run in eleven different regional theaters between now and 2020. Her newest play, “Nollywood Dreams,” will be produced Off-Broadway in 2020.
When sharing her recent successes, Jocelyn credits the School with developing her performance skills at a young age and notes how MHS helped shape her path – and continues to influence her professional life.
“‘School Girls’ was inspired by my time in boarding school at MHS and that play changed my life,” Jocelyn shared. “MHS is woven into my professional life in a lot of ways!”
After MHS, Jocelyn received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and theater from The Ohio State University and a Master of Fine Arts in playwriting from Columbia University. She looks back at her time at MHS fondly and truly believes it helped give her the confidence to succeed.
“I learned so much about me as a person and the kind of woman I wanted to be. MHS made me a lot more assertive and outspoken,” she said. “I always want to be the best and do the best work I can. I know I learned that fighting energy from my years at MHS.”