Lena has performed a variety of roles in regional theater and Off-Broadway. Most recently, she worked on a production of Macbeth at Classic Stage Company. Before moving to New York, Lena acted and danced in a Vaudeville company in the Boston area for many years. She integrates this extensive background in physical theater with her work on Shakespeare and other classical material. Her favorite roles include Electra, Goneril (King Lear), Dorine (Tartuffe), Anna (Ivanov), and Natella Abashvili (Caucasian Chalk Circle).
Collaborating with playwrights, directors, and dramaturgs under the direction of Anne Bogart, Lena deepened her interest in creating original works. She also worked with an ensemble developing different facets of Joan of Arc in Joan: Voices in the Fire, a devised piece directed by Kristin Linklater.
Lena received her MFA in Acting from Columbia University, where she directed and acted in studies of classical works (Shakespeare, Chekhov, and American playwrights) under the guidance of her mentor, Andrei Serban. Lena also studied voice, text, and Shakespeare extensively with Kristin Linklater and Andrea Haring. The physiological, emotional, and psycho-physical fundamentals of the Linklater voice work are an important influence on Lena's acting and teaching.
Developing her longstanding interest in classical theater, Lena majored in Shakespeare and Ancient Greek as a BA student at the University of Chicago.
Lena taught Shakespeare in New York City public schools with Classic Stage Company's Teaching Artists program, having taught dance in Boston for over a decade. She draws on her diverse background in theater to help students discover their voices and inhabit their bodies on stage.