SIX’s Zoe Jensen – Inside Court with Broadway Royalty


Jack Pasquale

The Echo was fortunate to recently catch-up with Zoe Jensen, who stars in Broadway’s runaway hit SIX as Katherine Howard, the fifth wife of Henry VIII, after portraying the iconic Eliza Hamilton in the national tour of Hamilton and Broadway’s hit Dear Evan Hansen. We hope you like the interview as much as we did and get a chance to see SIX on Broadway!


Cambridge University students Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss developed the pop music inspired show SIX in 2016. In researching Henry VIII’s six wives they drew upon pop stars to create composites for the show. Inspirations are believed to be:

Catherine of Aragon: Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, and Jennifer Hudson

Anne Boleyn: Miley Cyrus, Avril Lavigne, and Lily Allen

Jane Seymour: Adele, Sia, and Celine Dion

Anna of Cleves: Nicki Minaj and Rihanna

Katherine Howard: Britney Spears and Ariana Grande

Catherine Parr: Alicia Keys and Emeli Sandé


SIX won 23 awards in the 2021/2022 Broadway season, including the Tony Award® for Best Original Score (Music and Lyrics) and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical. The SIX: LIVE ON OPENING NIGHT Broadway album debuted at Number 1 on the Billboard cast album charts and surpassed 6 Million streams in its first month. 


We hope you enjoy the following interview with Zoe, who was as gracious off stage as on!


What drew you to the role of Katherine Howard in SIX?

The big thing is I was mainly attracted to the show SIX because I think it is so fun to be in a cast of all women. The last show that I did – Hamilton – was mainly about a bunch of guys and then the three Schuyler sisters – and I played Eliza. That was a lot of fun. But I really, really wanted to be in a show that was just women because you never get to sing in a show with just girls – it’s a lot of fun. Another thing that drew me to SIX is I’ve also really loved shows that are based on history – kind of like Hamilton. I always think that is really interesting. But I also love Katherine Howard because I love playing a role that is so confident. 


How did you research the historical context for your character?

When I started rehearsals we all did presentations for each other like a class project about our Queen. The first thing I did when I joined the show was watch a two part documentary on BBC about the six wives of Henry VIII. I then did a lot of research on Google and watched YouTube videos to prepare for the historical part of my role. 


How did you make Katherine your own? 

The way that I make Katherine my own – and I’m short at 5’ 2” and bubbly – is I lean into the way that I am naturally. I found a way to make her humor like mine. So, I wasn’t afraid to add some bubbliness to her, some of my humor and a lot of my personality. 


Can you talk about the process of working with such a talented cast? 

First off, it’s not every day that you’re in a show – even on Broadway – that every single person is just A+ talent – and that is how I feel when I’m in this cast. It’s really inspiring because everyday I want to come to the show giving 100% because I know that these girls are giving 100%. I feel like I’m working with the cream of the crop and it is extremely inspiring. 


What lesson do you hope audiences take away from watching SIX?

I’m hoping that when they see the show – whether I’m on or not – and whether it is on tour or any other production of SIX – I hope they see the diversity of women on the stage. And they see that every image matters. We represent a variety of personality types, of heights, of sizes, of races – and I think that is a really beautiful thing to show audiences. 


How did you get into acting? 

I got into acting in middle school. I was a pretty shy kid growing up and I’m still pretty shy. My drama teacher told me about a community production of The Wizard of Oz over the summer. She said I should audition for it to make some new friends and open myself up a little bit. So, it started as a summer hobby so that I would have something to do. And then I kind of discovered that was my passion. I did it as an extracurricular in middle school and in high school did the school plays. I feel like it really helped open me up and that is how it started. When I was graduating high school and preparing to go to college I had to make the decision – should I go to school for musical theater? I took a chance and went to school for musical theater and journalism – and love to write like you. 


This is your second role playing a historic figure. Did you love history growing up or study it in school? 

That’s a great question because I didn’t really like history growing up. I really love history now. The first moment I started loving history again was when I joined Hamilton because that show, a little bit more than SIX, you really need to know history. When I was doing my research for Hamilton I realized it’s not actually that I don’t like history, it’s that I didn’t like the way history was taught to me in school. It felt like I was reading about something in a book – that’s like a story, as opposed to it being real life. It didn’t really click for me until I was doing research for Hamilton, when you understand that it really happened and see the evidence vs it just being in books.  


What is one thing about you that you wish people would know but they never ask so they never find out? 

Sometimes I wish people would ask or think about how an actor feels about herself. I’m someone who deals with a lot of anxiety on stage – especially with SIX because we don’t have a moment offstage. I think people would be surprised to know how nervous we really are up there. I’m so nervous before my song! We’re looking at the audience and looking people in the eyes during SIX. Sometimes it’s really challenging to do that when you’re not feeling very confident and feeling nervous. That is one thing I think would be interesting for people to think about that they don’t ask about a lot – about how an actor feels when they go through the process of the show. 


What advice would you give to aspiring high school actors? 

First off, what I would say to any aspiring actor is that you can do it! You can do it. There is room in the industry for everyone. There is a place for everyone. You just have to find what your niche is at that time. And it is going to keep changing. When I started in New York City and I was 23, my niche or my type was different from what it is today. But it was important for me to get to know myself so that I could figure out what my type was. I really believe that anyone can do it. There is room for everyone. Whenever there is a dance class, a voice class or an acting class – do it because you will learn something from it and it will keep you on your path for where you want to go.