Jobsite Theater is an incorporated professional, nonprofit 501(c)(3) theater company that has been serving the Tampa Bay area since 1998.
Jobsite has become a dominant regional presence through professionally produced daring and unique programming, by nurturing area talent through the creation of their Ensemble and by an unwavering commitment to the young “Creative Class” that Jobsite has been serving since their first steps.
One of Jobsite’s main areas of emphasis is the creation of new works and the exploration of material that is often overlooked in the hustle to produce “what’s hot” coming out of New York. The 2015–16 season will mark the eighteenth year Jobsite has dedicated an entire mainstage production to a non-published play (Silence! The Musical). Each season also hosts new or otherwise under-produced works by writers from around the world. Jobsite seeks submissions for new plays on a year-round basis.
Jobsite Theater is dedicated to the creation of socially and politically relevant theater and the pursuit of performing it to the broadest possible audience. Jobsite has established and will continue to evolve a collective of like-minded artists, creating a supportive environment where artists of all disciplines may experiment, hone, and apply their skills in a professional laboratory environment.
Through all forms of theater – be it experimental, new plays, contemporary works or the classics – Jobsite hopes to inspire their community to become not just consumers, but true citizens.
“Jobsite represents the young, culturally exciting energy that the City of Tampa craves for downtown…. They have been working relentlessly to make their vision of Tampa as a vibrant art center a reality…. Tampa is proud to have Jobsite Theater as a vibrant part of our expanding role as a center for excellence in the arts.” – Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio
“A strong cultural community is critical… and Jobsite Theater ranks high among those institutions that make Hillsborough County a better place to work and live.” – Art Keeble, Executive Director, Arts Council of Hillsborough County
“…little by little, Jobsite Theater has been turning into the most consistent, most dependable company in the Bay area.” – Creative Loafing, 1/21/09
Jobsite Theater began out of contacts made while David M. Jenkins and Michael Caban studied at the University of South Florida. Several years after their graduations, contact was re-established and several other artists were brought on board. In an experimental attempt, Jobsite put together their first two plays in a double-bill that was performed at the intimate Silver Meteor Gallery in Ybor City. Jobsite was stunned at the critical and audience support they garnered in their debut and immediately began planning a full season and organizing themselves as a company.
In 1999, Jobsite performed their first play at the Shimberg Playhouse (then the Off Center Theater). That play, Brownbread, ran late nights after another performance and ended up attracting a few sold out audiences. Jobsite split time between the Silver Meteor and the Off Center for the remainder of their first and start of their second seasons. In that 99-00 season, TBPAC President Judy Lisi invited Jobsite to perform Accidental Death of an Anarchist as part of The Center’s Play Series. Due to that show’s success, Jobsite and The Center partnered on several shows as part of that Play Series including Dracula, Titus Andronicus and The Beauty Queen of Leenane. Encouraged by both the quality work and brisk sales, TBPAC named Jobsite official resident theater company in the Shimberg Playhouse as of the 2003–04 season.
Since that time, Jobsite has continued to produce full seasons of quality, innovative theater at a high level while attracting thousands of theatergoers (new and old) into the urban core of Downtown Tampa. They have consistently drawn high praise from the press, continue to dominate in local award recognition and as of 2008 became an official member theater of Theater Communications Group, the league for professional regional theater in America.
Jobsite was founded as an artist’s company, backed by an Artistic Associates collective, comprised of artists of varying disciplines. The Artistic Associates assist in the programming of the season and, with our Board of Directors, ensures the overall health and direction of the organization.
Jobsite works exclusively with local talent. They have assembled an ensemble currently over 40 members strong who assist Jobsite in all elements of theatrical production. Ensemble members are also afforded opportunities to produce second stage work in late night slots or at times the theater might normally be dark. In 2013 one such project, 4.48 Psychosis, was honored as one of the top nine performances of the year and earned a Creative Loafing Best of the Bay Award for Best Reason to Take Theater Seriously.
Jobsite has an internship program in place where theater artists in educational programs (and even in some cases those who may be unaffiliated) may come to learn and get hands-on experience in all aspects of production, with a possibility of becoming an Ensemble Member upon completion of the program. Another unique part of Jobsite’s relationship with the Straz Center is that students at their Patel Conservatory also have the opportunity for hands-on training by our artists.
Jobsite actively pursues young adult audiences from 18 – 35; however, the quality of Jobsite’s innovative theatrical productions attracts audiences of all ages and backgrounds. In Jobsite’s history, the theater company has developed a strong base of support from a loyal following of patrons, drawing sell-out houses to a majority of their performances. Jobsite maintains an active mailing list over 10,000 strong.
Jobsite has consistently earned positive feedback, including over four dozen critic/staff choice Best of the Bay awards from Creative Loafing including Best Theater Company (2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010), Best Artistic Direction (2008, 2013), Best Costumes, Best Set Design, Best Hilarious Theater Production, Most Impassioned Theater Fans, Best Theater Rockers, Best Play, Best Director and Best Actor/Actress.
In 2008, Jobsite was awarded an Urban Excellence Award from the Downtown Tampa Partnership. In 2014 Jobsite was honored to among the 40 finalists for the American Theatre Wing National Theatre Company Award. See more about our distinctions.
The organization receives support from ticket sales, contributions and in-kind trade. Current Jobsite season sponsors include Creative Loafing, Illumination Advertising, The Gobioff Foundation, the Arts Council of Hillsborough County, the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners, and the State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs. Jobsite is very eager to expand their donor base in both the public and private spheres. Interested parties may contact Jobsite for more details or read a more about giving opportunities.
Jobsite intends on continuing their work as the resident theater company at The Straz Center for years to come.
Jobsite intends on producing a full season consisting six to eight plays every year, with one slot dedicated to a new script and the hope that two more productions per year be either unpublished or new works to the area.
Jobsite has also developed an Ensemble Program with their artists, which is quickly becoming a consistent second stage for new voices in the form of staged readings, late night stagings, solo cabarets, one-person shows and more.
Over the next five years, Jobsite seeks to dramatically increase it’s funding on all levels, particularly in the realm of private and business donors, as well as local, state and federal grants with the hope of providing a minimum of three full-time paid staff positions and acquiring its own office and stagecraft shops.
Jobsite wants an artistic home to create a strong, cutting-edge regional theater in Tampa. Jobsite also intends on dedicating itself to both the theater professional as well as aspiring theatrical artists – working out agreements with the various theatrical labor unions, and further developing an ensemble-based theater artist training program.
Furthermore Jobsite believes in the necessity of the artist-administrator, those individuals who can provide full-time service to the company both on and off the stage. Jobsite will strive to find and retain these individuals, enriching not only the company but this community.