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The Last Night of Ballyhoo and Behind the Gates were produced in partnership with the Tampa Jewish Community Center and Federation, who hosted private opening night performances, which included postshow forums with scholars, clergy, social issues advocates, and members of the cast and crew. The panel and audience explored issues in the play such as women’s roles in conservative religion, abuse in fundamentalist / orthodox communities, the politics of Israel, adoption, parenting, anti-semitism in the south, growing up Jewish in any setting where they were the minority, how things have and haven’t changed and so on.
We hosted additional talkbacks through the runs, which included the cast and producing artistic director exploring similar themes as the opening night talks, but much of the discussion focused on religious identity and the many universal elements of religion from cultural to spiritual practice that are similar, if not the same, despite the particular faith one ascribes to. These were diverse meetings, where many different kinds of people were able to come together and use theater as a means by which to get at deeper issues.
In 2012, we partnered with Amnesty International for our production of Closetland, including a drive for books, toiletries, and clothes to help stock the updated facility at The Spring, a domestic violence and prevention agency.
In 2004, we used the run of The Mineola Twins to raise awareness and funds for The Spring, as well as to drive for food for Metropolitan Ministries. A talkback took place with both students and general audience to discuss feminism, alternative sexualities and how both have been informed by the decades panning from the ’50s to present time. Additional insight was provided about playwright Paula Vogel and general theater creation practices.
Our Job-side Project of tick, tick … BOOM! raised money for the American Cancer Society. Above the hard costs of producing the show, all proceeds were sent back to the ACS.
In 2008, we used the run of The History of the Devil, which took place between Halloween and Thanksgiving, to do a food drive for Metropolitan Ministries, a local food bank that serves Tampa Bay, in anticipation for their busiest and neediest time of the year. Three barrels of non-perishable items were delivered back to the local food bank.
In 2006, we used our entire run of We Won’t Pay! We Won’t Pay! to do a food drive for Metropolitan Ministries. We also helped raise awareness for the group by showing a brief video on the window monitors outside the theater prior to the show and inserting informational brochures into our programs for the run.
Our mainstage production of Embedded was used to do a food and supply drive for our brave fighting men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan. We provided specific items not readily accessible to those units as requested by them personally.
Jobsite was honored with a flag that was flown during Operation Black River.
Also during Embedded we held a talkback with members of the media and the Poynter Institute to discuss ethics in war coverage. All proceeds from that performance benefitted the Poynter Institute’s scholarship fund.
In 2002, we produced Anne Nelson’s 9/11 play The Guys in the Jaeb Theater as a fundraiser for the 9/11 Widows and Children Fund.
As a five-year commemoration of 9/11, we reproduced The Guys in 2006 as a fundraiser for both the Tampa Firefighters Museum and the 9/11 Widows and Children Fund. In addition we performed this show for free at two local high schools.
All proceeds for our productions of The Guys above the hard costs were donated to these charities.
Numerous talkbacks have taken place for the various incarnations of this production – for firefighters, general audience members and students. These talkbacks focused on the healing process in the face of great tragedy, the show itself and insight into theatrical production.
We partnered with Hillsborough Alliance for Retarded Citizens (HARC) for our production of The Boys Next Door. The cast and crew met with HARC residents and participated in activities for several months leading up to the production.
The run helped raise awareness and funds for this important community organization. This partnership culminated in a special performance of the play for an audience of HARC residents.
Two talkbacks occurred with both general audience and students to enlighten audiences on the subject matter of the play, discuss HARC’s activities in the community and provide general insight into theatrical production.
Part of Jobsite’s mission is to inspire our community to not just be consumers, but true citizens. One way of doing that is through working with groups and charities in conjunction with our productions, so that the community has a chance to get involved, while these organizations hopefully not only get some assistance, but needed exposure.
Since our very first production of Christie in Love and One for the Road, Jobsite has endeavored to be a better part of our community through public engagements – from forums featuring expert panelists and public dialogue to public question and answer sessions with the artistic staff.
Also, because we produce new and unpublished works, we believe it is an important part of the artistic process for our audiences to provide feedback on new work, incorporating them into the creative process as well.
All of our staged readings feature talkbacks post-show to solicit feedback on a work in progress and give an inside mind into creating new work and producing theater.
One talkback featured guest speakers from CAIR as well as the cast to discuss real-world links to themes in the play such as the representation of Arab, Muslim and the entire Middle East region in Western media and the realities of living in a war-torn region or region in tumult. A second featured Tampa Bay Times reporters Susan Taylor Martin and Ben Montgomery to talk about those same themes from a different angle as well as the challenges of covering war and crisis. Both talkbalks were full and lively, not to mention very productive.
Opening night featured a talkback with the cast and decorated playwright Israel Horovitz, a living legend in the American theater, who heaped praise on the production, gave us a lot of insight into how it was created and other stagings of it, as well as his trademark theatrical anecdotes from around the world. A second talkback featured representatives from CAIR Florida and the cast who discussed the play’s links to the current refugee crises in Europe, and a third talkback featured the cast and Elizabeth Gelman from the Florida Holocaust Museum and a discussion that focused mostly on the Jewish experience during that catastrophic period of human history.
Along with numerous post-show discussions with student groups who attended daytime matinees, two evening talkbacks were held in conjunction with this production. The first, in partnership with the Tampa Bay History Museum with guest speaker Rodney Kite-Powell, covered the “golden years” of Ybor City. Many “old school” Tampanians in the audience regaled us with stories about that period of time we set the play in.
The second talkback focused on adaptation and how to analyze and perform Shakespeare. We received a generous pack of thank-you notes, all from the students who attended.
We offered a post-show discussion to both undergraduate and graduate students of Performance Studies in the USF Communication department that covered areas including general performance techniques and adapting classic literature for the stage.
All of these productions featured numerous post-show discussions with student groups who attended daytime matinees during the week, ranging from fifth graders to college students. Most of the conversations focused on working professionally in the theater, the choices that were made in terms of production concept, and how to analyze and perform Shakespeare.
On May 13, 2012, we offered a public forum on race relations in conjunction with our production of Race by David Mamet. The panel consisted of Dr. Abe Khan (USF Depts. of Africana Studies, Communication), noted author Dr. Roy Kaplan, and race scholar Alisha Menzies. It was a lively, thought-provoking hour-long talk after a sold-out performance. Audiences were provided a list of thoughtful prompts to generate further discussion past the theater, and a selected bibliography for further reading.
We held talkbacks after every performance with the audience to discuss the script, the style and what it’s like to be a part of ensemble theater. One talkback featured co-writer Dr. Ralf Remshardt.
Jobsite solicited viewer feedback on the work in progress and gave the audiences an inside eye to the creation of a new musical.
A talkback was held for high school and college students to discuss the political aspects of the play as well as give insight into the intensive special effects used in the show.
Two talkbacks were held for high school and college groups where participants could learn more about the play, the historical context, the process and playwright Steve Martin.
Several talkbacks were held with high school and college students as well as with general audience members to discuss the play, it’s associations with Hamlet and Waiting for Godot, the historical and theatrical context, playwright Tom Stoppard and general insight into what it takes to create live theater.
Numerous talkbacks have taken place over the years in conjunction with these performances to address the specific subject matter present, comedy, and general insight into what it takes to create live theater.
A talkback was held with students and general audience to discuss the new work, creating original work and general insight into creating theater.
Two talkbacks were held for high school and college groups where participants could learn more about the play, the historical context of the figures present (including several Romantic poets), the process and what it takes to create live theater.
A talkback took place with both students and general audience to discuss feminism, alternative sexualities, postcolonialism, British theater and issues of race and gender. Additional insight was provided about playwright Caryl Churchilll and general theater creation practices.
A talkback was held with both students and general audience to discuss Shakespeare, adapting texts and general theater production.
Two talkbacks were held during the run of the show, which was also part of the Art & Spirituality festival, to talk about loss, grief, the sacred text and the creation of theater.
A talkback was held with students and general audience to discuss the musical, the creation of new work and to provide insight into the creation of live theater.
A talkback was held with students and general audience to discuss the horror genre, Bram Stoker and the many incarnations of his famous story as well as to provide insight into what it takes to create theater.
A talkback was held, including visiting playwright Steve Patteerson, to discuss the events and historical persons of the play, journalism and the Vietnam War, as well as providing general knowledge on creating theater.
A talkback was held to solicit feedback from the audience, discuss the play and to provide insight into what it takes to create and produce theater on a small budget.
Christie in Love/One for the Road
Talkbacks were held during this first Jobsite production to solicit feedback from the audience, ask them questions as to what the felt was missing from local theater, to discus the play and provide insight into a new company producing for the very first time.
Like our mission statement says, we are “dedicated to the creation of socially and politically relevant theater and the pursuit of performing it to the broadest possible audience.” Consequently, it is also our mission to engage our audiences and the community at large into a dialogue that reaches beyond the confines of the theater itself. To quote Martin Buber, “All real living is meeting.”
We regularly provide well over 1,000 tickets annually to people whom otherwise would not otherwise see our work. This is inclusive of local artist, student groups, and underserved audiences.
We believe theater is for everyone, not just those who can afford a ticket. This is also why we offer so many half-off discount opportunities for a number of groups of people, and why we currently refuse to raise prices despite being among the least expensive options for professional theater in the region.
Let’s Join Forces
In addition to direct assistance, Jobsite offers tickets to not-for-profit groups to use for fundraisers, raffles or donor thank you gifts.
Please contact us if your charity would like to arrange something. Please make sure to enclose a current copy of your 501(c)(3) and an official letter of request on organization letterhead.