Who We Are
Jobsite is an ensemble-based 501(c)(3) non-profit professional theater company that has served the Tampa Bay area since 1998. We are the official resident theater company of the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Tampa, FL.
Jobsite has become a vital regional presence through professionally-produced, daring and unique programming; by nurturing regional talent through our Ensemble Program; and by an unwavering commitment to the energetic creative class we’ve served since our first steps.
An historical area of emphasis has been the creation of new work and exploration of texts overlooked in the hustle to produce “what’s hot.” The 2020-21 season marks the 21st year we’ve dedicated a mainstage production to a non-published play (Dr. Ride’s American Beach House).
Jobsite is committed to community engagement on multiple fronts. We provide weekday matinees and in-class outreach opportunities to middle and high schools, and also regularly work with colleges across five counties. We frequently partner with community organizations to host public forums, bringing people together in dialogue on a range of topics. We offer free and reduced-cost access to a number of groups within our community: LMI populations, students, persons 65+, as well as members of the military, veterans, and their families.
Jobsite is dedicated to producing socially and politically relevant theater for the broadest possible audience. We have established a collective of like-minded regional artists over 60 members strong, creating both a supportive collaborative environment and professional theatrical laboratory. Through all forms of theater – experimental, new plays, contemporary work, or the classics – and our expanding educational and community outreach, we hope to inspire our community to become not just consumers, but true citizens.
Board of Directors
- Stephanie Clegg
- Elizabeth Fendrick
- David M. Jenkins
- Shawn Paonessa
- Gregg Perkins
- Paul J. Potenza
- Michael Caban
- Jason Vaughan Evans
- Alan Fessenden
- John Lott
- David M. Jenkins
- Caitlin Eason
- Désirée Fantal
- Elissa Getto
- Kari Goetz
- Neil Gobioff
- Michael Goodman
- Chris Holcom
- Brenda Lovell
- Chris Madalena
- Brendan McLaughlin
- Christen Hailey
- Paul Reller
- Willi Rudowsky
- Ami Sallee
- Staci Sabarsky
- Brian Smallheer
- Bradley Speck
- Katrina Stevenson
- Scott Waltz
Be a Part of the Action
Jobsite began out of contacts made while David M. Jenkins and Michael Caban studied at the University of South Florida in the early 1990s. Several years after their graduations they re-connected, talked about putting up a show, and several other artists were brought on board. In an experimental attempt, Jobsite put together a double-bill performed in the intimate Silver Meteor Gallery in Ybor City. Stunned by the critical-acclaim and community support, they began to plan a full season and organize as a company (learn where our name comes from).
In 1999 Jobsite performed for the first time at the Straz Center’s Shimberg Playhouse (then the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center’s Off Center Theater). Brownbread ran late-nights after another show but attracted sold-out crowds. Jobsite split time between the Meteor and Off Center for the remainder of their first and second seasons. In that 99-00 season, TBPAC President Judy Lisi invited Jobsite to perform Accidental Death of an Anarchist as part of their Play Series. Jobsite and TBPAC partnered on several more shows over the next few seasons. Encouraged by both the quality work and box office success, Jobsite was named official resident theater company of the Straz as of the 2003–04 season.
Jobsite has continued to produce innovative professional theater while attracting tens of thousands of theatergoers into the urban core of downtown Tampa. Jobsite is a member of Theater Communications Group, the Network of Ensemble Theaters, and was a founding member of Theatre Tampa Bay.
Our Artistic Core
Jobsite was founded as an artist-based ensemble theater (inspired by companies like Steppenwolf, San Francisco Mime Troupe, and Berliner Ensemble), powered by collective of Artistic Associates comprised of artists of all disciplines. Artistic Associates assist in the programming of the season and serve as the Producing Artistic Director’s inner council.
The Network of Ensemble Theaters defines an ensemble as “a group of individuals dedicated to collaborative creation, committed to working together consistently over years to develop a distinctive body of work and practices.” This is why you might notice many of the same artists involved in our productions from season to season, just as we continue to bring in new artists on a regular basis.
Our Board of Directors remains out of our day-to-day operations, focusing on ensuring our overall health and sustainability.
Jobsite works exclusively with regional talent. We’ve assembled an artistic ensemble over 60 strong. In addition to creating the mainstage season, ensemble members are granted opportunities to produce events around our mainstage calendar. In 2013 one such project, 4.48 Psychosis, was honored as one of the top nine performances of the year on all regional stages and earned a Creative Loafing Best of the Bay Award for Best Reason to Take Theater Seriously.
Jobsite has an internship program where aspiring theater artists in educational programs (and even in some cases those who may be unaffiliated) come to learn through hands-on experience with an opportunity to become an Ensemble Member upon completion of the program. Another unique part of Jobsite’s relationship with the Straz is that students at their Patel Conservatory also have the opportunity for hands-on training by our artists.
Jobsite began as five artists who also served as the company’s Board. It was critical in our formative years to ensure decisions were being made to serve our art and artists to the end of creating an artistic home, and not just a company dedicated to the production of a commodity.
As we’ve grown, as have our needs. Our Board now focuses on development: financial and in regard to our audience and community. With this move we have also refined the roles of our core artists.
Jobsite’s Artistic Associates, under the leadership of the Producing Artistic Director, serve as the play selection committee and act as stewards of our second stage efforts under the umbrella of our Job-side program.
Jobsite actively pursues younger and non-traditional theater audiences and built the company with a strong group of followers 18 – 35 who you might be more likely to see at a local brewery or music venue; however, the quality of our productions and reputation we’ve developed attracts audiences of all ages and backgrounds. We have a loyal community following, drawing sold-out houses to a majority of our performances. Jobsite serves over 15,000 people a year and maintains 6,000 or more followers on major social media platforms.
Jobsite has consistently earned high praise including over six dozen Best of the Bay awards from Creative Loafing including Best Theater Company (2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2019), 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. We are regularly honored in the BroadwayWorld.com Regional Awards as well as the Theatre Tampa Bay Awards. For the past three years readers of the Tampa Bay Times have selected us as Best Theater Company in their annual Best of the Best poll.
In 2008 we were awarded the Urban Excellence Award from the Downtown Tampa Partnership. In 2014 Jobsite Theater was honored to be among the finalists for the prestigious American Theatre Wing National Theatre Company Award, an honor unique to Jobsite among central Florida theater companies. Jobsite is a four-time finalist for the NEA’s Shakespeare in American Communities Award.
Read more about our distinctions.
The organization receives support from ticket sales, contributions, grants, and in-kind trade. Current Jobsite season sponsors include Illumination Advertising, Gobioff Foundation, Cornelia T. Bailey Foundation, Arts Council of Hillsborough County, Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners, and the State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs. Interested parties may contact Jobsite for more details on giving opportunities.
We intend on continuing as resident theater company of the Straz Center for years to come.
Our goal is to produce a full season of six to eight shows annually, with one slot dedicated to a new or unpublished play and another to our Shakespeare initiative.
Over the next three years, Jobsite seeks to increase and diversify funding with the hope to hire both a full-time production manager and business manager. This will elevate our staff to three full-time and one part-time, with the other 50 to 60 hires a year coming in the form of independent contractor artists.
Jobsite wants to remain sustainable as an artistic home and continue to create strong, cutting-edge theater. We strive to be a home for both the theater professional and aspiring artists. While we will continue to work with trade unions (AEA, IATSE, USA), we have no intent to become an exclusively union theater.
We firmly believe in the importance of the artist-administrator, individuals who can provide full-time service to the company both on and off the stage. We are committed to finding and keeping these individuals, in turn enriching not only the company but the entire region.