Best Of 2008

BEST ARTISTIC DIRECTOR: David Jenkins

Jenkins is about to start his 10th year as Jobsite Theater’s artistic director, and it’s about time that he was recognized for the major contribution he’s made to the artistic life in the Tampa Bay area. In a city that eats fledgling theater companies for breakfast, Jenkins managed to turn Jobsite from an unlikely, underfunded pipe dream into a veteran, much-beloved regional resource. Starting at Ybor City’s tiny Silver Meteor Gallery, he overcame erratic programming and the desertion of key actors to make Jobsite the dependably professional resident company of the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. He had faith in a central group of actors and designers who have, over time, become first-rate, and he has overseen some of the most innovative, daring programming of any theater company in the Bay area. This year was not Jobsite’s best, but who else would have dared to stage Strindberg’s A Dream Play, David Mamet’s Boston Marriage or the bizarre Gorey Stories? It takes vision, pluck and luck to make a theater company successful, and Jenkins has it all. The local arts world wouldn’t be the same without him.