Jennifer Childs, Producing Artistic Director
Jennifer Childs is a Co-Founder of 1812 Productions and has served as the company's sole Artistic Director since 2006. For 1812 she has created over 20 original works of comedic theater including The Carols, To the Moon, It's My Party: The Women and Comedy Project, Cherry Bomb and the annual political humor show, This Is The Week That Is. She created a series of shows that looks at comedy history which enabled her to develop relationships with and perform the work of pioneering comedians such as Phyllis Diller, Tom Lehrer, Sid Caesar, Mort Sahl, Dick Gregory, Bob Elliot, Steve Martin, Bob Newhart and others. Her solo shows, Why I'm Scared of Dance and I Will Not Go Gently have been performed at City Theatre in Pittsburgh, Act II Playhouse, the Kohler Center for the Performing Arts in Wisconsin, People's Light and Theatre Company and Delaware Theatre Company. She is the recipient of three Barrymore Awards (Best Supporting Actress in a Play 1996; F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Theatre Artist 1999 and Best Actress in a Musical 2016) and two Independence Foundation Fellowships in the Arts. In 2003 she was the recipient of the Silver Star Outstanding Alumni Award from her Alma Mater, the University of the Arts.
David Jadico, External Relations Director
Previous to working for 1812, David got his start in the for-profit sector as a Marketing Representative for Aetna/US Healthcare. After three years in the industry, he decided to switch to the non-profit sector, following his desire to work in theatre. For two years he was the Subscription Department Manager at The Walnut Street Theatre. From this position he was promoted to the position of Company Manager/Assistant to the Managing Director. He held this position for three additional seasons, coordinating the casts of over thirty productions. In 2003, he had the opportunity to join the staff of Philadelphia’s quickest growing small theatre company at a crucial time in their development to oversee contributed income activities. As 1812’s External Relations Director, he is charged with raising over a half of a million dollars annually in contributed funds from diverse sources through grant writing, developing and running donor campaigns, and maintaining government, corporate, foundation, and patron relationships. He is also the Artistic Director and a long-time cast member of the improv company ComedySportz Philadelphia, the longest running show in Philly. David holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Drexel University and is a member of Actors’ Equity, having appeared in over twenty shows with 1812 Productions and dozens more at theatres in the Philadelphia region.
Lance Kniskern, Technical Director
Lance Kniskern (Set Designer) Past designs with 1812 Productions: It’s My Party: The Women and Comedy Project, Bunny Bunny, The Big Time, Intimate Exchanges, The Shoplifters, and I Will Not Go Gently. Other set design credits include: The Train Driver, The Screwtape Letters, Doubt, The Taming of the Shrew (2015 Barrymore Nominee), Oscar Wilde: From the Depths and Informed Consent with The Lantern Theater; Spamalot: The Musical with RTC; Hairspray: The Musical (winner of Broadway World’s Best Set Design in Philadelphia for 2012) with Media Theatre; Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and Joe Turner’s Come and Gone with Plays and Players, Madhouse Theatre Company (Playing Leni), Amaryllis Theatre Company (Lydia), Villanova University (Mother Courage and Her Children) and Shakespeare in Clark Park (Two Gentlemen of Verona). Up next: The Gospel According To… with Lantern Theater. You can see more of his work at his website: lancekniskern.com
Marla Burkholder, Education Director
Marla has been the Education Director at 1812 Productions since 2012. As an educator she has taught theater arts to students of all ages -- for public and private schools, theaters, and community arts organizations -- and is an adjunct faculty member in the Temple University and Rider University theater departments. As a theater artist Marla has performed and done dialect coaching for numerous productions in Philadelphia and regionally (The Shoplifters and To the Moon with 1812), and was the Founding Artistic Director of Shakespeare in Clark Park for 10 years. She holds an MFA in Acting from Temple University.
Peter Marshall, External Relations Assistant
Peter Marshall is elated to be joining 1812 Productions this season! A native to Philadelphia, he grew up seeing shows at 1812, so working here really is a dream come true. He studied theatre and history at Ithaca College before moving back to Philly to pursue a career in professional theatre. Since returning, he has spent the past two years at Walnut Street Theatre working in marketing, group sales, social media, house management, and bar-tending. He has written music for several films/TV projects and was inducted into the National History Honor Society for his work in European Frontier Expansionism. Peter can be found baking, acting, songwriting, park-sitting, iced coffee-drinking, and riffing all around Philadelphia in his spare time. Favorite role: Richard, The Lion in Winter; Favorite roll: sourdough.
Thomas E. Shotkin, Production Stage Manager
Tom is enjoying his 16th season as production stage manager (that’s the silverware anniversary, for the record). Favorite shows include: This Is The Week That Is (all 12 produc ons!), Our Show of Shows, I Will Not Go Gently, Suburban Love Songs, The Four of Us, Bat Boy: The Musical, Like Crazy Like Wow, and An Evening Without Woody Allen (in which he performed). He is also production/company manager for PlayPenn, a new play development conference. Other SM credits: People’s Light and Theatre Company, Theatre Exile, Arden Theatre Company, Arena Stage (DC), Barnstormers Theatre (NH). Tom has also worked for Opera Company of Philadelphia, Hartford Stage Company, Azuka Theatre, and Boarshead Theatre (MI).
Jaime Konowal, General Manager
Jaime has worked in the Arts for many years, starting her career at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, before moving to Rutgers Camden Center for the Arts as the Box Office and Assistant Marketing Manager. Jaime is a graduate of the Art Institute of Philadelphia with a Bachelor of Science in Interactive Media and Design. In her free time, Jaime enjoys spending time with her Wife and Son, Woodworking, and listening to Podcasts.
Tyler Melchior, Marketing & Public Relations Director
Tyler Melchior is the Marketing and Public Relations Director at 1812 Productions, Philadelphia's all comedy theatre company. He is an alumnus of The University of the Arts and Temple University with a BA in Religious Studies. He has been a guest speaker on the topics of marketing and public relations for The Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, Temple University, and The Independence Foundation. In addition to his work at 1812 Productions, he has done promotional, consulting, and graphic design work for The Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, Madhouse Theater Company, Bucks County Piano, Montgomery Theater, and Mary Carpenter's one woman comedy The New & Improved Stages of Grief, among others.
Ben Levan, Production Manager
Ben Levan is a graduate of West Chester University of Pennsylvania's Department of Theatre and Dance. Prior to joining 1812 Productions he has been a freelance Production Manager for Azuka Theatre, Orbiter 3, and Tiny Dynamite. Past productions include: How We Got On, I Am Not My Motherland, and Bortle 8. He has also served as Master Electrician for Theatre Exile and Lantern Theater Company. Ben is also the Resident Lighting Designer at the Bank of America Theatre in the National Constitution Center, home of Living News. In addition to his production work he is a local playwright and member of the Philadelphia-based playwrights lab, The Foundry.
Kate Sabato, Associate General Manager
After a stint in politics, advocacy, and community organizing, Kate worked as a freelance theater technician and stage manager in the Philadelphia area for ten years. She served two seasons as 1812’s Assistant Stage Manager before joining the team at the office, and since her first 1812 show (Suburban Love Songs) has been happy to work with such a talented and hilarious group of people. A proud graduate of Penn State, she lives in South Philadelphia with her husband, Karlis, and their cat, Atticus.
Emily Kleimo, Assistant to the Producing Artistic Director
Emily is the assistant to the producing artistic director here at 1812 Productions. She also works as a teaching artist for our outreach program at Widener Memorial School. You may recognize her as Sylvia Carol from our 2016 world premiere of The Carols. Outside of the office, Emily is an actress, voice over artist and visual artist. You can check out her other work at www.EmilyKleimo.com and www.thevoicesofemilyk.com.
Laurel Hostak, Marketing & Public Relations Assistant
This is Laurel's fourth season as Marketing Assistant at 1812. A graduate of the Arden Professional Apprenticeship (Class 21), Laurel has worked as a writer, performer, director, and marketing consultant in the Philadelphia theatre community since 2012. Outside of 1812, she works most often with Team Sunshine Performance Corporation as an event coordinator and creative partner. Laurel is also a producer and co-host of The Midnight Myth Podcast, a weekly exploration of universal themes in world storytelling and pop culture. She holds a degree in Screenwriting & Playwriting from Drexel University and is just about done with that Great American Novel she's been working on.
Board of Directors
Glenn Gundersen, President
Jeff Weiss, Vice President
Kyle A. Midkiff, CPA, Treasurer
Phil Yannella, Secretary
James D. Brown
Elizabeth S. Fenton
Theresa E. Loscalzo
Nancy L. Roth
Dolly Beechman Schnall