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Jobsite and Jenkins back onstage this weekend

Bill DeYoung

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The thought of getting onstage for the first time in a good long while, David M. Jenkins says, has improved his mood considerably.

A longtime actor and director, Jenkins is also the producing artistic director of Jobsite Theater, the resident professional company of Tampa’s David A. Straz Center. Since the theater’s Covid shutdown began in March, his day-to-day has been consumed with issues of when (can Jobsite re-open), what (will that look like) and how (can we get an income stream going)?

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), which begins a three-weekend run outdoors on the Straz Center’s Riverfront stage Friday, ticks all the boxes. It’s a three-man comedy – and Jenkins is one of the three men. He’s performed in this particular show numerous times.

“It’s like riding a bike,” Jenkins said Monday on The Catalyst Sessions. “The show came back so fast. Even though it’s been over a year. I feel like this is a show that somebody could call me 20 years from now and be like ‘Hey Jenkins, we got an open spot,’ and I could just kind of cruise in and do it.”

He’s also enthused that tickets for the fast-paced Shakespeare farce – directed by Katrina Stevenson – are selling briskly. The schedule was extended with three additional performances just Monday morning.

Strong sales for the other new, socially-distanced Jobsite shows, to be performed in the Jaeb Theater, tell him that people are “hungry” to see live theater return to the bay area.

The discussion also covered Jobsite’s new digital shorts series, available with a paywall – it’s a way of making sure the artists get compensated – through the theater’s website.

Tuesday on The Catalyst Sessions: An exclusive interview with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bob Woodward, author of the current bestseller Rage.

Streaming weekdays at 7 p.m. on the Catalyst Facebook page. All episodes are archived on our YouTube channel.

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