Jennifer Ashley Tepper is the Director of Programming at 54 Below, and the author of The Untold Stories of Broadway book series.
As the leader of 54 Below's creative programming team, Tepper is responsible for programming every show at the Broadway supper club and concert venue. She has curated and overseen the production of over 500 shows, ranging from musicals in concert, to original solo acts, to theatrical reunions, to songwriter celebrations, and beyond. 54 Below has become notable for being the only venue of its kind: presenting over a dozen shows every week, specializing in Broadway acts, and welcoming both traditional cabaret and innovative new work. Tepper's leadership has been instrumental in making the locale "Broadway's Living Room", where on any given night one can find Broadway's biggest stars and emerging talents side by side, creating and sharing new work in an intimate theatrical environment.
Tepper's producing work on original ventures at the venue has gained praise from publications including The Huffington Post, The New York Times, Buzzfeed, Playbill, Newsday, the New York Post, and more. From Hit List (the live concert version of the fictional musical from NBC's Smash) to Smile: A Broadway Reunion Concert to her collaborations with musical theatre writers both established and emerging, Tepper has, according to Theatermania, "brought her encyclopedic knowledge and typical gusto to the venue, knowing just what musical theatre enthusiasts are looking for."
On Broadway, Tepper has worked on shows in directing, producing, and marketing capacities, including [title of show], The Performers, the 2011 revival of Godspell, and the 2013 revival of Macbeth. She has also worked at off-Broadway and regional theaters, including Second Stage Theatre, Ars Nova, The York Theatre, Weston Playhouse, and Goodspeed. Other credits include projects, shows, and educational initiatives with The National Alliance for Musical Theatre, The Producing Office, PBS, The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization, TEDx Broadway, The Dramatists Guild, Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS, the New York Public Library, The Actors Fund, New York City Center, the Broadway Green Alliance, the New York Musical Theatre Festival, and New York University, where Tepper is a proud graduate. Tepper has worked as the Managing Editor of The Best Plays Theatre Yearbook, and is currently on the Artists Board for the Encores Off-Center series.
Tepper is the co-creator of the Bistro Award-winning concert series, If It Only Even Runs A Minute, now in its 5th year. ...Runs A Minute celebrates short-lived Broadway and off-Broadway musicals in concerts that feature photos and research as well as songs. Each concert also boasts original cast members and writers telling stories, as well as songs that have never been recorded. The series thus far has comprised over 200 performers and over 150 'under-appreciated' shows. AM New York has called the series: "Artistically compelling... displays the blood, guts, sweat and tears that go into making Broadway shows."
As a writer, Tepper has authored two volumes of The Untold Stories of Broadway series, published by Dress Circle. For these books, Tepper interviewed 250 theatre professionals about the Broadway theaters themselves and their stories of working in each house. The books cover over 70 years of our theatrical history, shared through first-hand interviews with Broadway professionals who were there. The Untold Stories of Broadway books comprise stories with actors, producers, directors, writers, designers, stagehands, door men and women, musicians, house managers, press agents, ushers, and many more. Interspersed with interviewees' stories are Tepper's own tales and discoveries about each historic building. The Untold Stories of Broadway partners with a charitable organization that receives proceeds from each volume, and is currently partnered with Broadway Impact and with the Theatre Development Fund. Published in 2013 and 2014, each book has occupied the #1 spot on Amazon.com's Best Sellers List in Broadway & Musicals. NBC New York has called the books an 'inspiring Must-Read'.
Tepper was recently named one of the 10 professionals on Backstage Magazine's "1st Annual Broadway Future Power List", alongside Alex Timbers and Leigh Silverman. According to the article: "Proving herself both a zeitgeist predictor and theatrical historian with her eclectic programming, Tepper is leading the conversation on contemporary musical theatre."