Jennifer Ashley Tepper is currently producing the new Broadway musical Be More Chill, which opened on Broadway in March following a sold-out off-Broadway run. She is also the Creative and Programming Director at Feinstein's/54 Below, and the author of The Untold Stories of Broadway book series. She is the creator of The Jonathan Larson Project and historian consultant on the upcoming film version of tick, tick...BOOM! This summer, she is producing a brand new Joe Iconis musical, Broadway Bounty Hunter, starring Annie Golden.
As the leader of Feinstein's/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 3500 shows, ranging from musicals in concert, to original solo acts, to theatrical reunions, to songwriter celebrations, and beyond. Feinstein's/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. She is a freelance contributor to Playbill, BroadwayWorld, Theatermania, and Backstage. As an educator, she has been involved with Florida Thespians, New York Thespians, Texas' Joci Awards, and the St. Louis Cabaret Convention, and given master classes at several universities and high schools. She is a consultant for BroadwayCon.
Tepper is the co-creator of the Bistro Award-winning concert series, If It Only Even Runs A Minute, now in its 7th 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 250 performers and over 200 '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."
Her most recent contribution to the concert world is The Jonathan Larson Project, an evening of the RENT composer’s unheard work. After years of research at the Library of Congress, Tepper curated a show featuring songs from Larson’s never-produced shows like 1984 and Superbia, songs that were cut from RENT and tick tick BOOM, songs that had never been heard before. After a celebrated twelve-performance run at Feinstein’s/54 Below, the show was forever immortalized by Ghostlight Records.
Tepper has collaborated for almost a decade on musicals, concerts and other projects with the group known as Joe Iconis & Family, who recently won a rave New York Times review and a MAC Award nomination for their work. In addition to being the producer of Be More Chill, she was recently the dramaturg of Iconis’ musical in development Love In Hate Nation and has worked in various capacities on his other shows including the Drama Desk-nominated Bloodsong of Love.
The New York Times recently announced her project coming to Greenwich House Theater this summer, “Emboldened by Be More Chill, which is selling well in early previews, Ms. Tepper is planning this week to announce a commercial Off Broadway production of another Iconis show, Broadway Bounty Hunter, about an out-of-work actor who finds a job hunting criminals. It stars Annie Golden, who, although more than a generation older than Mr. Iconis and his college friends, is one of his most loyal collaborators.”
As a writer, Tepper has authored three 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, the Theatre Development Fund, and the Broadway Green Alliance. Published in 2013, 2014, and 2016, 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."