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Jennifer Childs, Artistic Director / Instructor
Artistic Director and Co-Founder of 1812 Productions, Philadelphia’s all-comedy theater
company. For 1812 she has created and directed a series of productions celebrating an era
or area of comedic history. They are, The Big Time and Another Big Time (vaudeville),
Like Crazy Like Wow (1950s nightclub comedy), Something Wonderful Right Away
(improvisation), Always A Lady (a history of women in comedy) Double Down (male
comedy teams of the 20th century), Our Show of Shows (tribute to TV’s Your Show of
Shows) and six incarnations of This Is The Week That Is (political humor).
Also for 1812, she collaborated with composer James Sugg on the musical Cherry Bomb
for which she wrote the book and lyrics. She also co-wrote Let’s Pretend We’re Married
and Let’s Pretend We’re Famous with actor Tony Braithwaite. She was given permission
by Woody Allen to adapt five of his short stories and essays for the stage for An Evening
Without Woody Allen, which premiered at 1812 in the spring of 2010. She has also
performed, directed and/or taught for Philadelphia Theatre Company (most recently with
Bill Irwin in his The Happiness Lecture), the Wilma Theater, Walnut Street Theatre,
Arden Theatre Company, Prince Music Theatre, Mum Puppettheatre, and Freedom
Theater among others.
As a graduate from Philadelphia’s University of the Arts with a BFA in Theater in 1990,
she has been nominated for 12 Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theater, winning the
Supporting Actress in a Play Award for her work in the Wilma’s Escape From
Happiness, and the F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Theatre Artist in 1999. She is
the recipient of two Independence Foundation Fellowships in the Arts – the first in 2000
to attend the School of Physical Theatre in London and the second in 2009 to develop her
solo piece, Why I’m Scared of Dance by Jen Childs, which had successful runs at 1812
Productions and at City Theatre in Pittsburgh. Additionally, Ms. Childs serves on the
Mayor’s Cultural Advisory Council.
Mary Carpenter, Instructor
Mary has worked in Philadelphia theater for the last fifteen years as an actress, director,
teacher and writer. She has performed with a variety of Philadelphia theatre companies,
including 1812 Productions, Arden Theatre Co., The Wilma, InterAct Theatre Company,
Freefall Productions and more. Mary has been a performing and teaching member of
ComedySportz for 17 years where she has also served as Artistic Director. She has taught
at Villanova University, University of the Arts, Abington Friends School, Germantown
Academy, Arden Theatre Co., InterAct Theatre Company, The Philadelphia Improv
Festival and for 15 years with ComedySportz. Her improvisation training includes work
with Second City, Keith Johnstone, Mick Napier, Jeff Wirth and Todd Stashwick. She
holds Theatre degrees from Northwestern University and The London Academy of Music
and Dramatic Arts.