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Our Staff

Jamie J. Brunson, Executive Director
Jamie J. Brunson has brought storytelling to the stage within different spheres of the arts and cultural community for over 16 years. She served as managing director of New Freedom Theatre and the Providence Black Repertory Company and as Director of Institutional Gifts and Sponsorship for the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. An accomplished playwright, Brunson is a four-time Delaware Division of the Arts/NEA grantee for playwriting and an award-winning playwright who was named a “New Voice in American Theatre” by the Edward Albee Theatre Conference. Her plays have been produced across the country at the Wilmington Fringe Festival (DE); the Kitchen Theatre; New Freedom Theatre; the Harlem Theatre Company, Abingdon Theatre (NYC); Walnut Street Theatre Second Stage (Philadelphia); Karamu House (Cleveland, OH); and Providence Black Repertory Company (RI). Her playwriting awards and honors include a Panelist Choice Award at the Edward Albee Conference and selection as a Chesterfield Film Company Fellowship Semi-Finalist. Brunson holds a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Theatre from Sarah Lawrence College and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Radio-Television-Film from Temple University. E-mail | 267-402-2058

Dan Gasiewski, Director of Production
Before joining First Person Arts, Dan was the Promotions Manager for public television station WYBE-TV, Philadelphia. He is the co-founder and director of the Morris Park Restoration Association, a nonprofit organization restoring Philadelphia’s 147- acre Morris Park natural woodland area. A former puppeteer, he is also the co-founder of Philadelphia’s Puppet Uprising. E-mail | 267-402-2056

Jen Cleary, Production
Jen is a director, production manager, visual artist, and designer based in Kensington, Philadelphia. Having worked in established theaters and non-traditional spaces all over the world, her credits include shows at REDCAT (Los Angeles), Painted Bride Art Center (Philadelphia), Highways Performance Space (Santa Monica), Lincoln Center (New York City), Westergasfabriek (Amsterdam, NL), Z Below (San Francisco), Contact Theatre (Manchester, UK), and The Bethnal Green Men’s Working Club (London, UK). Jen is a two time Emmy Award-winning broadcast engineer and a Lucie Award winning photographer. Additionally, her images can be seen in the California Heritage Museum’s permanent collection. E-mail | 267-908-3230

Neil Bardhan, Festival Volunteer Coordinator and Archivist
Neil earned a Ph.D. in Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Rochester and researched psycholinguistics in The Netherlands. He now works in science communication consulting, including as part of the improvscience team. He is a company member at PHIT Comedy and with the improv group The N Crowd. E-mail

Tanesha M. Ford, Marketing & Communications and Membership
Tanesha earned her B.A in Theater at Florida A&M University and her M.S. in Arts Administration at Drexel University.  In addition to being a writer, actor and producer Tanesha has cultivated an expertise in audience development and digital marketing.  She is the founder of For de Arts an arts organization for and by women, minorities and members of the LGTB community and is a member of Tongue & Groove Spontaneous Theater Company.  Tanesha also contracts with various arts organizations throughout Philadelphia.  E-mail

Upcoming Events
  • StorySlams: Ex-Files
  • Date: February 14, 2018
  • Time: 8 PM
  • Venue: Punch Line Philly
  • Location: 33 E Laurel St, Philadelphia, PA 19123
  • StorySlams – Parched
  • Date: March 20, 2018
  • Time: 8 PM
  • Venue: Fringe Arts Building
  • Location: 140 N Christopher Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19106