Meet New Director of Plays for New Audiences, Karli Jenkins!

What is your background?

Karli smiles while using a spray bottle during a community storytelling event with kids surrounding her

I recently celebrated my 10-year anniversary at Children's Theatre Company! I started at CTC as an intern and never left. Although I identify as an educator and storyteller, I am passionate about all aspects of arts administration and have experience in Education, Marketing, Development, New Play Development, and Front of House. Most recently, I managed CTC's field trip program which serves 70,000 students and educators each year. My favorite part of that role was creating show-specific lesson plans and activities for educators to implement arts integration into their classroom as an extension of their field trip experience. As a process-based theatre educator specializing in early childhood creative drama and interactive storytelling, I am passionate about early childhood and young adult literature. 



What are you most excited about for your new position?

New Director of PNA smiles with past Director of PNA, Michelle Wright

I have long admired the work being done by Plays for New Audiences. I am most excited about working with our incredible Playwrights and Composers to bring new works to theatres across the country and beyond! Additionally, I am thrilled to be continuing the fantastic work of Deb Sherrer and Michelle Wright who made PNA what it is today! I thank them for their guidance and mentorship as I grow into this new role.





Do you have any pets?

Two cats look off into the distance. One is an orange tabby cat named Leonard. The other is a black and white cat named Luna

Yes! I have two cats- Leonard and Luna. As well as a mischievous pug named Russell who can often be found sleeping under my desk. My partner and I also look after many different animals for the local 4H club at various times of the year so we currently have a bearded dragon named Flash running around the house! 







What do you like to do outside of work?

Reading, seeing theatre, playing piano, kayaking, camping, and more!! 


Favorite Food? 

Macaroni and Cheese or Reese Peanut Butter Cups! 


Favorite Book? 

There are so many it is impossible to choose! I collect picture books and currently have over 100 in my library. I am so excited that such incredible stories such as Snowy Day, Harriet the Spy, Last Stop on Market Street and more have made the leap from page to stage with PNA!

What are your goals for PNA?

My number one goal is ensuring that the fantastic work of our playwrights is reaching new audiences! I am passionate about ensuring that the PNA catalogue represents a diverse range of perspectives and gives voice to traditionally marginalized groups. Therefore, we have quite a few new scripts and projects in the works that I am excited to introduce to the PNA catalogue!


Want to know more? Reach out at to say hi! 

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