Jen Bender is a producer, director, and consultant specializing in the development of new musicals.
She is the founder of Quick Brown Fox Productions and serves as Creative Development Consultant for Lively McCabe Entertainment. Previously, Jen was Senior Vice President of Production and Development for The Araca Group, where she developed The Sting starring Harry Connick, Jr. with book by Bob Martin and a score by Mark Hollmann, Greg Kotis, and Connick, Jr. and The Outsiders with book by Adam Rapp and music and lyrics by Jamestown Revival and Justin Levine. Prior to that, she served as Director of Programming for the New York Musical Festival (NYMF), which she co-founded in 2004.
Jen also works extensively as a director. Her Broadway credits as Resident and Associate Director include The Lion King, Avenue Q, Honeymoon in Vegas, The Wedding Singer, and Steel Magnolias. She directed the world-premiere of Do You Hear the People Sing: The Dream Concert by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg featuring Lea Salonga, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Terrence Mann, and Stephanie J. Block at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas, TX. Jen then spent three years touring North America, Asia, and Australia as the Assistant Artistic Director of Cirque du Soleil’s Ovo. She directed the national tour of Wonderful Town, Godspell (MUNY), Rent (Surflight Theater), The Oliver Experiment (Tennesee Shakespeare Company), and readings and concerts of new work at 54 Below, Birdland, and The Hudson Theater.
From its creation in 2008, she was the Artistic Director of Broadway in South Africa, a non-profit organization that aims to develop a cross-cultural exchange between youth in need and artists who seek to use their change for good. She is also a co-founder of New Voices Collective, a concert series of art songs by contemporary American composers.
She was a guest director and taught the graduate theater program at Michigan State University, and has worked with students of all ages as a teaching artist for the BFA program at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Camp Broadway, The Broadway Experience, Kamp NYC, The Artist’s Crossing, Broadway Classroom, and the summer program at Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts.
Originally from Marion, Ohio, Jen is a graduate of the theater program at Northwestern University and a proud member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC).