Forge Theater's mission is to stage works of art that recognize the working class as a source of art and culture reflecting the world we live in today. We actively pursue stories that challenge our perceptions of our neighbors, promote hope, and emphasize the fact that we are all doing our best to achieve happiness in the human experience.
The Artistic Director
Jake grew up in a working class family in Merrill, Wisconsin where he gained his love of theater at a very young age. His mom was the town’s high school theater director/choreographer, and put him on stage for the first time at the ripe age of 3. His dad, a local mill worker, helped build and paint the sets his mom designed. He then taught Jake how to use a power drill. A skill he still has today.
After leaving Merrill, Jake studied theater at UW-Eau Claire where he spent his time acting, directing, designing, and managing the University’s different productions.
Jake then found his way to Milwaukee where he first worked as a teaching assistant at First Stage, and quickly became the associate artistic director of Splinter Group for its three years in production. He has since directed for dropoutArts, Chamber Theatre’s Young Playwrights Festival, and Renaissance Theatreworks’ Br!nk Briefs.