Janine Sobeck Knighton is a dramaturg, playwright, screenwriter, story consultant, and educator who grew up in central California. Currently based outside of Salt Lake City, UT, she is a storyteller at heart and loves collaborating on new work.
Janine started as the dramaturgy intern at Arena Stage in Washington D.C. before becoming their full-time Literary Manager, Dramaturg, and Producer of New Works. While there she worked with some of the country’s greatest artists, including Pam McKinnon, Kenny Leon, Brian Yorkey, Tom Kitt, Phylicia Rashad, Edward Albee, Marcus Gardley, Karen Zacarias, Artistic Director Molly Smith, and more.
Janine also loves to create her own stories. Her translation/adaptation of King Stag was produced at Utah Valley University in 2021 and her TYA play, Scaredy Kat Presents won the Purple Crayon Players PLAYground Festival in 2020 and will tour with Westport County Playhouse in January 2023. Her new plays, Hidden Seashells: A Yoga Adventure (for K-3) and The Tale of Young Beatrix, were both workshopped at Utah Valley University in 2022. Her works have been developed at Utah Valley University, Purple Crayon Players, and Plan B Theatre. Currently, she has two web series, Backstage Bernie and An Open Letter to Isabella Beck, which can be found on the JSK Stories YouTube Channel.
Beyond the stage, Janine has worked with screenwriters in developing several different new screenplays. Freetown was produced in 2014 and Jane and Emma was produced in 2018.
Currently the Associate Professor of Playwriting and Dramaturgy and the Associate Department Chair at Utah Valley University, Janine continues to work while developing the voices of the next generation. Her love for theatre and film education led to the creation of JSK Stories, a production company and website focused on creating a community dedicated to telling stories, arts education, and providing a platform for kids and teenagers to share their creative work in a safe, online environment.
Her other artistic adventures include being a member of the Artistic Council for the O’Neill Theatre Center, a Reader for the Sundance Theatre Lab, a Developer of the New Play Exchange for the National New Play Network, a member of the Writing Lab at Plan-B Theatre, Co-director of the dramaturgy program for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region VIII, and former board member of the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas. She is a proud member of the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas.