Meet the Staff and Board!

Jessica Peterson

Executive Director
503.585.3427 x5
Raised in Salem, Jessica is both a tour-de-force and a pillar of our local community, bringing with her 15+ years of commitment and collaborative spirit in the Mid-Willamette Valley to her new position as Executive Director for Enlightened Theatrics. Before joining, Jessica served as the North Community Director of Young Life, where she created and instituted several strategic plans and budget operations that encouraged community engagement and involvement with more than 10 non-profit organizations, both locally and nationally! Her mastery of her Young Life position allowed Jessica take on the simultaneous role of Regional Cultural Intelligence Trainer with the organization, becoming a leading force in the education of our local community in the areas of diversity, equity, and belonging. Jessica also spent time with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, where she focused on bringing stakeholders to the table through community engagement opportunities and organizing events such as National Night Out and Citizen’s Academy. She also served as a yearly Brand & Marketing Trainer for the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association Command College. Jessica has been active in community building for as long as she can remember, working for 17 years promoting the successful operation and growth of her father's two Oregon-based, locally owned restaurant ventures.

Jessica is no stranger to the arts, having graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor's Of Contemporary Music from Western Oregon University and is currently completing an MBA from Southern Oregon University. Jessica has been seen locally as a performer for many years, collaborating with Salem Repertory Theatre and with The Elsinore Theatre's first in-house production, Little Shop Of Horrors. Jessica has also been seen in Shout: The MOD Musical, Avenue Q, and most recently, Cinematastic: The Music of the Movies, on our very own Enlightened Theatrics' stage!

Jessica is so grateful for the opportunities afforded her these many years in Salem and she can't wait to be an integral part of revitalizing our incredible arts community!

Michael Bentea

Brand & Communications Coordinator
503.585.3427 x1
Michael is an administrator, actor/playwright, and educator joining us from New York City. Originally from Texas, Michael graduated from Hardin-Simmons University in 2019 and has spent the last few years as an administrator for several offices in Downtown Manhattan. While in the city, Michael performed professionally for multiple regional and touring production companies, including Daniel Tiger Live! with RWS Entertainment Group and the Cinderella (UK) National Tour with Lee-Alliston Productions' American branch. Michael has also performed internationally and competitively, most notably at the International Fringe Festival (2016) in Edinburgh, Scotland, and with the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, the latter of which recognizes him as a finalist for both the Musical Theatre Initiative and Irene Ryan Acting competitions. Michael has had select original plays produced by Pine Warehouse Productions (2019) and NYC's Summer Strawberry Festival (2020), and his written work has been reviewed by artists in residence at Throughline Artists (NYC), the Ensemble Studio Theatre (NYC), and the Edgemar Center for the Arts in Santa Monica, California.

Michael is also an established arts educator, having partnered with numerous private enrichment companies in NYC, the International Montessori School, and, (during the Covid-19 national lockdown), founded and directed a virtual fine arts and extracurricular immersion program, Starving Artists Private Education, in order to provide students with quality arts education while school systems adjusted to online teaching.

Michael is very excited to jump in headfirst at Enlightened Theatrics and can't wait to be blown away by the arts community of Salem!
Micahel Bentea headshot

Enlightened Theatrics Board

Enlightened Theatrics is fortunate to have the strategic support and guidance of a dedicated Board of Directors. These members proudly represent various industries and communities throughout the Willamette Valley. If you’re interested in learning more about or serving on Enlightened Theatrics’ Board of Directors, please email Executive Director, Jessica Peterson.


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Tiffany Carstensen

Drama Director at McKay High School
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Josh Bailey

Aldrich CPAs and Advisors LLP
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Carole Astley

Willamette Valley Vineyards

Board Members

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Jacque Jacobs

Former Real Estate Broker
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Emilio Solano

Willamette University
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