Paul J. Potenza

  • Fireman Juan

Paul J. Potenza has worked as an actor and director in the Tampa Bay area since 1983. He performed in the very first play to grace the stage of the Shimberg Playhouse (née the Off Center Theater) at the Straz Performing Arts Center: Eric Bogosian’s Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll. Potenza has worked with many of the Bay areas finest theater companies including Eckerd Theater Company, The Loft Theater, Tampa Players, Stageworks, freeFall and American Stage. Favorite roles include Jack (Race), The Player (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead), Michal (The Pillowman), Nick (The Guys), Johnny (Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune), Arnold (The Boys Next Door), and Renfield (Dracula).

Potenza has directed Jobsite’s productions of Topdog/Underdog, subUrbia and The Beauty Queen of Leenane. In 2011, Paul was honored to win Best Actor in the first annual Jeff Norton awards and also named Best Of The Bay’s Best Actor by Creative Loafing. Both awards were for his portrayal of Felix Unger in Jobsite’s production of The Odd Couple, which is where leading co-star and Bedford Devil director Shawn Paonessa learned Paul could scream like a little girl.

He is a Goldsmith by trade and has owned and operated Design One Jewelers in Clearwater since 1980. Potenza shares his life with his wife Roz (the artist in the family), and their dogs Ida and Basil who own all the furniture in the house.