Begin Main Content Area

Jeffrey W. Gabel, Vice Chair, Gettysburg (appointed 2011)
 He was appointed to the Council in 2011 and named Vice Chair in 2014 by Governor Tom Corbett.

The Founding Executive Director of the Majestic Theater at the Jennifer & David LeVan Performing Arts Center in downtown Gettysburg, owned and operated by Gettysburg College, Gabel joined the college administration in 2003 to lead the $16.5 million capital campaign and renovation project that restored the 1925 vaudeville and silent movie theater, and added two new cinemas, an art gallery, and backstage production wing.

Gabel hails from Camp Hill, PA and holds a B.A. Degree in Music Performance from Mansfield State College in Mansfield, PA. He began his show business career in 1971 as a clown with Circus Kirk, a student circus, and went on to tour the highways and byways of America. As Chuckles the Clown, he appeared as a special guest on the national television series “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” in 1986.

After he retired from the circus, Gabel enjoyed a 15 year career in public television. His broadcasting career culminated with a seven year appointment as Associate Director of Cultural Programming at Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)  where he was responsible for the national administration of “The Metropolitan Opera Presents,” “Live from Lincoln Center,” “Great Performances,” “In Performance at the White House,” and “A Capitol Fourth.” After being promoted to national Director of Children’s Programming, he developed the award –winning programs including “Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?,” “The Magic School Bus,” “Bill Nye, the Science Guy,” and “Barney the Dinosaur.” In 1991, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting honored him as “one of the 10 most important people in public broadcasting” for his role in programming the Metropolitan Opera’s telecast of Richard Wagner’s “Ring Cycle,” the first time it was broadcast in the United States in its entirety over four consecutive evenings.

He followed his public television career with an appointment as Executive Director of “Partnership for Children,” a ground-breaking, bi-state children’s advocacy initiative of the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation and Heart of America United Way; and subsequently joined the historic theater preservation movement as Executive Director of the Portsmouth, NH 1876 Music Hall, the second oldest theater in New England. His extensive experience as a consultant includes working with the Hall Family Foundation, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the National Association of Base Ball Players, the State Ballet of Missouri, and the Truman Presidential Library. In 2010, Gabel was elected to the board trustees of the League of Historic American Theatres, a national association of more than 300 theatres, and is currently Board Vice President.