JAG Productions Presents August Wilson's FENCES

JAG Productions Presents August Wilson's FENCESJAG Productions will present August Wilson's Fences later this month at the Woodstock Town Hall Theatre in Woodstock, Vermont. Previews begin April 27, 2017 and performances run through May 7, 2017. Fences is the inaugural presentation of JAG Productions' 10-year commitment to staging The American Century Cycle, August Wilson's series of ten plays charting the African American experience through the twentieth century. Fences will be directed by JAG Productions' Artistic Director, Jarvis Antonio Green.

The play is set in the 1957 in Pittsburgh and tells the story of Troy Maxson, a former baseball player in the Negro Baseball League who dreamed of stardom but was deemed too old to continue his career when the major leagues integrated. Now a sanitation worker, Troy is bitter having missed his opportunity for success. His battle with resentment leads to tension with his wife and son in the midst of a changing American decade.

The movie adaptation of Fences directed by and starring Denzel Washington triumphed at the box office earlier this year and swept award ceremonies. Washington shared the screen with Viola Davis, which earned her the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a film - an accolade achieved by only 7 African-American actresses in history.

JAG Productions was founded in 2015 by Jarvis Antonio Green with the mission of sharing new and inspirational stories with the Upper Valley community. Green wants the audience to leave feeling "shifted" with new perspectives and awareness. The company aims for its patrons to move through the world with more love, greater kindness, and compassion for one another after seeing a production.

The cast of Fences will be led by Brian Anthony Wilson (HBO's The Wire) as Troy and Broadway veteran Danielle Lee Greaves (Hairspray, A Streetcar Named Desire, Rent) as Rose. Other roles include Ralph McCain (The Piano Lesson; The Sopranos) as Jim Bono, Jolie Garrett (The Mountaintop, Othello) as Gabriel, Nathaniel J. Ryan (Lyons), Gabriel Jenkinson (Cory) and Celia Graham (Raynell).

Additional Programming:

JAG Productions will present a screening of The Ground on Which I Stand, a documentary about the life of August Wilson. The title reflects one of August Wilson's seminal speeches, and premiered on February 20, 2015 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Wilson's birth, the 10th anniversary of his death, and Black History Month. The screening will be presented at Billings Farm and Museum on April 22nd.

Tickets for Fences and the film screening of The Ground on Which I Stand, can be purchased at www.JAGProductionsVT.com or by calling 802.332.3270.

Performance Schedule:
APRIL 27, 28 - Preview Performances
7:30 PM
Tickets: $20

APRIL 29 - Opening Night
7:30 PM
Following the opening night performance, JAG Productions will host a reception for the audience and company of Fences. Please join us for this unique opportunity to meet the cast and crew!

APRIL 30 - MAY 6
2:00 PM (Saturday and Sunday Matinee)
7:30 PM
Please join us immediately following the performance for a talk back with the cast and creative team of Fences led by Jarvis Antonio Green.

MAY 7 - Closing Night
5pm

About the Artists:

August Wilson (Playwright) is author of THE AMERICAN CENTURY CYCLE, including the plays Gem of the Ocean, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, The Piano Lesson, Seven Guitars, Fences, Two Trains Running, Jitney, King Hedley II, and Radio Golf. These works explore the heritage and experience of the descendants of Africans in North America, decade-by-decade, over the course of the twentieth century. His plays have been produced on Broadway, at regional theaters across the country, and all over the world. Mr. Wilson's works garnered many awards including Pulitzer Prizes for Fences (1987); and for The Piano Lesson (1990); a Tony Award for Fences; Great Britain's Olivier Award for Jitney; as well as seven New York Drama Critics Circle Awards for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Fences, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, The Piano Lesson, Two Trains Running, Seven Guitars, and Jitney.

Additionally, the cast recording of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom received a 1985 Grammy Award, and Mr. Wilson received a 1995 Emmy Award nomination for his screenplay adaptation of The Piano Lesson. Mr. Wilson was the recipient of many prestigious fellowships and honors, including a 1999 National Humanities Medal by President Bill Clinton, the Rockefeller and Guggenheim Fellowships in Playwriting, the Whiting Writers Award, 2003 Heinz Award, and received numerous honorary degrees. He was an alumnus of New Dramatists, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a 1995 inductee into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and on October 16, 2005, Broadway renamed the theater located at 245 West 52nd Street - The August Wilson Theatre. Today, his plays continue to be produced, and his place in the American Theatre continues to grow. New York Public Radio recorded all ten plays in the THE AMERICAN CENTURY CYCLE at the Greene Space, casting many of the actors that worked on the original productions. PBS aired a documentary on Mr. Wilson entitled, The Ground On Which I Stand, as part of the American Masters series. Mr. Wilson was born and raised in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and lived in Seattle, Washington at the time of his death. He is survived by his two daughters, Sakina Ansari and Azula Carmen Wilson, and by his wife, costume designer Constanza Romero, who is the executor of his estate.

Jarvis Antonio Green (Director) moved from New York City to the Upper Valley in 2011 and founded BarnArts Center for the Arts in Barnard, VT. He then became the Director of Theatre Arts for ArtisTree Community Arts Center located outside of beautiful Woodstock, VT. In 2015, Jarvis became the founding Producing Artistic Director of JAG Productions with the mission of sharing new and inspirational stories with the thriving arts community of the Upper Valley. Jarvis received his training at the prestigious Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York City, Anderson University and South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts. Directing credits include: Choir Boy (JAG Productions), Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Fiddler on the Roof (ArtisTree Theatre Company), The 39 Steps, Master Class, Porgy and Bess in Concert, Oliver!, Grease, Little Shop of Horrors (BarnArts Center for the Arts), Seussical the Musical (NCCT). As an actor, he has enjoyed an extensive career on the stage in My Heart is the Drum (World Premiere), Once On This Island, The Who's Tommy (Village Theatre), Twelfth Night (RAW Shakespeare Company), Our Town, Clybourne Park, Twelve Angry Men (Northern Stage), The Wizard of Oz, Pirates of Penzance (Pentangle Arts), Ragtime (New London Barn Playhouse), Rent, Little Shop of Horrors, A Chorus Line, La Cage Aux Folles, A New Brain (Capital Playhouse), Smokey Joe's Café (Bellevue Civic Theatre), The Buddy Holly Story (5th Ave Theatre), Stardust (Harlequin Playhouse), The Play's The Thing, Black Nativity, Our Town (Intiman Theatre).

Brian Anthony Wilson* (Troy Maxson) is honored to be working with Jarvis and this amazing cast! This is Brian's fourth Production of Fences, having previously portrayed Gabriel, Lyons & Bono. Other August Wilson shows include: Seven Guitars (Red), Jitney (Becker), Two Trains Running (Hambone), King Hedley II (King), Joe Turner's Come & Gone (Herald) and The Piano Lesson (Boy Willie & Avery). Recent Theatre: Titus Andronicus (Titus, Rowan University). Film/TV credits include: Oceans 8, Creed, How To Get Girls, Title VII, Crooked & Narrow, Limitless, The Postman/Bloodline, The Deep, Gotham, Blue Bloods, The Jim Gaffigan Show, Broad City, Law & Order: SVU, The Sopranos and The Wire. For my Family and in Memory of my Daddy, John Timothy Wilson, you are missed!

Danielle Lee Greaves* (Rose) Broadway: A Streetcar Named Desire, Rent, Hairspray, Sunset Boulevard, Show Boat. New York: The Importance of Being Earnest, Two Gentlemen of Verona. National: The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, The Lion King Cheetah Tour, Rent Benny Tour, Rent Angel Tour. Regional: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, A Woman Called Truth, Ethel Waters - His Eye is on the Sparrow, Caroline, or Change. Film: Growing Up & Other Lies. Television: The Affair, Braindead, The Americans, Elementary, Show Me A Hero, Nurse Jackie, Smash, The Big C, Rescue Me, Damages, Whoopi, 100 Centre Street. Voiceover: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

Ralph McCain* (Jim Bono) is thrilled to be working with JAG Productions. New York stage credits include A. Phillip Randolph in The Good Fights (New Federal Theatre); Elijah Muhammad in The Devil and Elijah Muhammad (The H.A.D.L.E.Y. Player); Rev. Charles Dupree in The Right Reverend Dupree in Exile (The Billie Holiday Theatre); Boyd Henry in the Sun Down Names and Night Gone Things (Negro Ensemble); and Sweets Crane in No Place To Be Somebody. Regional Credits: Winning Boy in the The Piano Lesson (Tennessee Repertory Theatre). Television credits: One Life To Live, Another World, Guiding Light and The Sopranos; An independent film, Flowers. Thanks Jarvis and staff for this opportunity.

Jolie Garrett* (Gabriel) is thrilled to be joining this cast of Fences. His NY theatre credits include: Playing With Fire (Gene Frankel Theatre, Audelco Award Nom.), Othello (Shakespeare in Delaware Park, Katharine Cornell Award Winner), Freedom Train (TheatreworksUSA), Medea, Merchant of Venice, & Sus (Jean Cocteau Repertory) and Julius Caesar Set in Africa (Nuyorican Poets Cafe). Regional Theatre:The Mountaintop (Vermont Stage), Much Ado About Nothing (Arkansas Rep.), Macbeth, Julius Caesar, and Romeo & Juliet (Shakespeare Theatre Company), I Am A Man (Arena Stage). Film: Independence Hall (History Channel), The Stockroom (Victor Cruz Entertainment), and Transition (Ducor Media Films--NAFCA "African Oscars" Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Nathaniel J. Ryan (Lyons) I've been tossed to and fro./Hailing from Brooklyn New York/I land in Vermont./Ready to give my sweat /and tears/To play the king of the Jungle./Thank you to family and friends

Gabriel Jenkinson (Cory) is a newcomer to the professional theater scene, and is honored and excited to be a member of this production! He is currently a freshman studying full time at Dartmouth College, majoring in international relations with a minor in theater. Gabriel previously starred as George in Dartmouth's production of Intimate Apparel, and as The President in The Madwoman of Chaillot at Harvard-Westlake in Los Angeles. In addition, he has featured in several TV, commercial, and film productions over the last year. Gabriel thanks his family for their constant love and support, and JAG productions for giving him this opportunity!

Celia Graham (Raynell) is a third grader at the Lyme School. Whether it is at home, in school, or at classes at the Alliance for the Visual Arts (AVA) in Lebanon, Celia loves to create art. This production of Fences is her first time on the stage, and she is very happy to have the opportunity to participate. She'd like to add that she enjoys eating cupcakes and kiwis.

*Member of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States, appearing under a Special Appearance Contract.

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