Artist Daniel Alexander Jones Comes To Boston College, October 1
The Boston College Theatre Department will host interdisciplinary artist Daniel Alexander Jones, who will present a lecture as part of the University's Matthew R. DeVoy and John H. DeVoy IV Perspectives on Theatre Series. The free, public event--on Tuesday, October 1 at 6:00 p.m.-will be held in the Robsham Theater Arts Center, located on BC's Chestnut Hill Campus.
Lauded as "a true theatrical original" by Backstage Magazine, Jones also was praised by American Theatre Magazine as an artist whose work will "change American stages for decades to come," and by The Public Theater as "a boundary breaking visionary."
Rather than conform to just one genre or role, Jones-a talented playwright, performer, recording artist, and director-said that "energy is [his] true medium." He was named a 2016 United States Artist Fellow, which "celebrates artists who have significantly contributed to the creative landscape and arts ecosystem of the country."
Jones' Boston College lecture will focus on challenging the conventional "rules" of theater. He will address the process for his experimental projects, and the value of having a diverse array of artistic mentors, particularly women and people of color. The lecture will be followed by a Q&A session with the artist.
Jones' many other grants and awards include the 2015 Doris Duke Award, which honors artists "who have demonstrated artistic vitality in their work and a deep commitment to their field," and the Art Matters Grant, which "provides fellowships to individual artists working with social issues and experimenting in form."
Jones' critically-acclaimed original work, Black Light-which features his performance "alter ego" Jomama Jones-is part of American Repertory Theater's 2019-20 season, with performances running September 19-29 at Oberon in Cambridge, Mass.
Produced by The Public Theater in 2017, Black Light is described as "a spiritual revival for turbulent times. Jomama Jones invites us to the Crossroads to contemplate what we must choose at this moment in our own lives, in our civic relationships, in our country, and our world."
New York Magazine wrote that "Jomama [moves us] to go from Black Light back out into daylight with our senses somehow both sharpened and softened: more able to hear others [and] more able to see ourselves."
Jones said of Jomama in a Rolling Stone interview: "I think of her, and I've described her very often, as an energy that I channel," and explained to Minnesota Public Radio that Jomama appeared to him as a fully formed being: "...she arrived in a way that was very different from the other kind of characters that I've performed or written...It was an energy that was very big, extremely clear, and distinct from me."
He has created three other original performance pieces for Jomama: An Evening with Jomama, Radiate, and Night Flowers. Jomama has also recorded five albums of original songs.
His other original performance works include Phantasmatron, Hera Bright, The Book of Daniel, Bel Canto, Earthbirths, Clayangels, Duat, An Integrator's Manual, and Bright Now Beyond. He is a former core writer of the Playwrights' Center and was a resident playwright with New Dramatists. Jones has written essays and conducted artist interviews for HowlRound Theatre Commons, and is working on a book of creative nonfiction titled WAVES (A Manual for Bearing Light), which "chronicles his journey through a series of powerful lessons learned from pivotal mentors, places, and moments in time."
In 2000, Jones received the inaugural grant from Creative Capital which "supports innovative and adventurous artists through funding, counsel, and career development services." In 2005 he received the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts, "given annually to five risk-taking, mid-career artists [who are] respected for their creativity, ingenuity, and bodies of work."
As an associate professor of theater at Fordham University, Jones teaches playwriting, solo performance, and theater history. At Vassar College, he did undergraduate work in Africana Studies with a focus on literature and the arts, and went on to Brown University for graduate theater study.
The DeVoy Perspectives on Theatre Series, a program made possible by a gift from the DeVoy family, annually brings professionals and creative forces in theater and the performing arts to Boston College, to share their experience and vision.