JAG Productions Shines Spotlight On Black Male Playwrights In 2nd Annual JAGfest
JAG Productions announces the second annual JAGfest, a weekend performing arts festival of new works all celebrating the talents of African-American Playwrights and performing artists.
Presented February 9 - 11 at Briggs Opera House in White River Junction, VT. The weekend-long festival of rehearsed staged play readings celebrates and explores diverse, new voices in American theater. JAGFest 2.0 will include four staged readings over the course of three days, each featuring a post-show conversation with the artists and moderated by Dartmouth scholars.
Founder & Producing Artistic Director Jarvis Green says "I am beyond excited to lift Black voices in the American theater by having JAGfest serve as an incubator for new works that are written, directed, and performed by Black theatre artists. Introducing residents and visitors of the Upper Valley to the newest voices in American theatre with a festival that brings attention to the Black experience in America, in my opinion, is very necessary. Our company sees itself as playing a key role in bringing diverse actors and stories to the stage and to the Upper Valley, one of the most racially homogeneous regions of the United States, via powerful art that are artfully staged." Readings are as follows:
Esai's Table by Nathan Yungerberg, Friday, February 9, 7:30PM
Directed by Kimille Howard
Synopsis: Esai's Table follows the journey of three young black men on a mythical night sea journey atop a magical old table. Through artistic expression and personal revelations, we learn why they've been chosen to navigate this journey. Destiny meets eternity in this story of friendship, family, and love.
The Hole by Zhailon Levingston, Saturday, February 10, 4:30PM
Directed by Rod Gailes OBC
Synopsis: A riff on Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Hole explores the relationship and personal struggles of two inmates in solitary confinement.
Untitled by Korde Arrington Tuttle, Saturday, February 10, 7:30PM
Directed by Stevie Walker-Webb
Synopsis: Korde Arrington Tuttle's currently untitled play is an ensemble-driven investigation of the relationship between space exploration and the Middle Passage, of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Inspired by the Joint Stock Method, where work is generated by a non-hierarchically organized company, Korde and director, Stevie Walker-Webb, have organized a series of workshops. In the time between the winter workshops and the company's residency, in Vermont, the playwright has taken time to construct a story, and generate a brand new play. Korde is thrilled that JAGFest will be the very first public presentation of this new, company-based experiment.
Re:Definition by NSangou Njikam, Sunday, February 11, 4:00PM
Directed by: Dennis A. Allen II.
Synopsis: After feeling like an outsider during the West Indian Day Parade, Glenn is determined to find his cultural roots. When he receives the results of an African Ancestry DNA test, he feels he must now become "a for real African." But how? Soon, we follow him on an Ancestral journey has he attempts to discover what it takes to truly connect to your roots. Using Hip Hop Theatre and West African performance conventions, NSangou Njikam explores what it means to define yourself for yourself...and what self-definition actually costs. Can Glenn be a "for real African" or will he always be "just Black"?
Admission is $15 per performance, or $50 for a weekend pass that includes access to all presentations! For more information and to buy tickets, go to https://www.jagproductionsvt.com/jagfest2
Nathan Yungerberg is a Brooklyn-based playwright. His plays include Esai's Table, The Son of Dawn, Pousada Azul, Orchids and Polka Dots, Golden Gate, Brush Strokes and Isosceles. Nathan's work has been developed or featured by The Cherry Lane Theatre (2017 Mentor Project with Stephen Adly Guirgis), The Playwrights' Center, Crowded Fire Theater, The Brooklyn Museum, The Nuyorican Poets Café , The Lorraine Hansberry Theater, Brava Theater, The Lark, The Fire This Time Festival, 48 Hours in Harlem, The National Black Theatre, The Hansberry Project, The National Black Theatre Festival, The Classical Theatre of Harlem, Blackboard Reading Series, T. Schreiber Studio, The Dramatist Guild, Flashpoint Theater, The August Wilson Red Door Project, New Venture Theater, The Brooklyn Generator, Multistages theater and BBC Radio Afternoon Drama. Nathan is one of seven black playwrights commissioned by The New Black Fest for HANDS UP: 7 Playwrights, 7 Testaments. Awards and honors: The 2016 O'Neill National Playwrights Conference (Semifinalist), Ken Davenport 10-Minute Play Festival (Winner), 11th Annual InspiraTO Festival (Finalist), and the Blue Ink Playwriting Award (Semifinalist).
Zhailon Levingston is a performing artist, writer and producer living in New York City. He received his BFA in Musical Theatre from AMDA college in Los Angeles where he co- wrote and produced the musical 16 Bars. Zhailon made his professional stage debut in the Los Angeles premier of The Christians (pastor Joshua u/s) at the Mark Taper Forum. He made his NY stage debut in the 2016 New York Musical Theatre Festival performance of Illa: a Hip Hop Musical. After the death of Alton Sterling and Philando Castille, Zhailon started an arts and activism campaign called Words on White. It's journey can be followed on his website, Youngamazingsouls.com, an online space for millennials he started this year. Zhailon can be seen in the Warby Parker ad campaign A Thousand Pieces of Candy and the independent film, The Stand.
Korde Arrington Tuttle is a multi-disciplinary artist from Charlotte, NC. Recent work includes: graveyard shift (Ojai Playwrights Conference, Roundabout Underground's Reading Series); clarity (Obie Award-winning The Fire This Time Festival, Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Festival winner); the downside of being a fish, presented at The New School's AfroFuturism Conference 2015 and The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, in collaboration with THE TENTH ZINE; and assembly (Harlem9's 6th Annual 48 Hours... in Harlem). Korde is a Middle Voice Theatre Company member at Rattlestick Playwright's Theater, and is a resident artist at Ars Nova and Lincoln Center Theatre. He received his MFA in Playwriting at The New School.
NSangou Njikam is an actor and playwright originally from Baltimore, MD. He is the author of Syncing Ink, Re:Definition, I.D., When We Left, Search For The Crystal Stairs, and one of the authors of Hands Up: 6 Plays, 6 Testimonials. His work has been developed by The Public Theater, Penn State University, The Flea Theater, Hip Hop Theatre Festival, UNIVERSES theatre company, New Black Fest, and The Alley Theatre. Mr. Njikam's play I.D. recently made its world premiere at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, South Africa before coming to the U.S. at Penn State Centre Stage. His playwriting residencies and fellowships include 2015 Emerging Writers Group at The Public Theater, 2013 New Black Fest fellow, and Penn State University commissioned playwright. As an arts educator, Mr. Njikam has worked for Brooklyn Academy Of Music, CUNY Creative Arts Team, Harlem School of the Arts, and is co-founder of The Continuum Project, Inc., an organization using African Ancestry DNA testing and the Arts to promote healing and empowerment for communities. Mr. Njikam's work focuses mainly on Identity stories and the empowerment of the human spirit by recognizing and embracing one's personal gifts, utilizing Hip Hop theatre, poetry, and West African performance aesthetics. He also aims to develop new, diverse and younger audiences by creating "theatre of the now and for tomorrow." He received his BFA in acting from Howard University. After tracing his roots to the Tikar people in Cameroon, West Africa, he was named NSangou by Sultan Ibrahim MBombo Njoya, 19th king of the Bamoun kingdom in Cameroon. He currently resides in New York.