Open House For New Artistic Leadership In New England Welcomes Jarvis Green
On June 10, StageSource will hold an open house to welcome Jarvis Green, Monica Ndounou, Harold Steward and other individuals to celebrate and draw focus to the shift in artistic leadership in New England and changing face of New England Theatre.
Located in Boston, MA - StageSource provides leadership and services to advance the art of theater in the Greater Boston and New England region. The mission of the organization is to unite theater artists, theater companies, and related organizations in vision and goals that inspire and empower our community to realize its greatest artistic potential.
Green is the Founder of JAG Productions and has served as its Producing Artistic Director since 2015. JAG was formed with the mission to produce classic and contemporary African-American theatre; to serve as an incubator of new work that excites broad intellectual engagement; and thereby, to catalyze compassion, empathy, love, and community through shared understandings of the humankind through the lens of the African-American experience. With a home base in White River Junction - at the confluence of the White and Connecticut Rivers, which separate Abenaki land into the majority white states of Vermont and New Hampshire - JAG Productions nurtures and sustains a multi-generational and multi-racial theatre company with Black artists and community organizers at its center.
The theatre company recently closed its third season with JAGfest 3.0, an annual festival of new works celebrating the talents of African-American Playwrights. The weeklong festival of workshops and events hosted 30 artists, 4 playwrights, and saw 800 attendees during the four sold out readings.
During JAGfest 2.0 in 2018, the company cultivated Nathan Yungerberg's play Esai's Table; a dream was then born to produce the world premiere of this play in the Upper Valley for the community that nurtured and supported its development. October 2019 will see the fruition of that dream as JAG presents the world premiere of Esai's Table at the Briggs Opera House in White River Junction, VT. The play will subsequently transfer Off-Broadway to the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York City. Esai's Table marks a pivotal moment for JAG as it's first world premiere, first Off-Broadway transfer, and first co-production. Says Green of the project, "This is a particularly exciting moment for the company and our community. I'm so proud to bring this important play and JAG's mission first to our community and then to the world through this collaboration with Nathan and Cherry Lane."
JAG's 2018-19 season saw other notable firsts including selecting and introducing its founding Board of Directors led by Co-chairs Brian Cook and Jacqueline Fischer. In October, the company launched its inaugural benefit dinner party JAG Juke Joint, which included live performances from nationally recognized black theater artists and southern home cooking. The event was sold-out with 200 attendees and raised more than $20,000. In January 2019, JAG's production of Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill was selected by Capital Jazz to be featured during its 12th Annual SuperCruise, a full-ship African-American Jazz music festival at sea. JAG's was the only theatrical production selected to perform during the 8-day festival that featured noted Jazz performers such as Sheila E., Take 6, and Babyface Nelson. The festival was host to 4000 attendees and departed in January 2019 from Florida, visiting Haiti, Honduras, Belize, and Mexico.
Beyond theatrical productions and events, JAG works to bring its mission and values to the public through outreach programs such as a free student matinee program, educational support materials, and guest speaking engagements. Jarvis Green recently was the keynote speaker at Lebanon High School's first Martin Luther King Day celebration. JAG provides classroom packets for teachers to engage students in conversations about race in their communities. JAG also partners with Dartmouth College, White River Indie Festival, and other area organizations to bring artists for workshops and public panel discussions with topics as varied as the limitations and possibilities of curating Black experiences in white institutions in spite of the white supremacist power structures with which Black artists have to contend, reflecting on the afterlives and the legacies of the transatlantic slave trade through the lens of Black theatre artists and Black queer and feminist artists, and Aretha Franklin's legacy and her pursuit and love of opera.
The artistic leaders include Jarvis Green of JAG Productions, Michael Bobbitt of New Repertory Theatre, Chris Edwards of Actors Shakespeare, Maurice Parent of the Front Porch, Lyndsay Allyn Cox of Boston Center for the Arts, Farai Williams of Hibernian Hall, and Monica White Ndounou of the Craft Institute.