Vermont Made Episode 1: Black Theatre in King Arthur’s Courtyard with JAG Productions
“There’s a deepening that happens when people share meals together. In those moments of sharing food, you kind of blur the lines of race and gender because everybody needs nourishment.” —Jarvis Green
In this episode of Vermont Made, Jarvis Green shares how JAG Productions partnered with King Arthur Baking Company to revive live theater after a year of Covid closures with five weekends of Black theater presented outdoors on the King Arthur campus in Norwich.
“I’m in love with Vermont, and I’m grateful that after this year and a half of isolation we’re coming back together to celebrate community, to celebrate each other, to celebrate our commitment to each other’s work and rooting it in what’s really important, like a shared human connection, and reminding us of what this year and a half has been politically, socially, while still basking in the glory of art-making and food.”
From the JAG Productions website:
Jarvis Antonio Green is the Founding Artistic Director of JAG Productions, a Vermont and NYC based black theater company founded in 2016. He is the recipient of the New England Theatre Conference Regional Award for Outstanding Achievement in the American Theatre for his work with JAG in its inaugural year. Every year he produces five new plays, nurturing the work of five budding playwrights at JAGfest, one of the nation’s leading incubators of new works by Black playwrights. In 2020 he launched the Black Joy Project, a three-tiered project: a Black Theatre methodology, a play embodying the method and a documentary film capturing its inception. Jarvis was acknowledged by Native Son as a Black queer man who impacted the world in 2020 and sees himself playing a key role in bringing actors and stories from all over the diaspora to stages worldwide. He has a robust artistic resume having directed and performed in numerous professional productions all over the country. As an educator and scholar, he created a Black Theatre curriculum for Northwestern University, Notre Dame, and Northern Vermont University. Green is a New England Foundation for the Arts National Theatre Project Advisor and is a founding member of the Black Theatre Artist Council at the Roundabout Theatre Company in New York.
Founded in 2016, JAG Productions was formed by Producing Artistic Director Jarvis Antonio Green 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. JAG Productions sees itself as playing a role in bringing diverse actors and stories to the stage and to the Upper Valley. JAG Productions is one of the nation’s leading incubators of new works by Black playwrights and in its inaugural year won the New England Theatre Conference’s (NETC) Regional Award for Outstanding Achievement in the American Theatre. In 2017, the company launched JAGfest, an annual festival of new works celebrating the talents of African-American playwrights, which has already launched an Off-Broadway production.
Learn more about JAG Productions and Theatre on the Hill at jagproductionsvt.com.