After only one year since its inception, JAG Productions has been named the 2017 recipient of the New England Theatre Conference's Regional Award for Outstanding Achievement in the American Theatre. The NETC is a nonprofit organization that supports and recognizes excellence in theatre across New England.
Vermont's first black theater company is led by Producing Artistic Director Jarvis Antonio Green. He founded JAG Productions to bring the African-American experience to the stage in the Upper Valley and neighboring communities. In its inaugural 2016-17 season, JAG presented Tarell Alvin McCraney's Choir Boy, a coming of age story set in an elite prep school for young black men, and August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning Fences.
Scene from Choir Boy at the Briggs Opera House
JAG also produced Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical, a show inspired by Ruby Bridges, famous for her role in school desegregation in Little Rock, Arkansas during the 1960s civil rights movement. The company launched JAGFest, the first in a series of annual celebrations of the works of African-American playwrights, sponsored the screening of a film about playwright August Wilson, and held post-performance talkbacks with artists and other theater professionals. As part of JAG's outreach to the community, over 600 students attended its mainstage productions at no cost. Performance venues have included the Briggs Opera House in White River Junction and the Woodstock Town Hall Theater.
Jarvis Antonio Green celebrates at last weekend’s benefit reception at Piecemeal Pies in White River Junction VT
The NETC award comes in the middle of JAG's fundraising efforts as it looks to its second season. It exceeded its goal for the first stage of its campaign and is working on the second phase to raise an additional $45,000 by the end of the year. During this past weekend, Revolution, a hip clothing store in White River Junction, held its popular annual fashion show (featured photo, above) and donated its proceeds to JAG Productions. Its neighbor, Piecemeal Pies, was the site of a pre-show reception.
To learn more about JAG Productions, click here to read a profile about them that appeared recently on Boston's Arts Fuse and the DailyUV; to donate, visit their website at https://www.jagproductionsvt.com.
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Susan B. Apel, writer, ArtfulEdge