On February 10, 2021

JAGfest 5.0 explores love stories

Friday, Feb. 12—WHITE RIVER JUNCTION— Every winter JAG Productions invites 30-50 artists to the snowy mountains of Vermont to develop full-length plays at their new works festival of Black Theatre, JAGfest. They put up five companies of early-career theatre-makers in cozy dwellings for one week to support the development of audacious and alluring works that illuminate Black life and Black aesthetics.

In its fifth year, when gathering safely isn’t possible, JAG has decided to produce a festival of short radio plays dealing with the matter of Love Stories. Producing Artistic Director Jarvis Green and co-producer, Raven Cassell say that the critical attention to pleasure, intimacy and healing is timely —urgent, even— as isolation, loneliness and violence have been the global motif. “We are showing up to our fight armored in tenderness and passion, firing off with the gentility of a kiss,” declared Green. Cassell imagines that “without the landscape of the stage, we have the opportunity to isolate language and indulge in the poetry and potency of the text.”

The two producing partners have hand-picked a keen roster of writers to draw up the blueprint for these love plays. This year JAGfest 5.0 will feature the work of playwrights Jeremy O’Brian, Loy A. Webb, Raven Cassell, Azure D. Osborne-Lee and Shemika Wardlaw. These writers have been paired with a bold and astute roster of directors featuring Jonathan McCrory, Kimille Haward, Zhailon Levingston, Jarvis Green, Kirya Traber and NJ Agwuna. The pool of performers includes David Glover, Renée Harrison, Michael Oloyede, Nadia Pillay, Raven Cassell, Justin Sams, Avon Haughton, Jarvis Green, Shemika Wardlaw, Rad Pereira, Tigist Helen Schmidt, Yohana Zecarias.

The first virtual event will be on Feb. 12. To purchase tickets, and to learn more, visit:  jagproductionsvt.com/jagfest-5-0.

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