Arts, Dining & Entertainment

JAG Productions hosts its 5th annual JAG Juke Joint

Fundraiser gala features Southern soul and honorary guests, this Saturday

Saturday, Nov. 19—HARTFORD—JAG Productions presents a special Freedom edition of our annual fundraising night, and JAG is transforming the Cornerstone Community Center in Hartford into a “House of Black Dandyism,” so you’re invited to have fun with the fashion and get free in your dandyism attire with JAG.

This special evening will be hosted by none other than The Maine Attraction, better known as “The Triple Threat of Burlesque,” who’ll emcee a stellar line-up of performances. JAG invited some of their favorite artists and alums to present their musical stylings: a medley from the musicals “Ain’t Misbehavin” and ” Songs for a New World” starring JAG artists Darron Hayes (“Next to Normal”), Ines Nassara (“Theatre on the Hill” starring Britton & the Sting), and Jermaine Miles (“Urinetown” residency at New York Theatre Workshop); a tap number performed by Warren James with poetry by Audre Lorde and Langston Hughes recited by Donathan Walters; and an operatic rendition of “Sentimental Mood” by Duke Ellington sung by Tesia Kwarteng. Music direction by Elijah Caldwell (music director for “Next to Normal” at Theatre on the Hill, 2021).
There will be a live auction full of special items curated by JAG, to bid and directly support programming in the 2022/2023 season. Dinner will be provided by Jarvis’ mother, Peggy Ware, who will be serving authentic South Carolina soul food.

As the evening’s capstone, JAG Productions will be honoring Aleasha Harris for her achievements in playwriting, Kirya Traber for their success as a multihyphenate artist, Nathalie Batraville for their outstanding work as a community organizer and educator and Zhailon Levingston for his pioneering work as a director. These honorees are extended members of the JAG family, and each has made significant impacts on the American Theatre and the broader community this year.

Jarvis Green, JAG’s founder and producing artistic director, said: “The JAG Juke Joint is so important because it brings together JAG’s audiences, artists, board, staff, and our Upper Valley community. Everyone will get to connect and revel — and that’s an extraordinary gift. This celebration will be an affirmation of artistic belonging, and a recognition of JAG’s incredible achievements. So, you can say it’s a celebration of life! Because when we celebrate Black culture, we’re celebrating humanity. It’ll be an excellent opportunity to bask in our shared community, and to become part of JAG’s future.”

Ahead of Juke Joint, JAG reiterates its commitment to serve as an artistic sanctuary for Black creatives in the American Theatre, to catalyze compassion, empathy, love, and community through the lens of the Black experience.
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About JAG Productions
At the confluence of the White and Connecticut Rivers, which separate Abenaki land into the states of Vermont and New Hampshire, JAG has nurtured and sustained a multi-generational and multi-racial theatre company with Black artists and community organizers at its center.  JAG’s mission is to bring more compassion, empathy, and love into the world by telling stories that challenge hierarchies of race, gender, class, and sexuality. These stories are written and produced by and for Black, Brown, Queer, and Trans folx and the people that love them.  JAG strives to tell these crucial stories and provide an artistic sanctuary for creatives seeking rejuvenation, time for reflection, and a space in nature to develop art that will change the world.  Since its founding, JAG has curated, produced, and directed contemporary and classical Black theatre to engage and sustain individual and collective transformations that unsettle hierarchies of race, gender, and sexuality.  JAG’s primary programming includes: JAGfest, an annual new playwrights’ festival; Theatre on the Hill, five weekends of workshops, concerts, burlesque, and staged readings hosted on the gorgeously picturesque lawn at King Arthur Baking Company in Norwich; and the JAG Musical Theatre Lab, a multi-year lab that offers audiences a new vision of American musical theater storytelling.

Today, JAG Productions offers productions five months out of the year, bringing in nearly 5,000 people each season 5 minutes from Dartmouth College.

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