Arts, Dining & Entertainment

JAGFest explores race and heritage in weeklong festival

Feb. 24-27—JAG Productions is pleased to announce JAGFest, an annual festival that showcases and celebrates new plays by emerging playwrights of color. Presented Feb. 24-27 at various venues in Woodstock and Pomfret, the weekend-long festival of play readings and lectures celebrates and explores diverse, new voices in American theater. JAGFest will include four staged readings over the course of four days, each featuring a post-show conversation with the playwrights, actors, and directors. Producing Artistic Director Jarvis Green said “I am beyond excited to add diversity to the cultural abundance of Woodstock and the Upper Valley with JAGFest. Introducing residents and visitors to the newest voices in theater with a festival that reflects the beautiful complex diversity of our world while bringing attention to the black experience in theatre is absolutely thrilling. The festival harmonizes with our dedication to gathering and engaging a community of artists, teachers, friends and activists with bold new stories that reflect our world.”
Readings are as follows:
“Sweet” by Harrison Rivers, Friday, Feb. 24, 7:30 p.m. at  ArtisTree Community Arts Center, 2095 Pomfret Road, South Pomfret
“Smart People” by Lydia Diamond, Saturday, Feb. 25, 7:30 p.m. at Norman Williams Public Library, 10 The Green, Woodstock
Show no. 3 TBA, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2 p.m. at ArtisTree Community Arts Center
“Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical,” book byMelvin Tunstall III; music by Greg Borowsky and Douglas Lyons; lyrics by Douglas Lyons, Monday, Feb. 27, 10 a.m. at Woodstock Town Hall Theatre, 31 The Green, Woodstock
Admission is free to the readings, but reservations are required at 802-332-3270 or [email protected]
Accompanying the staged readings are hour-long lectures starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 25 at Norman Williams Public Library in Woodstock No tickets are required for lectures and the speakers and schedule is as follows:
Andrew Shade, editor and founder of “Broadway Black,” 10 a.m. at Norman Williams Public Library: “Broadway Black” is dedicated to highlighting the achievements and successes of African-American theatre artists on and off the Broadway stage.
Taylor Reynolds, producing artistic leader of the Movement Theatre Company, 11 a.m. at Norman Williams Public Library: The Movement Theatre Company creates an artistic social movement by developing and producing new work by artists of color. Its work engages audiences in a rich theatrical dialogue, enlightens communities to the important issues affecting the world, and empowers artists to celebrate the many sides of their unique voice.
Panel discussion featuring the cast of “Sweet” and “Smart People,” 2 p.m. at Norman Williams Public Library: The casts will discuss diversity in the American theater.
On Saturday, Feb. 25, a fundraiser luncheon with the artists of JAGFest will be held at noon at St. James Episcopal Church, 2 St. James Place, Woodstock. Tickets are $50 per person, cash or check at the door. All proceeds go towards JAGFest 2018.
JAG Productions’ mission is to produce bold theater that reflects the times. The company’s goal is for the community to come to the theater to hear new stories and leave inspired. The company aims for its patrons to move through the world with more love, greater kindness, and greater compassion for one another after seeing a production. For more info, visit jagproductionsvt.com.

Photo courtesy of JAG Productions

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