Presented February 9 – 11 at Briggs Opera House in White River Junction, VT. The weekend-long festival of rehearsed staged play readings celebrates and explores diverse, new voices in American theater. JAGfest 2.0 will include four staged readings over the course of three days, each featuring a post-show conversation with the artists and moderated by Dartmouth scholars.
Founder & Producing Artistic Director Jarvis Green says “I am beyond excited to amplify Black voices in the American theater by having JAGfest serve as an incubator for new works that are written, directed, and performed by Black theatre artists. Introducing residents and visitors of the Upper Valley to the newest voices in American theatre with a festival that brings attention to the Black experience in America, in my opinion, is very necessary. Our company sees itself as playing a key role in bringing diverse actors and stories to the stage and to the Upper Valley, one of the most racially homogeneous regions of the United States, via powerful creations that are artfully staged.” Readings are as follows:
Esai's Table by Nathan Yungerberg
Directed by Kimille Howard
Friday, February 9, 7:30PM
Esai's Table follows the journey of three young black men on a mythical night sea journey atop a magical old table. Through artistic expression and personal revelations, we learn why they've been chosen to navigate this journey. Destiny meets eternity in this story of friendship, family, and love.
The Hole by Zhailon Levingston
Directed by Rod Gailes OBC
Saturday, February 10, 4:00PM
A riff on Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Hole explores the relationship and personal struggles of two inmates in solitary confinement.
Untitled by Korde Arrington Tuttle
Directed by Stevie Walker-Webb
Saturday, February 10, 7:30PM
Korde Arrington Tuttle's currently untitled play is an ensemble-driven investigation of the relationship between space exploration and the Middle Passage, of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Inspired by the Joint Stock Method, where work is generated by a non-hierarchically organized company, Korde and director, Stevie Walker-Webb, have organized a series of workshops. In the time between the winter workshops and the company's residency, in Vermont, the playwright has taken time to construct a story, and generate a brand new play. Korde is thrilled that JAGFest will be the very first public presentation of this new, company-based experiment
Korde Arrington Tuttle is a multi-disciplinary artist from Charlotte, NC and one of five playwrights chosen for the New Writers in Residence Program at Lincoln Center Theater. Recent work includes: clarity (Obie Award-winning The Fire This Time Festival, Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Festival winner); the downside of being a fish, presented at The New School's AfroFuturism Conference 2015 and The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, in collaboration with THE TENTH ZINE; graveyard shift (The New School); who is burning black churches? (The 24-Hour Plays: Nationals, 2015); and assembly (Harlem9’s 6th Annual 48 Hours… in Harlem). Korde is a Middle Voice Theatre Company member at Rattlestick Playwright’s Theater, and is currently pursuing a MFA in Playwriting at The New School.
Nathan Yungerberg is a Brooklyn-based playwright. His plays include Esai’s Table, The Son of Dawn, Pousada Azul, Orchids and Polka Dots, Golden Gate, Brush Strokes and Isosceles. Nathan’s work has been developed or featured by The Cherry Lane Theatre (2017 Mentor Project with Stephen Adly Guirgis), The Playwrights’ Center, Crowded Fire Theater, The Brooklyn Museum, The Nuyorican Poets Café , The Lorraine Hansberry Theater, Brava Theater, The Lark, The Fire This Time Festival, 48 Hours in Harlem, The National Black Theatre, The Hansberry Project, The National Black Theatre Festival, The Classical Theatre of Harlem, Blackboard Reading Series, T. Schreiber Studio, The Dramatist Guild, Flashpoint Theater, The August Wilson Red Door Project, New Venture Theater, The Brooklyn Generator, Multistages theater and BBC Radio Afternoon Drama. Nathan is one of seven black playwrights commissioned by The New Black Fest for HANDS UP: 7 Playwrights, 7 Testaments. Awards and honors: The 2016 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference (Semifinalist), Ken Davenport 10-Minute Play Festival (Winner), 11th Annual InspiraTO Festival (Finalist), and the Blue Ink Playwriting Award (Semifinalist).
Zhailon Levingston is a performing artist, writer and producer living in New York City. He received his BFA in Musical Theatre from AMDA college in Los Angeles where he co- wrote and produced the musical "16 Bars". Zhailon made his professional stage debut in the Los Angeles premier of The Christians (pastor Joshua u/s) at the Mark Taper Forum. He made his NY stage debut in the 2016 New York Musical Theatre Festival performance of Illa: a Hip Hop Musical. After the death of Alton Sterling and Philando Castille, Zhailon started an arts and activism campaign called "Words on White". It's journey can be followed on his website, Youngamazingsouls.com, an online space for millennials he started this year. Zhailon can be seen in the Warby Parker ad campaign "A Thousand Pieces of Candy" and the independent film, The Stand.
Dr. Monica White Ndounou is an Associate Professor of Theater and the 2017-2018 Sony Music Fellow at Dartmouth College. She is the President of the Black Theatre Association (BTA), a focus group of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) and the founder of the Pay-It-Forward All-Career Level Mentorship Program. Her interdisciplinary research projects span a broad range of topics. Dr. Ndounou’s award-winning book, Shaping the Future of African American Film: Color-coded Economics and the Story Behind the Numbers (Rutgers University Press, 2014), received the 2016 Distinction Honor from the Southern Conference on African American Studies, Inc. (SCAASI). The project identifies the intersection of race, culture and economics as the critical site for determining the future of African American film according to narrative, production, marketing and distribution patterns of nearly 2,000 original films and cinematic adaptations featuring African Americans since 1980.
Professor Ndounou is currently working on several projects including but not limited to a book, documentary film and digital archive exploring black American contributions to developing acting theories and practices. Recognizing the significance of the symbiotic relationship between black performers and audiences, the project examines the role of double consciousness and various black perspectives and experiences, as well as cultural traditions in training, performance and behind the scenes. Dr. Ndounou is working with various organizations to spearhead the charge for an overhaul of theatre training programs throughout the United States and abroad in an effort to ensure theatre training curricula more accurately reflects the demographics of the nation and the larger world.
Nathalie Batraville is Postdoctoral Fellow in the Society of Fellows at Dartmouth whose main objects of inquiry are literature and history, with a focus on anticolonialism, Black feminist and queer theory, and cultural formations of the Black Atlantic. Since completing her PhD in French at Yale University in May 2016, she has begun a new project that seeks to situate and theorize Black feminist writing and politics in the Caribbean, France, and Quebec. She is also working on a monograph that conceptualizes liberation and revolution beyond independence, by taking Haiti – the “longest neocolonial experiment in the history of the West” (Michel-Rolph Trouillot) – as a point of departure. The book builds on the critical lens and the lucidity of poets and novelists who were active in Haiti during François Duvalier’s dictatorship (1957-1971), particularly Marie Vieux-Chauvet, Davertige, Francis Séjour-Magloire, and Jacqueline Beaugé.
Batraville’s scholarship has appeared in The CLR James Journal (Special issue: Black Canadian Thought) and Francophone Postcolonial Studies, and is forthcoming in Small Axe and Tangeance. As part of her commitment to public humanities and liberatory pedagogies, she has designed this year a series of workshops called Project X that supports Black collective action at Dartmouth and in the Upper Valley.
Chanté Mouton Kinyon is currently a lecturer at Dartmouth College. In November 2017 she received a PhD in English from National University of Ireland, Galway. Her work, which explores the transnational aspect of the Irish Renaissance and of Harlem Renaissance era writers, takes the necessary steps to investigate the international aspects of early twentieth century African American writers. By providing a comparative analysis of Irish and African American cultural productions, particularly Irish and African American literature and theatre, Kinyon’s work contributes to a scholarly understanding of the social construction of race. Originally from San Francisco, CA, Kinyon worked in publishing after college for two of San Francisco's most iconic publishers: City Lights Books and Chronicle Books.
Eng-Beng Lim is Associate Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and author of Brown Boys and Rice Queens: Spellbinding Performance in the Asias (NYU, 2014). The book was recognized with two national awards, one by CLAGS (Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, CUNY Grad Center), and the other AAAS (Association of Asian American Studies). His fields of study are performance and cultural studies, Asian/American studies, postcolonial/diaspora studies and queer/transnational studies. He is currently working on a book project about megastructure and performance, and another on the visual cultures of "ethnocuties." He is part of the Social Text editorial collective, MLA division for Drama and Performance, the International Standing Review Board of Hong Kong's Research Grant Council, among other professional appointments. At Dartmouth, he is part of the Steering Committees of GRID (Gender Research Institute at Dartmouth) and the Women's and Gender Studies Program.