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Saturday, September 18, 2021

JAG Productions and King Arthur Baking Company partner to create Theatre on the Hill

NORWICH — After a 17-month hiatus from live performances, JAG Productions returns to the stage outdoors with the Theatre on the Hill summer series, hosted by King Arthur Baking Company, running August 13–September 12.

Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening over the course of five weekends, JAG Productions will offer live theatrical productions including workshops, concerts, burlesques, and staged readings that illuminate Black life and Black aesthetics.

All shows will be performed from the picturesque grassy hill at King Arthur Baking Company on Route 5 in Norwich, Vermont. Local food and beverages will be available starting at 6:30 P.M. each night of the series, including Upper Valley food trucks like Munchie Rollz, Griddle and Groovy, and more.

Performances will begin at 8:00 P.M. Tickets are $25 and are on sale now. Learn more and book your tickets early at the series website: https://www.jagproductionsvt.com/theatre-on-a-hill

Born out of JAG Productions’ mission to catalyze compassion, empathy, love, and understanding through the lens of the African-American experience, as well as King Arthur Baking Company’s commitment to become more effective partners to those experiencing injustice and marginalization, Theatre on the Hill will showcase how powerful it can be to celebrate performance art and advocate for a more just, healthier, well-rounded community.

Jarvis Green, JAG’s Founder & Producing Artistic Director, is in his fifth year of bringing exciting and impactful Black queer and trans theatre to our region. Jarvis says, “We cannot wait to join together again this summer – in person – for this thrilling offering of performances, along with locally-focused food and drinks, beheld in a gorgeous natural setting. That is the transformative experience that we are calling Theatre on the Hill.”

Regarding Theatre on the Hill’s pursuit of greater human understanding through art, King Arthur Baking Company’s Vice President of CSR and Sustainability Suzanne McDowell says, “Food and art are inextricably connected, and both are integral facets of life, place, and community. The idea of Theatre on the Hill stemmed from this connection, and the potential for King Arthur Baking to offer a vibrant, living space for JAG’s work. As bakers, it’s important for us to embrace culture and connection, and to offer a broader range of voices and expertise – this is core to our work towards diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

JAG Productions and King Arthur Baking Company are excited to welcome and host many New York City guest artists here in the Upper Valley.

The first weekend, August 13–15, the theatre featured a workshop production of a curious thing; or superheroes k’aint fly by Jeremy O’Brian.

Theatre on the Hill will next feature Life in Sepia: Vermont’s Black Burlesque Revue, running Labor Day Weekend, September 3–5.

Burlesque is a symphony of theatre, comedy and striptease, and has been celebrated in true Vaudeville fashion since the late 19th century. Black performers, referred to as “sepia” dancers were touring, shaking, and setting the standard, but their stories are often erased or hidden by society. Today’s Black ecdysiasts are changing the narrative, by reclaiming their space on stage and in history — by documenting their legacy.

Life in Sepia is a revival of burlesque through the decades, showing the imprint of Black excellence throughout the history of this underappreciated art form. Featuring a diverse revue of performances by The Maine Attraction, Perle Noire, Poison Ivory, Gigi Holliday, Genie Adagio, Vera Safire, Golden Mystique, Hi Ho Silver, and Domini’que Anjou. The Femmecee of the evening will be Liza Colby.

Photo by Lars Blackmore.

JAG Productions will close Theatre on the Hill on September 10–12 with a staged reading of For the Love of Jazz by Raven Cassell, who has been an essential part of JAGfest 2.0, JAGfest 5.0 Radio Plays, and the Black Joy Project. About:

Set in NYC late 1920s–30s, this Jazzical sits with a brilliant woman who chooses to, in fact, put her career first and have total control of her fluid sexuality. That woman is ever-so familiar now, but this play looks at her nearly 100 years ago, with the backdrop of the Harlem Renaissance. It asks, what does it mean for a woman to hold power and still navigate love?

Event schedule:

August 13–15 — a curious thing; or superheroes k’aint fly by Jeremy O’Brian

August 27–29 — Next to Normal in concert, with book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt

September 3–5 — Life in Sepia: Vermont’s Black Burlesque Revue

September 10–12 — For the Love of Jazz by Raven Cassell

Event details:

Tickets on sale at: https://www.jagproductionsvt.com/theatre-on-a-hill

Performances take place at King Arthur Baking Company, at 135 U.S. 5 South, in Norwich.

The King Arthur Baking courtyard will open at 6:30 pm each evening of the festival and will feature local food and beverages including food trucks and more

All performances begin at 8:00 P.M.


ABOUT JAG PRODUCTIONS

Founded in 2016, JAG Productions was formed by Producing Artistic Director Jarvis Antonio Green with the mission to produce classic and contemporary African-American theatre; to serve as an incubator of new work that excites broad intellectual engagement; and thereby, to catalyze compassion, empathy, love, and community through shared understandings of the humankind through the lens of the African-American experience. JAG Productions sees itself as playing a role in bringing diverse actors and stories to the stage and to the Upper Valley. JAG Productions is one of the nation’s leading incubators of new works by Black playwrights and in its inaugural year won the New England Theatre Conference’s (NETC) Regional Award for Outstanding Achievement in the American Theatre. In 2017, the company launched JAGfest, an annual festival of new works celebrating the talents of African-American playwrights, which has already launched an Off-Broadway production. https://www.jagproductionsvt.com

ABOUT KING ARTHUR BAKING COMPANY

King Arthur Baking Company has been sharing the joy of baking since 1790. A certified B Corp headquartered in Vermont, King Arthur is the ultimate baking resource, providing the highest quality ingredients for the most delicious baked goods. As a 100% employee-owned company, we believe in the power of baking to make a difference for our employee-owners, the larger baking community, and the planet. We strive to be a force for good in all that we do – from cultivating a workplace that embraces differences and prioritizes trust to teaching children across the country how to bake bread from scratch to partnering with farmers and suppliers who share our vision for a greener planet.

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