JAG Productions and King Arthur Baking Company Partner to Create Theatre On The Hill
(Norwich, VT) – 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 will go on sale Wednesday July 21 at 12:00 P.M. Learn more and book your tickets early at the series website.
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, will feature a workshop production of a curious thing; or superheroes k’aint fly by Jeremy O’Brian. About:
A 90-minute queer romance about parenthood and death. Virgo and Aries have just passed the newlywed stage when they start to reconsider their plans to become parents. As they ask the hard question, they uncover deep-seated fears. a curious thing; or superheroes k’ain’t fly is an electric and boldly touching play exploring the universal question of parenthood in a world laden with danger.
This will be followed by back-to-back weekend performances of Next to Normal in concert, with book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt. This partially staged concertstyle performance will take the stage August 20–22 and August 27–29. About:
Winner of three 2009 Tony Awards, including Best Musical Score and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize, Next to Normal is an unflinching look at a family struggling with the effects of mental illness. Exploring how one suburban household copes with mental health and crisis, Next to Normal was also chosen as “one of the year’s ten best shows” by critics around the country, including The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone and The New York Times.
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.
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 everso 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?
• August 13–15 — a curious thing; or superheroes k’aint fly by Jeremy O’Brian
• August 20–22 and 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
• Tickets on sale Wednesday July 21 at 12:00 P.M.
• Tickets will be available 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, VT 05055
• The King Arthur Baking courtyard will open at 6:30pm 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.