Meet JAG Productions’ New Managing Director, Jason Schumacher
JAGfest 6.0 on stage this weekend, May 13-15
JAG Productions is sailing into JAGfest 6.0, its festival of new works, with a brand new Managing Director, Jason Schumacher. Jason and family relocated to the Upper Valley in 2020, and he was recently hired as a member of JAG’s leadership team. I caught up with him to see what is keeping him busy and what lies ahead for JAG.
Besides answering questions for Artful, what will you be doing as a Managing Director? What comes across your desk/screen in a typical day?
As managing director of a relatively small theatre company, my daily workload can be quite varied. In a single day I might work on our annual budget, develop production calendars for our next season, meet with a donor, review marketing copy for JAGfest, and pick up a couch for our green room.
Do you see a next big step for JAG Productions, and if so, what is it?
JAG is at a real inflection point in its growth, I believe. We are establishing strong ties with New York City based theatre companies, considering when and how to bring on more staff, and shaping our upcoming season. These moves will all continue to support our mission of producing classic and contemporary Black work, incubating new work, and catalyzing compassion, empathy, love, and community through shared understanding of humankind through the lens of the Black experience.
Schumacher comes to JAG Productions having spent over a decade at ZFX Flying Effects, the world leader in performer flying effects. His credits: Wicked, Pippin, Cathy Rigby’s Peter Pan, and a host of other productions including Saturday Night Live. Which prompted me to ask:
Why flying? How did you end up becoming an expert on flying effects?
A significant part of my career has been in stunt work for theatre, film, and television, and my introduction to performer flying effects sprung from that. ZFX Flying Effects hired me at a point in my career when I was ready to take on the challenge of choreographing and rigging performer flying effects around the globe. I'm very grateful to have had the position of flying director - and later general manager - at ZFX and to have had the opportunity to work with so many different companies in such a variety of locations.
As for JAGfest 6.0, JAG Productions will return to the stage with in-person audiences at the Briggs Opera House, White River Junction, VT, May 13-15 with two new plays and a full musical. Tickets are $25 for a single ticket or $50 for a weekend pass. Tickets can be purchased at jagproductionsvt.com.
For the first time, this year’s lineup was chosen by a panel of theater professionals, and will feature the musical Chasing Grace by Elizabeth Addison, Padiddle by Kevin Renn, and Your Maximum Potential by travis tate. For more information on these three works, click here. The public is invited to join the three playwrights for a panel discussion on Tuesday, March 10 at 6:00 p.m. at the Hopkins Center’s Top of the Hop at Dartmouth College, Hanover NH. Here are the details.
(Photos courtesy of JAG Productions. Photo, top, by Rob Strong (cropped from original))
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Susan B. Apel shuttered a lifelong career as a law professor to continue an interest (since kindergarten) in writing. Her freelance business, The Next Word, includes literary and feature writing; her work has appeared in a variety of lit mags and other publications including Art New England, The Woven Tale Press, The Arts Fuse, and Persimmon Tree. She connects with her neighbors through Artful, her blog about arts and culture in the Upper Valley. She’s in love with the written word.