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  • INDEPENDENT THEATRE

    MY FIRST LADY ​

  • Jason Jacobs | TEACHING PHILOSOPHY

    PUBLICATIONS MY MISSION in teaching is to stimulate, challenge, and support students to realize their potential as artists, citizens, and humans. Their minds and hearts are the most critical resources we have, and I pursue the following approaches to foster their growth: TO EMPOWER STUDENTS to recognize their potency as artists and citizens, I ask questions about leadership, citizenship, and the impact of their work. Whether in public high schools or private universities, I encourage young people to engage with the wider world and recognize the importance of cultivating their voices. I promote critical thinking, facilitate brave conversations about equality and diversity, and spotlight the many ways theatre can promote social justice. My experience of coming out before LGBT people had mainstream acceptance forged my connection to anyone facing oppression and my commitment to oppose racism, I bring these values to everything I do as an educator and an artist. TO FOSTER OWNERSHIP of their artistic process and dedication to their collaborators and audience, I approach teaching as an exchange between creative artists. I believe we all bring unique ideas and experience into the room, and I value the growth that emerges from respectful exchanges. I create a safe working space where each student’s creative ideas are valued and welcomed. My approach to collaboration comes from training with Anne Bogart and Tina Landau; I use the Viewpoints work to build ensemble, heighten awareness to the present moment, and establish a working vocabulary for any project. I lead students through composition processes that challenge them to create the theatrical worlds for each project. TO NURTURE ARTISTRY and foster discipline and skills, I engage students in challenging projects which also stimulate my own growth as an artist. Whether through full productions or classroom activities/project-based learning, I create experiences for active learning. I ask a lot of questions, build trust, and encourage risk-taking. I strive to attend to each student's personal objectives: whether honing in on specific skills, habits, or approaches to the process. I hold students to high standards in their written work and research, and maintain accountability for deadlines and responsibilities to partners, groups, and themselves. TO BUILD KNOWLEDGE both analytical historical, I ask students to conduct research and explore the background of plays, playwrights, and theatrical movements. I create assignments to activate academic research and apply it in real-world contexts. I love the classics and approach them as living texts that invite interpretation and adaptation. I believe that students will be empowered by a solid grasp of dramatic literature, and an understanding of how social, economic, and political forces influence theatre and theatre-makers. TO ENCOURAGE INTROSPECTION about themselves and their work, I ask students the same questions I ask myself and my collaborators when approaching a project: Why have I chosen this project? Why do I need to work on this play? What is my point of view? What do I want to say? Who is my audience and how do I want to impact them? By guiding students to connect to their own purpose and explore the essence of their creativity, I urge them to make choices that align with their own values and beliefs. TEACHING PHILOSOPHY

  • Screenoing-Home | Jason Jacobs

    A Story-Telling Exercise: the kids are improvising a story, each picking up the details from the previous person. It was shot and edited by Rob Tate.

  • Jason Jacobs | INDEPENDENT THEATRE

    INDEPENDENT THEATRE Some of my favorite projects in New York's indie theatre spaces Koteles and Jacobs, who also brought the award-winning comedy Bald Diva! The Ionesco Parody Your Mother Warned You About to the very first Fresh Fruit Festival 10 years ago, are returning with another Ionesco-inspired play. Broadway.com ​ WINNER! Best Direction, Fresh Fruit Festival 2013 AFTER THE CHAIRS Inspired by the Eugene Ionesco absurdist tale, David Koteles' After the Chairs tells the story of two men, Marc and Richard, alone in a quiet hospital room waiting for what happens next. A visit from friends? The telling of stories? Results from a doctor? A big performance? End of life as they know it? It is a play about family, marriage in sickness and in health, death, drag, drugs and (like the Ionesco play) many, many, many chairs. GALLERY: WATCH JASON'S ACCEPTANCE SPEECH by David Koteles Fresh Fruit Festival ​ ​ Jacobs believes the choice of first-person perspective gives the audience an immediate point of entry. It's "that very human, individual response" missing from statistics-heavy news stories." Seven Days THE BOYCOTT Inspired by the ancient anti-war comedy Lysistrata, actor-activist Kathryn Blume plays Kathryn Blume, a woman trying to fight global warming and save the world — by writing a screenplay about the First Lady of the United States launching a national sex strike to fight global warming and save the world. Aided by her impassioned daughter, a high tech Secret Service agent, and a plucky Brazilian tree frog she meets on the Astral Plane, Lyssa bumps and lurches her way into an unexpected, wildly comic, and ultimately successful campaign. GALLERY by Kathryn Blume Arclight Theatre An evening of Jewishly inflected, queer songs brings Weimar Germany back to life with humor and music." Tablet a beautifully realized evocation of a club in Germany in the ‘30s ... a thrilling reminder of the power and strength of cabaret at its best.” NitelifeExchange.com Out of this minimal landscape, director Jason Jacobs creates a vibrant, small-scale panorama with his precise staging. Lawrence glides around, often stands still totally, but remains mesmerizing due to Jacobs’ command of visual technique." TheatreScene.net LAVENDER SONGS 2008 Bistro Award Winner! Originally produced in 2008 and revised in 2016 in response to the Trump ascendency, this cabaret theatre piece had an extended run at Pangea. Featuring songs originally written and performed by queer aertists in Weimar-era Berlin (with new English lyrics by Jeremy), the piece was based on an evening created by Alan Lareau for the U.S. Holocaust Museum om Washington DC. GALLERY by Jeremy Lawrence Pangea As the story quickly moves from situation to situation, cleverly staged by Jason Jacobs on a minimalistic set ... (Sheinmel) begins to discover the meaning behind initially irrelevant occurrences and that life is full of unexpected." Theatre Is Easy ​ The antidote to the surfeit of soulless synthetic musical comedies on Broadway awaits you at The Club at La MaMa, in the form of Post Modern Living, a musical (kind of) by Richard Sheinmel, with songs by Clay Zambo, whose casual informality, honesty, and warmth are rivaled only by its dazzlingly high entertainment quotient." NYTheatre.com POST-MODERN LIVING (2010)/LOST IN STATEN ISLAND (2013) I had the pleasure to direct two installments of Sheinmel's "Modern Living" play cycle, which began in 2006 at La MaMa. Much like Armistead Maupin's "Tales of The City", this series of related plays center on Mitch, a gay "downtown" New York performance artist (played by Sheinmel), as he writes plays about his life. The plays incorporate original songs and music by Clay Zambo. GALLERY by Richard Sheinmel LaMama An afternoon of pleasantries quickly turns into a boiling teakettle of tension...he ending of the play is subtle and numbingly powerful." Letters From the Mezz The REAL First Ladies of Washington City give the dish on the 1801 Election." I want the audience to look at the Founding Fathers through a lens that includes class, race and gender." Call Me Adam MY FIRST LADY Presented as part of the Metropolitan Playhouse Founders Festival , My First Lady takes a funny and unexpected turn towards a battle of race, class, and gender in the new American republic when First Ladies Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, Dolley Madison, and Thomas Jefferson’s daughters gather for a "friendly" tea. The gloves come off when Jefferson's enslaved mistress Sally Hemmings claims her rightful place at the table. GALLERY: WATCH OUR HILARIOUS PROMO by David Koteles Metropolitan Playhouse ORIGINAL WORK INDIE THEATRE POST THEATRE CO VERMONT STAGE CO THEATRE ASKEW More Koteles and Jacobs, who also brought the award-winning comedy Bald Diva! The Ionesco Parody Your Mother Warned You About to the very first Fresh Fruit Festival 10 years ago, are returning with another Ionesco-inspired play. Broadway.com ​ WINNER! Best Direction, Fresh Fruit Festival 2013 AFTER THE CHAIRS Inspired by the Eugene Ionesco absurdist tale, David Koteles' After the Chairs tells the story of two men, Marc and Richard, alone in a quiet hospital room waiting for what happens next. A visit from friends? The telling of stories? Results from a doctor? A big performance? End of life as they know it? It is a play about family, marriage in sickness and in health, death, drag, drugs and (like the Ionesco play) many, many, many chairs. GALLERY: WATCH JASON'S ACCEPTANCE SPEECH by David Koteles Fresh Fruit Festival ​ ​ Jacobs believes the choice of first-person perspective gives the audience an immediate point of entry. It's "that very human, individual response" missing from statistics-heavy news stories." Seven Days THE BOYCOTT Inspired by the ancient anti-war comedy Lysistrata, actor-activist Kathryn Blume plays Kathryn Blume, a woman trying to fight global warming and save the world — by writing a screenplay about the First Lady of the United States launching a national sex strike to fight global warming and save the world. Aided by her impassioned daughter, a high tech Secret Service agent, and a plucky Brazilian tree frog she meets on the Astral Plane, Lyssa bumps and lurches her way into an unexpected, wildly comic, and ultimately successful campaign. GALLERY by Kathryn Blume Arclight Theatre An evening of Jewishly inflected, queer songs brings Weimar Germany back to life with humor and music." Tablet a beautifully realized evocation of a club in Germany in the ‘30s ... a thrilling reminder of the power and strength of cabaret at its best.” NitelifeExchange.com Out of this minimal landscape, director Jason Jacobs creates a vibrant, small-scale panorama with his precise staging. Lawrence glides around, often stands still totally, but remains mesmerizing due to Jacobs’ command of visual technique." TheatreScene.net LAVENDER SONGS 2008 Bistro Award Winner! Originally produced in 2008 and revised in 2016 in response to the Trump ascendency, this cabaret theatre piece had an extended run at Pangea. Featuring songs originally written and performed by queer aertists in Weimar-era Berlin (with new English lyrics by Jeremy), the piece was based on an evening created by Alan Lareau for the U.S. Holocaust Museum om Washington DC. GALLERY by Jeremy Lawrence Pangea As the story quickly moves from situation to situation, cleverly staged by Jason Jacobs on a minimalistic set ... (Sheinmel) begins to discover the meaning behind initially irrelevant occurrences and that life is full of unexpected." Theatre Is Easy ​ The antidote to the surfeit of soulless synthetic musical comedies on Broadway awaits you at The Club at La MaMa, in the form of Post Modern Living, a musical (kind of) by Richard Sheinmel, with songs by Clay Zambo, whose casual informality, honesty, and warmth are rivaled only by its dazzlingly high entertainment quotient." NYTheatre.com POST-MODERN LIVING (2010)/LOST IN STATEN ISLAND (2013) I had the pleasure to direct two installments of Sheinmel's "Modern Living" play cycle, which began in 2006 at La MaMa. Much like Armistead Maupin's "Tales of The City", this series of related plays center on Mitch, a gay "downtown" New York performance artist (played by Sheinmel), as he writes plays about his life. The plays incorporate original songs and music by Clay Zambo. GALLERY by Richard Sheinmel LaMama An afternoon of pleasantries quickly turns into a boiling teakettle of tension...he ending of the play is subtle and numbingly powerful." Letters From the Mezz The REAL First Ladies of Washington City give the dish on the 1801 Election." I want the audience to look at the Founding Fathers through a lens that includes class, race and gender." Call Me Adam MY FIRST LADY Presented as part of the Metropolitan Playhouse Founders Festival , My First Lady takes a funny and unexpected turn towards a battle of race, class, and gender in the new American republic when First Ladies Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, Dolley Madison, and Thomas Jefferson’s daughters gather for a "friendly" tea. The gloves come off when Jefferson's enslaved mistress Sally Hemmings claims her rightful place at the table. GALLERY: WATCH OUR HILARIOUS PROMO by David Koteles Metropolitan Playhouse ORIGINAL WORK INDIE THEATRE POST THEATRE CO VERMONT STAGE CO THEATRE ASKEW More

  • Jason Jacobs | OPUS PROMO

    JACQUELINE KENNEDY-ONASSIS 2020 HIGH SCHOOL COMMENCEMENT SPEECH

  • Jason Jacobs | APPROACH TO DIRECTING

    MY MISSION in teaching is to stimulate, challenge, and support students to realize their potential as artists, citizens, and humans. Their minds and hearts are the most critical resources we have, and I pursue the following approaches to foster their growth: TO EMPOWER students to recognize their potency as artists and citizens, I ask questions about leadership, citizenship, and the impact of their work. Whether in public high schools or private universities, I encourage young people to engage with the wider world and recognize the importance of cultivating their voices. I promote critical thinking, facilitate brave conversations about equality and diversity, and spotlight the many ways theatre can promote social justice. My experience of coming out before LGBT people had mainstream acceptance forged my connection to anyone facing oppression and my commitment to oppose racism, I bring these values to everything I do as an educator and an artist. TO FOSTER students’ ownership of their artistic process and responsibility to their collaborators and audience, I approach teaching as an exchange between creative artists. I believe we all bring unique ideas and experience into the room, and I value the growth that emerges from respectful exchanges. I create a safe working space where each student’s creative ideas are valued and welcomed. My approach to collaboration comes from training with Anne Bogart and Tina Landau; I use the Viewpoints work to build ensemble, heighten awareness to the present moment, and establish a working vocabulary for any project. I lead students through composition processes that challenge them to create the theatrical worlds for each project. TO NURTURE artistry and foster discipline and skills, I engage students in challenging projects which also stimulate my own growth as an artist. Whether through full productions or classroom activities/project-based learning, I create experiences for active learning. I ask a lot of questions, build trust, and encourage risk-taking. I strive to attend to each student's personal objectives: whether honing in on specific skills, habits, or approaches to the process. I hold students to high standards in their written work and research, and maintain accountability for deadlines and responsibilities to partners, groups, and themselves. TO BUILD analytical skills and historical knowledge, I ask students to conduct research and explore the background of plays, playwrights, and theatrical movements. I create assignments to activate academic research and apply it in real-world contexts. I love the classics and approach them as living texts that invite interpretation and adaptation. I believe that students will be empowered by a solid grasp of dramatic literature, and an understanding of how social, economic, and political forces influence theatre and theatre-makers. TO ENCOURAGE students’ introspection about themselves and their work, I ask students the same questions I ask myself and my collaborators when approaching a project: Why have I chosen this project? Why do I need to work on this play? What is my point of view? What do I want to say? Who is my audience and how do I want to impact them? By guiding students to connect to their own purpose and explore the essence of their creativity, I urge them to make choices that align with their own values and beliefs. DIRECTING PHILOSOPHY ROUNDABOUT THEATRE COMPANY MORNINGSIDE JKO COMMENCEMENT SPEECH

  • LAVENDER SONGS

    LAVENDER SONGS INDEPENDENT THEATRE GALLERY

  • MISS BLANCHE TELLS IT ALL

    MISS BLANCHE TELLS IT ALL ORIGINAL WORK GALLERY

  • Screening-Oliver Twist | Jason Jacobs

    Oliver Twist Promo for Vermont State Company

  • Screening-Opus | Jason Jacobs

    OPUS Promo for Vermonst Stage Company

  • Jason Jacobs | ROUNDABOUT THEATRE TEACHING ARTIST

    Jacobs_Classroom Residency Sample.pdf Interview with Jason Roundabout Theatre Jacobs_High School Theatre Residency2017.pdf Little Amal Education & Activity Pack - New York City 2022.pdf

  • Jason Jacobs | ORIGINAL WORK

    ORIGINAL WORK Jason Jacobs book is heartbreaking and touching" - TimesSquareChronicles.com a nuanced story and a tour de force performance" - FrontRowCenter.com a fine tuned, superbly crafted piece of theatre" - Theatre Reviews Limited MISS BLANCHE TELLS IT ALL You never know a person 'til you walk in her heels. 1969 New Orleans: It’s standing room only at The Golden Lantern. The band strikes up and begins to play the opening number for “Miss Blanche”, the hottest drag act in the Quarter — but instead, a fiery young man takes the stage. With the aid of a mysterious wardrobe trunk, he explores clues of his family’s past, sings songs about his own life, and sets the course for a new future. Inspired by the imagination of Tennessee Williams, this intimate and seductive musical takes us on one man’s journey of desire, self-expression and liberation. Miss Blanche Tells It All (Official Website) GALLERY Jason Jacobs: Book & Lyrics ​ ​ ​ ANOTHER HORATIO ALGER STORY In an inner-city classroom, a teacher tries to save an at-risk student by introducing him to American novelist, Horatio Alger, Jr. As the play moves across two worlds—urban America today and 19th-century New York—the conflict between fact and fiction leads to hard lessons about the American dream and the myth that we can all pull ourselves self up by our bootstraps. Learn more at New Play Exchange GALLERY ​ Cousin and Jacobs’s aim is to rescue the work from all its accumulated baggage ...and to present Stowe’s — and Aiken’s — story center-stage. This they do, thanks to a knock-out student cast, without the slightest hint of irony or contemporary shading Pittsburgh City Paper ​ Jason Jacobs joins the cocktail conversation on ‘Burgh Vivant and discusses his collaboration with Tomé Cousin in adapting Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin" Burgh Vivant UNCLE TOM'S CABIN One of the most popular American plays from 1852 into the 1920s, it unfolds like our own, rough Shakespearean play: a sprawling epic that dramatizes a long, dark moment in our history. Tome and I began working on our adaptation as part of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab. We both felt the play's history had become misunderstood, and the term "Uncle Tom" had become an epithet that reduced the original character to a stereotype of aquiescence and betrayal of his own people. Our adaptation aims to restore Uncle Tom's name and re-envsion his story as one of self-assertion, faith, and human dignity. GALLERY co-adapted with Tome' Cousin, with original music by Douglas Levine. Jason Jacobs book is heartbreaking and touching" - TimesSquareChronicles.com a nuanced story and a tour de force performance" - FrontRowCenter.com a fine tuned, superbly crafted piece of theatre" - Theatre Reviews Limited MISS BLANCHE TELLS IT ALL You never know a person 'til you walk in her heels. 1969 New Orleans: It’s standing room only at The Golden Lantern. The band strikes up and begins to play the opening number for “Miss Blanche”, the hottest drag act in the Quarter — but instead, a fiery young man takes the stage. With the aid of a mysterious wardrobe trunk, he explores clues of his family’s past, sings songs about his own life, and sets the course for a new future. Inspired by the imagination of Tennessee Williams, this intimate and seductive musical takes us on one man’s journey of desire, self-expression and liberation. Miss Blanche Tells It All (Official Website) GALLERY Jason Jacobs: Book & Lyrics Matthew C. Pritchard: Music & Lyrics ​ ​ ​ ANOTHER HORATIO ALGER STORY In an inner-city classroom, a teacher tries to save an at-risk student by introducing him to American novelist, Horatio Alger, Jr. As the play moves across two worlds—urban America today and 19th-century New York—the conflict between fact and fiction leads to hard lessons about the American dream and the myth that we can all pull ourselves self up by our bootstraps. Learn more at New Play Exchange GALLERY ​ ​ Cousin and Jacobs’s aim is to rescue the work from all its accumulated baggage ...and to present Stowe’s — and Aiken’s — story center-stage. This they do, thanks to a knock-out student cast, without the slightest hint of irony or contemporary shading Pittsburgh City Paper ​ Jason Jacobs joins the cocktail conversation on ‘Burgh Vivant and discusses his collaboration with Tomé Cousin in adapting Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin" Burgh Vivant UNCLE TOM'S CABIN One of the most popular American plays from 1852 into the 1920s, it unfolds like our own, rough Shakespearean play: a sprawling epic that dramatizes a long, dark moment in our history. Tome and I began working on our adaptation as part of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab. We both felt the play's history had become misunderstood, and the term "Uncle Tom" had become an epithet that reduced the original character to a stereotype of aquiescence and betrayal of his own people. Our adaptation aims to restore Uncle Tom's name and re-envsion his story as one of self-assertion, faith, and human dignity. GALLERY co-adapted with Tome' Cousin, with original music by Douglas Levine. (Based on the play by George Aiken and the novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe.) ORIGINAL WORK INDIE THEATRE POST THEATRE CO VERMONT STAGE CO THEATRE ASKEW More

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