Jake-Ann Jones is an award-winning writer, director, performer and producer; her career has spanned over three decades, bringing her into collaboration with some of today’s most inspired, provocative, and notable artists in the disciplines of film, theatre, and dance. Jones began her career as an actress and performance artist on stage, working with writers, composers, and directors including Fred Holland, Butch Morris, Craig Harris, Laurie Carlos, Robbie McCauley, Greg Tate, Adrienne Kennedy, Shay Youngblood, Diana Amsterdam, Jonathan Rosenberg, and Judith Jackson, at venues including the New York Shakespeare Festival, Ohio Theatre, Soho Rep, Aaron Davis Hall, Dixon Place, Company One, and Penumbra Theatre. She appeared in films including NORMA’S LAMENT, SMILE, MALCOLM X, and performed the lead role in Bridgett Davis’ award-winning independent feature film NAKED ACTS. She also wrote and performed BED OPUS 1 & 2 with choreographer Cynthia Oliver at Aaron Davis Hall and Tribeca Performing Arts Center and directed Keith Antar Mason’s KASSANDRA’S TALE at the Public Theater during the Mumia 911 Festival. Prior to writing and producing for film and television, Jones garnered acclaim for her work in the theatre as a playwright (including scripting Portrait of the Artist as a Soul Man Dead (Penumbra Theater, St. Paul), Under Frank Observation) New York Theater Workshop), Magic Kingdom (New Georges/Hourglass Theater Company), and Black Bitches Brew (Company One, Aaron Davis Hall). Her play, Death of a Ho: A Fairy, Scarey, Whorey Tale was published by Theater Communications Group (TCG) in their anthology, PLAYS FROM THE BOOM BOX GALAXY. She co-wrote the Urban World/HBO Film Festival’s Grand Prize-winning screenplay SPOOK CITY (with Gabriel Tolliver), and her screenplay THE RETURN OF RUBEN WRIGHT was briefly under consideration at Agape Media International in Los Angeles (before being unceremoniously dropped without as much as a see ya later). She was the co-writer and co-producer of the Gabriel Tolliver series MONDO BLACK produced by BlackPublic Media. After five years as a producer/writer on an internationally televised TV talk-show with a Tampa, Florida-based media entity, she has gone on to produce videos with various community organizations and events in the St. Pete-Clearwater-Tampa area through her production company, PeoplePower Communications, Inc. (formerly VantaBlack Productions). Jones received an MFA in Creative Writing from Brown University, and a BFA in Theatre from CCNY. She has taught at the City University of New York, the College of New Rochelle, The Writer’s Voice at the YMCA, and Brown University. She currently writes for The Weekly Challenger Newspaper in St. Petersburg, FL, and is finishing edits on her soon-to-be-released biography of Civil Rights activist, journalist and press secretary Florence L. Tate, Sometimes Farmgirls Become Revolutionaries: Notes on Black Power, Black Politics, and the FBI, a Black Classic Press release.
“I’m super-excited about Penumbra’s next life cycle that will combine the theatre and a learning center–a place that allows for questioning, reflecting and understanding.”
—Phyllis Goff, Supporter