WHO WE ARE
Phase Eight Theater Company is the latest arts organization to be formed in Jacksonville, Florida. It is recognized as a boundary-pushing and socially progressive theater group. They’ve presented fourteen productions in its first two and a half years of existence having performed for hundreds of audience members. Their theater home is inside Jacksonville’s public television and radio station, WJCT studios. They’ve also partnered with the Museum Of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville (MOCA), for several collaborations that have been original works both independent of and in direct connection with curated exhibitions. By lifting the voices of local playwrights to the city stage, they speak to the heart of this southeast part of America.
Phase Eight was founded by Jacksonville native and Julliard Drama graduate, JaMario Stills. He has performed in some of the nation’s most renowned Regional Theaters. Upon returning home, JaMario wanted to create the same experience he had as a paid actor cast to do a professional season of repertory theater. Phase Eight debuted in December 2016 with a production of The Hot L Baltimore by Landford Wilson. Next up was a drama, MLK Boulevard written by current Juilliard student, Julian Robertson. Phase Eight’s notable new works by local playwrights are On Purpose by Ebony Payne-English; Live Girls and MASS by Adam Groff; and immersive theater projects, Food of Love and Women’s Work by Kelby Siddons. Producing such classics as Loves’s Labour’s Lost by William Shakespeare and the farce Noises Off! by Michael Frayn. Beginning in 2019, Stills will continue to build his repertory theater skills and pursue additional advanced theater studies at Brown University in their Masters of Fine Arts in Theatre Directing degree program.
Phase Eight experiments with avant-garde performance art and multimedia theater. In their collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Art, they explored site-specific pieces. MOCA’s Louise Nevelson exhibit inspired an immersive and interactive narrative, Women’s Work, that took place on three floors of the museum. The theme extended to an interactive dinner theater concept with Food of Love—a re-imagining of Cyrano de Bergerac’s classic tale presented within the museum’s Nola Café. Phase Eight and world-renowned performance artist Amanda Coogan in her United States debut, The
Ladder Is Always There, which premiered as part of MOCA’s Project Atrium exhibit. Phase Eight has Media Plays in development. This form of theatre is shared through the means of technology using various social media platforms. These current displays of merging artistic storytelling in unconventional ways will continue to be a Phase Eight trademark.
Phase Eight aims to be a touchpoint in Florida culture. Their mission is devoted to fostering great actors through contemporary performances to be shared with modern audiences. The company will produce exciting plays, develop new works and nurture multi-generational and cultural talent. In the traditions of Steppenwolf Theater Company, The Public Theater, and The Alliance Theater Company, just to name a few, these Northeast Florida based creators aim to make their own distinct mark in Regional Theater.