Herman LeVern Jones, from Raleigh-Cary, North Carolina, is a forty-four year veteran of African American Theatre. Mr. Jones received his Bachelor of Arts degree in African American Theatre and English from North Carolina State University, his Masters of Fine Arts degree in acting from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), and has worked towards his Doctorial degree in Performance Studies at New York University. He advanced his career by working under the guidance of Broadway Producer Woodie King, Jr. as the Associate Producer for the National Black Touring Circuit, Inc. of New York (NBTC) from 1983 to 1999 and the late Larry Leon Hamlin as Special Assistant to the Producer (Co-Producer) of the 1989 to 1997 National Black Theatre Festival (NBTF) in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Mr. Jones is currently on the National Black Theatre Festival’s Board of Directors. To date, the National Black Theatre Festival has generated over $700,000,000 for the city of Winston-Salem.
Mr. Jones has worked with Dr. Maya Angela, Oprah Winfrey, Louis Gossett, Jr., Robert and James Earl Jones, Denzel Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Cicely Tyson, Antonio Fargas, Richard Roundtree, Clifton Davis, Melvin Van Peebles, Debbie Allen, August Wilson, Lloyd Richards, Ron Milner, Charles Gordone, Esther Roll, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Gregory Hines, Ella Joyce, Ed Bullins, Ted Lange, Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, Glynn Turman, Samm Art Williams, S. Epatha Merkerson, Gregory McPherson, Leslie Lee and many other celebrities.
In 1974, while still in college, he founded the LaVern Players, Inc. in Raleigh, NC. During the company’s tenure, he produced, directed, and performed in over 200 productions. After graduating from UNC at Chapel Hill in 1983 he then moved to New York and began working with Woodie King Jr. While successfully performing all of his duties for the NBTCNY he also took on other responsibilities pertaining to performing arts. Some which included Artistic Director of the Madam C.J. Walker Urban Life Center in Indianapolis, IN as well as the Grant Ave. Community Center’s Kean-Brown Center Stage in Plainfield, NJ during their 1990-92 seasons. He’s a board member of the New Federal Theatre in New York City and has served on the Ohio Arts Council, the Massachusetts Cultural Arts Council, and as a panelist on the South Carolina Arts Council for their theater division.
Mr. Jones has also taught at several prestigious universities as both an adjunct professor and professor as well as lectured at several seminars for performing arts. Some of his educational experience includes teaching at his alma mater the University of North Carolina, the University of Massachusetts, University of Rochester, and Yale University.
In 1990 the British American Arts Association Fellowship selected Mr. Jones to participate in “Internationalizing the Local”. The event was held in several prominent theaters throughout England that toured London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, and Nottingham. He was also chairman of the Theatrical Management Association’s Seminar on Black Theatre at the Great Britain Conference in Birmingham, England.
Mr. Jones founded Theatre South Atlanta, Inc. in 2007, a non-profit organization in Atlanta, GA. He produced under TheatreSouth Atlanta at Kippway Academy, Cascade Mansion Garden’s Halloween gala, Premiere South at Lake Francis’ board of directors at the Airport Clarion Hotel, Ghost Stories at Morris Brown, Raisin in the Sun at Georgia State University, The Colored Museum, Happyville, AuDeo, and MADAM at Porter Sanford III Performing Arts and Community Center.
During the 2013-2014 season, Mr. Jones produced and directed the internationally acclaimed production of “I HAVE A DREAM” in the South Florida region to over 4,600 students and community patrons at the South Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center, the Phichol Williams Community Center, the Florida International University Graham Ballroom, and the First Annual Black Heritage Festival in Miami Gardens under the sponsorship of City of Homestead, the City of Florida City, Miami Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, Mercedes Benz, The Marlin Foundation, Aaron’s Furniture, Xerox Corporation, Justine Karl, Brigitte Keane, Jeffrey Tucker, and many community individuals and businesses.
Furthermore, in the 2014-15 season Mr. Jones opened up a new opportunity in South Florida working with the Homestead Center for the Arts, South Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center, Miami Dade College of Homestead, Florida, Florida International University and others. The 2015-16 season was spectacular. Mr. Jones produced “The Eve of Jackie” starring Broadway’s Chester Gregory at the world renowned Adrienne Arsht Center from October 14-25, 2015. “The Eve of Jackie” tells the story of R&B star Jackie Wilson. During its run at the Arsht Center, the production packed the house and received rave reviews. In 2016, Mr. Jones created a theatre troupe that has performed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birmingham Letter throughout Miami and Fort Lauderdale.