Garlia Cornelia Jones has been promoted to the new role of Director of Innovation and New Media at Off-Broadway's The Public Theater. Jones is also a writer, producer, and photographer, and joined The Public in 2019 as a line producer.
Jones shared in a statement, "This new role touches upon so many things that excite me about theatre, the future of our industry, and the way in which we share our stories and relate to our audiences. I am a connecter at my core. I’ve made space for those that have not had an artistic home or the place to share their stories, and the digital space continues to be the perfect place to deepen my commitment to that work.”
At The Public, Jones has line produced Socrates, Much Ado About Nothing, Mojada, for colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow is enuf, and Coal Country, as well as for the Mobile Unit. She has also served as the co-creative producer of #ToBeBlack that was released on Juneteenth and as the producer of "Forward Together," a virtual event supporting The Public in addition to co-developing and curating #SayTheirNames projection installation. The installation projected the names of over 2000 Black individuals whose lives were lost to police violence.
“Garlia is an incredibly talented producer, a committed activist, and a passionate theatre artist. She has done imaginative and inspiring work throughout her career," said Public Artistic Director Oskar Eustis in a statement. "Her new position is going to allow her to have an even greater impact on The Public and the field. Our first artistic staff member focused on our artistic digital programming, she will also cross boundaries between our community and creative work, and continue to innovate and expand our horizons."
Prior to The Public, Jones has worked in several capacities throughout the theatre world. She is a founder of both Blackboard Plays, a monthly series dedicated to Black playwrights at all stages; and Harlem9, which won an Obie Award for 48Hours in...Harlem in 2014.
A playwright herself, Jones' work has been supported by the cell and she was an artist-in-residence at Wayne State University for the 2020-2021 academic year, where she developed her play Pingree's Past. She earned her MFA in Playwriting from The New School for Drama after attending Indiana University's MA program in African American and African Diaspora Studies. Additionally, her work as an essayist has appeared in notable publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and American Theatre Magazine.