For the first time since 2019, Virginia’s longest-running professional summer theater company is returning to live performance.
The Virginia Theatre Festival – formerly known as the Heritage Theatre Festival – will literally and figuratively reopen its doors to the University of Virginia and local community with a season that includes a new adaptation of “Little Women,” along with “No Fear and Blues Long Gone: Nina Simone,” an acclaimed one-woman show about the legendary singer and civil rights activist.
“Little Women,” Louisa May Alcott’s literary classic, will run July 15 to July 31 in the Ruth Caplin Theatre. It is scheduled for 17 performances, including four with socially distanced seating for audience members concerned about the resurgence of COVID-19.
“No Fear and Blues Long Gone: Nina Simone,” written by North Carolina poet and playwright Howard L. Craft, opens Aug. 3 in Culbreth Theatre, with five performances scheduled. Yolanda Rabun will portray Simone, an important activist in the civil rights movement.
The season will also include a staged reading of a new play, with details forthcoming.
“When you look across Grounds and the Charlottesville community, there is an endless range of collaborative possibilities to tie the work we produce on our stages to the work being done in our classrooms and in our community,” artistic director Jenny Wales said.
The Virginia Theatre Festival is supported by the UVA College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, UVA’s Office of the Provost and Vice Provost for the Arts, the Department of Drama and UVA Arts.
“We look forward to what artistic director Jenny Wales and her team have in store for us with the Virginia Theatre Festival,” said Jody Kielbasa, UVA’s vice provost for the arts, “as they build an exciting future and continue as an important pillar among the vast array of dynamic offerings that make up the arts at UVA.”
The theater festival also is rolling out a new membership campaign, which offers patrons early purchase of individual tickets one week in advance of public sales.
Ticket prices start at $15 and vary by seating section, with discounts available for students and groups of 20 or more. Otherwise, individual tickets will go on sale to the public on June 21 and will be available at the UVA Arts Box Office in the UVA Drama Building on Culbreth Road, online or by phone at 434-924-3376.
To learn more about the Virginia Theatre Festival, visit the website.