Why Virginia Stage Hosts NightOUT
By Connor Norton
It’s a question we sometimes hear at Virginia Stage. For almost two years now, Virginia Stage Company has hosted a ‘NightOUT’ series, in partnership with Hampton Roads Pride, in an effort to create a diverse and welcoming space. Virginia Stage Company was created to be the theatre company for everyone in Hampton Roads. We embrace this charter and are committed to removing obstacles and serving the entire community through special education and outreach events in the community with a wide range of ticket prices. The Wells should be a creative home for everyone and we strive to remove all obstacles that would make anyone feel unwelcome. This event is one of many special events that we host for diverse parts of our Hampton Roads Community: Military Appreciation Days, ASL interpreted performances, our Art for Social Change series, and our Theatre for Everyone performances, which are designed for individuals of all abilities.
We are proud to say that this is not simply ‘A night for the Gays.’ Nothing could be farther from the truth; NightOUT welcomes all individuals to purchase tickets and attend the reception. When you attend a production at Virginia Stage, do you normally think twice about holding hands or sitting with your loved one or spouse at the production? We hope not, and this is a fear many LGBTQ people face wherever they may go, so by titling our event ‘NightOUT’ it creates a space where they can meet friends, build bonds, and maybe even meet their partner while being surrounded by loving and welcoming friends. Virginia Stage Company’s NightOUT has always hoped to be nothing more or less than an inclusive meeting space where good friends can find friendship, partnerships, and perhaps even love in a time and place where such spaces don’t always exist.
“We could not be more pleased with your business showing support for the LGBT community in our area. We are optimistic that through your demonstration of support and compassion that other businesses will follow suit. This is something that we need in the Hampton Roads area.” - NightOUT Patron
Oscar Wilde said it best, “I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.” The theater should be a place where all members of our community can meet, interact, enjoy theatre, and share in their human experience; Virginia Stage believes this only helps to make our community stronger and more beautiful than ever.
The next NightOUT Series will be accompanying Venus in Fur on Saturday, March 11th, immediately following the 8PM show.
If you can’t join us then, make sure you save the date for our final NightOUT with The Wiz.
The Wiz NightOUT
Saturday, April 22 @ 8PM
For more information on NightOUT Tickets visit http://www.vastage.org/nightout-with-vastage/
For dates, and information on joining Hampton Roads Pride visit: http://www.hamptonroadspride.org/