Virginia Stage Company plans "one audacious act of theater" as part of major outreach effort
The Virginia Stage Company, the region's primary professional theater group, is joining some major national players in an effort to connect local people to theater.
The stage company, based in Norfolk, has started the Public Works Virginia Initiative with the goal of not just performing for the public but also creating art with the community. Public Works was founded by the Public Theater in New York, and Public Works Virginia joins affiliates in Dallas and Seattle, plus the National Theatre in London.
Part of the effort will involve classes in theater and acting, such as improv, puppetry, musical theater and playwriting.
Perhaps the most visible event will be a large-scale production at the Wells Theatre on Labor Day weekend. It will involve stage company professionals and community members coming together for "one audacious act of theater," said Patrick Mullins, whose title at the stage company is now director of Public Works.
The stage company plans to work with many local groups. The current partners are: Chesapeake Parks, Recreation and Tourism, the Y on Granby, Access Virginia, and the Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center of Hampton Roads.
Any Public Works Virginia classes and programs will be in addition to the community and education work that the stage company has always done, said Tom Quaintance, producing artistic director.
The new Public Works offerings will be developed as stage company members work with the groups to tailor classes and programs to their needs. One of the biggest advances that Public Works represents in community outreach will be that it focuses on the depth of the relationship between Virginia Stage Company and the public, Quaintance said.
People and groups interested in learning more about Public Works should contact the stage company at 757-627-6988, Ext. 310, or firstname.lastname@example.org.