the seven cities through community-based residencies with local artists  at partner organizations across Hampton Roads


extensively with the artists on the Wells Stage


participating community members with the Virginia Stage team in creating an onstage celebration of the entire 757!



Chesapeake Parks, Recreation and Tourism

The Y on Granby

Access Virginia

The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center of Hampton Roads


Connecting the seven cities through community-based residencies with local artists at partner organizations and schools across Hampton Roads


Public Works Virginia is a major initiative of Virginia Stage Company that seeks to engage the people of Hampton Roads by making them creators of theater rather than spectators. Working with community partner organizations across the seven cities, Public Works Virginia invites community members to attend classes, attend productions, and join in the creation of ambitious works of participatory theater. Led by Director of Public Works Patrick Mullins, Public Works deliberately blurs the line between professional artists and community members, creating theater that is not only for the people, but by and of the people as well.

Public Works exemplifies Virginia Stage Company's commitment to community engagement, which is at the core of the theater’s mission, as led by Producing Artistic Director, Tom Quaintance and Managing Director, David Byrd. Public Works Virginia is animated by the idea that theater is a place of possibility, where the boundaries that separate people from each other can fall away. It seeks to create a space where people can not only reflect on the world as is, but where people can propose new possibilities for what society might be.

Public Works was founded by the Public Theater in New York, and Public Works Virginia joins its affiliate network, which now spans theaters across the United States as well as the National Theatre in London.



For more information about this exciting community initiative, contact Patrick Mullins here or at 757.627.6988 x310.


Public Works Va Teaching Artists | Spring 2019

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Manoli Kouremetis is thrilled to be part of the VSC Public Works program, and feels incredibly fortunate to have the chance to learn and work with such amazing members of the community. As a playwright, Manoli started locally writing plays and films for students at Chesapeake Bay Academy. His first full-length play, The Rendezvous, received an unstaged reading through the Hatchery Series at the Zeiders American Dream Theater in 2016. His second play produced through the Hatchery, Saint Irene’s, will receive its fully staged premiere at Zeiders in 2020. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from Old Dominion University, his fiction has appeared in literary journals such as Chautauqua Literary Journal, Panhandler Magazine, and The Southeast Review. His poetry has appeared in reviews such as Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Café Review, and Upstreet. He teaches literature classes at Old Dominion University, and works as a proposal writer for Beacon Health Options. Manoli lives with his wife, son, and daughter in Chesapeake, VA.

Ron Newman is a theatre educator, Director, playwright, Actor,  performing artist, and instructor. Currently is on on the faculty at The Governor’s School for the Arts.  During his thirty-year residency in Hampton Roads he has served the Director of Fine Arts and Theatre at Norfolk Academy, as Director of Education and Community engagement with The Virginia Stage Company.  His academic and professional credits also include directing and teaching at Cecil College, The Milburn Stone Covered Bridge Theatre, and Imagination Station in D.C. as a playwright he has adapted over 39 literary classics for the stage and was the founding producer/director for the Young People’s Theatre programs at CBT and Norfolk Academy. As Director of Education at VSC Ron developed and instituted the following community based programs: Black Light Theatre Puppetry with Eggleston, Urban Theatre project with The Friends of the Virginia Beach Juvenile Court System, Creative Drama programming for the Kroc Family Center and Slover Library, and touring productions to local schools in partnership with Kohl’s Cares’ Be Kind, Do Kind project.  As an MA graduate in Theatre from American University Ron wrote, produced, and directed programs four young audience at The White House, The Kennedy Center, and The National Theatre. His regional performance credits include featured and supporting roles with Virginia Stage Company, Virginia Musical Theatre, Tidewater Dinner Theatre, and Marlo Thomas’s East Coast Tour of ‘Free To be..You And Me,’ and The Applancian Theatre Company. With over 40 years in the performing arts and education, Ron has made it his life’s mission to create and foster innovative theatre and media arts program opportunities for people of all ages and abilities. Ron holds MA’s in Theatre and Education from American University and Old Dominion University.

ACT Dance Theatre is a subsidiary of Atumpan Edutainment, that specializes in African culture through both original and traditional works.  ACT Dance Theatre provides ongoing academy classes for multidisciplinary dance and theatre training to combine the aesthetics of dance and theatre in their productions .  Atumpan Edutainment, a 501c3 non-profit arts education organization, is the premier performing arts ensemble of the Mid-Atlantic Region, featuring world music, folklore, and dance.  Through the main studio, the Fred Heutte Center in the Ghent section of Norfolk, VA, performance opportunities at educational sites such as Jamestown Settlement in Williamsburg, Children's Museum of Portsmouth, and Tryon Palace in New Bern, NC are options for students.  Through the studio at the Kroc Center of Hampton Roads, as part of Public Works, performance opportunities at the Kroc Center recital as well as the opportunity to see performances by the Virginia Stage Company are options for students.

Founded in 1998 by Artistic Directors Corey and LaQuita Marie Staten, the artistic team includes choreographer Fannese Britton.  Corey, a summa cum laude communications graduate of ODU, authors the original works of ACT Dance Theatre and is the master storyteller of the ensemble.  LaQuita Marie, a pediatric nurse with years of dance, music, and theatre training, directs most productions and lends choreography and musical direction.  Fannese, who holds a BFA in dance and choreography from VCU, offers beginner ballet, modern, and African dance. Their combined talents provide ongoing excellence in the preservation and presentation of cultural expression through the performing arts.    

Matthew G. Bernier, MCAT, ATR is a registered art therapist, artist, puppeteer, and Associate Professor in the Graduate Art Therapy & Counseling Program at Eastern Virginia Medical School, where he has taught since 1990.  His expertise is in the areas of therapeutic art processes, creativity, symbolism, and art psychotherapy theoretical approaches. His constructivist education approach includes arts-based learning. He is the 2009 recipient of the Puppeteers of America (P of A) McPharlin Award for Excellence in Puppetry in Education and Therapy.  He has lectured and led workshops and courses on art therapy, The Expressive Therapies Continuum, therapeutic puppetry, visual journaling, and artists’ books internationally in seven countries. He co-edited Puppetry in Education and Therapy: Unlocking Doors to the Mind and Heart and co-authored The Door of Good: A Fairy Tale.  He has a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in theatre arts.  He has a master’s degree in creative arts in therapy and is pursuing a PhD in expressive arts therapy and social change at the European Graduate School in Switzerland.  His current interests include: therapeutic puppetry, neuroaesthetics, expressive arts for social action/change, and the use of community arts and restorative justice with marginalized groups such as ex-convicted offenders in their process of desistance.  His fine arts work includes: puppets, masks, artist books, mixed-media collages and constructions, and found objects assemblages. He has college and community theatre experience including acting, directing, choreography, puppetry and masks, and participation theatre.

Ryan Clemens is the Lead Resident Theatre Artist with the Virginia Stage Company and is proud to have served VSC’s Education and Outreach programs since 2010.  With a Bachelors in Theatre from Western Washington University and an MFA in Acting from Regent University, Ryan has also gathered experience in theatre performing with VSC, Virginia Shakespeare Festival, Tidewater Stage, Plan B Comedy, Tidewater Arts Outreach, various summer theatre organizations around the country, even a Wild West Show!  In addition to leading theatre workshops and classes for VSC, Ryan also teaches courses at Old Dominion University.

Meaghan McLeod Mozingo has studied theatre and art at Old Dominion University and improv at The Improv Asylum in Boston MA. She has performed in countless plays and musicals since 1992. Some of her favorite roles include Queen Aggravain (Once Upon A Mattress), Mae Peterson (Bye Bye Birdie), and Judas (Jesus Christ Superstar). Meaghan enjoys writing, sculpting, painting, ceramics, designing sets, directing, mask making/performance and puppetry. She is in evolved in Virginia Stage Company’s Education touring shows, Blacklight Puppet Theatre and Dramatically Able programs. She is the co-founder of Arts Inclusion Company, an inclusive theatre company where all are able, where she served as President and Artistic Director for four years. Meaghan has a passion for teaching theatre workshops, because she believes that the theatre arts has the potential to not only entertain, but to spark creativity, and empower an individual.

Eric Harrell is a full-time theatre professor at Regent University where he has served as Department Chair, Head of the MFA Acting Program, and most recently, as the Producing Artistic Director of Tidewater Stage, the university’s professional company. For Tidewater Stage, he has directed Dial M for Murder, Pump Boys and Dinettes, Forever Plaid and I Do! I Do! and performed in Barefoot in the Park and The Nerd. He is a twenty-year member of Actors’ Equity Association and SAG/AFTRA, and he holds an MFA in Acting from the University of Nebraska/Nebraska Repertory Theatre. He has performed with VSC in All My Sons and The Hampton Years and served as dialect coach for A Christmas Carol. Some favorite directing credits with Regent Theatre include The Women of Lockerbie, The Glass Menagerie, Bus Stop, Godspell and The Tempest. This summer, Eric will be directing Boeing, Boeing for Americana Theatre in Boston. Eric lives in Ghent with his wife, two children, and a feisty Chihuahua named Hamlet.

Wallis Quaintance holds a BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and has performed in theatre, film, television and performance art throughout California, New York, North Carolina and now here in Virginia. She also holds a Master’s in Education from Mt. St. Mary’s College in LA where she wrote a master’s thesis entitled “Using Drama as a Means to Increase Academic Achievement in Social Studies.” While teaching 6th grade humanities in Los Angeles, she used theatrical exercises to help engage her students more completely in the curriculum and impact them in more meaningful ways. Although not currently in the classroom, she spent her 8 years teaching 4th-6th graders looking for ways to infuse her lessons with arts with the goal of helping her students develop positive learning habits to carry with them on any path they find themselves. She also has worked extensively teaching drama and acting classes to students as young as kindergarten all the way to high school seniors.

Ja’Quan M. Jones is a Junior Theater Major at Norfolk State University and has worked with VSC in productions such as The Wiz and Pride and Prejudice. He has also assisted with VSC & Eggleston’s Black Light Puppet Theatre in previous summers. Ja’Quan currently serves as Mr. Norfolk State University assisting with SGA and the Royal Court to help better the student body and surrounding communities.

Jonathan Cooper is a theatre major at Norfolk State University. Jonathan enjoys teaching the youth for the future. Every year he participates in a summer camp in Alabama teaching mime. He’s currently working with more youth between the ages 8-9 teaching theatre for after school program activities.

Lyeneal Griffin is a professional actor and educator in the Virginia Beach area. He has worked in multiple capacities with professional theaters, such as Virginia Stage Company, Theatre for Humanity NYC, Roxy Regional Theatre, Tidewater Stage, and more. Lyeneal has recently served as a teaching artist for Merry-Go Round Playhouse in Aubrun, NY, and he is thrilled to join the Public Works VA and Dramatically Able team! The University of Southern Mississippi (BFA, Theatre Performance), Regent University (MFA, Acting).

Charles Rasputin is a visual and conceptual artist that creates and develops work for public viewership and cultural consumption. He curates aesthetic appeal, brand culture and emotional investment through visual representations for clients, collaborators and his community at large. His introduction to the world of art and design came thru fashion and screenprinting but his current work explores immersive environments, shadows and light, and the creeping darkness that dwells within us all.

Kate Sarafolean, MFA, is a Hampton Roads-based actor with a long-standing background in theatre performance and directing. In the past several years, Kate has expanded her range of experience to the film and TV world, where she works consistently as a regional and national commercial talent, and is frequently recruited for appearances in sitcoms and short films. She loves performing improv comedy, singing at her church, and teaching kids acting for the stage at the locally owned Rich Theatre Company. Favorite roles for Kate include The Woman in The 39 Steps, Belle in Ah! Wilderness, and Candy in the 2017 sitcom pilot Coopersville P.D. Kate is a proud alumni member of The VIPS educational improv troupe, as well as the professional improv troupe, The Dumbwaiters. She is blissfully married to TJ, and is honored and excited for the opportunity to bring her talents to this Public Works performance.

with support from

Norfolk Rotary Charities
Batten Educational Achievement Fund of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation