2022 Ushers in a New Name and New Season

HERITAGE THEATRE FESTIVAL RETURNS WITH A NEW NAME AND EXCITING SEASON INCLUDING KATE HAMILL’S ADAPTATION OF LITTLE WOMEN; NO FEAR AND BLUES LONG GONE: NINA SIMONE, A POWERFUL ONE-WOMAN SHOW HIGHLIGHTING THE LIFE AND ART OF ONE OF THE 20TH CENTURY’S MOST INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS;
AND A STAGED READING

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – Wednesday, April 6, 2022 – For the first time since 2019, Heritage Theatre Festival will return to live performance this summer with a new name that aligns with its home at the University of Virginia and a new vision to broaden the scope and reach of Virginia’s longest-running professional summer theatre company.

The Virginia Theatre Festival, as it will now be known, will literally and figuratively re-open its doors to the entire community with a season that includes Kate Hamill’s adaptation of Little Women; No Fear and Blues Long Gone: Nina Simone, Howard L. Craft’s acclaimed one-woman show starring Yolanda Rabun as the legendary singer and activist Nina Simone; and a staged reading of a new work.

The Virginia Theatre Festival is a program of the University of Virginia and is supported by the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, the Office of the Provost and Vice Provost for the Arts, UVA Department of Drama, and UVA Arts.

“We are thrilled to be able to continue the long and great tradition of Heritage Theatre Festival in this reinvigorated and reimagined format,” said Jody Kielbasa, Vice Provost for the Arts, “and look forward to what Artistic Director Jenny Wales and her team have in store for us with Virginia Theatre Festival 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.”

“We are proud to support the Virginia Theatre Festival as it takes this next step and builds on the extraordinary work of the talented artists who have built and nurtured it for nearly 50 years now,” Alison Levine, Associate Dean for the Arts and Humanities, said, “and we are particularly excited to explore the myriad ways that the Virginia Theatre Festival can collaborate with our scholars and students to explore new and existing works alike as it heads into this next exciting chapter.”

The 2022 VTF season will open with playwright Kate Hamill’s new look at Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, one of the most beloved literary classics of all time. “Family and community are the heart of Little Women,” said Artistic Director Jenny Wales. “It’s a beautiful story of how the March family navigates the changes and challenges of a divided America, and Hamill adapts the story in a way that makes it human, relatable, and fun. I am excited to share this show with our audiences.”

Little Women will open on July 15 in the Ruth Caplin Theatre and will be directed by Aubrey Snowden.

No Fear and Blues Long Gone: Nina Simone, written by acclaimed North Carolina poet and playwright Howard L. Craft and featuring Yolanda Rabun in an intimate portrayal of the groundbreaking talent and indomitable spirit that was Nina Simone. Directed by Kathryn Hunter-Williams, who directed Heritage Theatre Festival’s acclaimed productions of The Mountaintop (2018) and The Niceties (2019), this show had its world premiere at PlayMakers Repertory Company in Chapel Hill, NC and gives insight into Simone’s wide repertoire of music, her sense of humor, life perspective, and tireless dedication to social justice. The North Carolina native, born Eunice Kathleen Waymon in 1933, is considered one of the most influential artists of the 20th Century and a true hero of the Civil Rights movement. For more information, visit nofearandblueslonggone.com.

No Fear and Blues Long Gone: Nina Simone will open on August 3 in the Culbreth Theatre.

The 2022 Season will also include a Staged Reading of a new play. “Virginia Theatre Festival is uniquely positioned to create an environment and a platform to elevate and celebrate new work in our field.” Wales added, “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.” Full details on the Staged Reading will be announced later this Spring.

The Virginia Theatre Festival is also rolling out a new VTF Membership campaign for 2022, which offers patrons a chance to support VTF’s reopening and 2022 season while also gaining access to purchase individual tickets one week in advance of public sales. More information on the ways to support the upcoming VTF season, visit virginiatheatrefestival.org/support.

Individual tickets for Virginia Theatre Festival’s 2022 season 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 at virginiatheatrefestival.org, or by phone at 434-924-3376.

To learn more about the Virginia Theatre Festival, visit virginiatheatrefestival.org.