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Virginia Repertory Theatre announces 70th anniversary season

Virginia Repertory Theatre announces its 70th Anniversary Season with a robust roster of dramatic and comedic plays and musicals for the Signature Season at the November Theatre and the Barksdale Season at Hanover Tavern.

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Virginia Repertory Theatre announces its 70th Anniversary Season with a robust roster of dramatic and comedic plays and musicals for the Signature Season at the November Theatre and the Barksdale Season at Hanover Tavern. The Family Theatre Season will be announced this fall along with the new location for combined children, families and schools programming.

The 2022-2023 season presents reimagined classics, a world premiere, a seasonal cabaret and titles that help Richmond celebrate community through the arts.

Virginia Rep, a non-profit professional theatre company, was founded in Hanover County in 1953, and has become one of Central Virginia’s largest professional performing arts organizations. This year, the theatre will celebrate its 70th Anniversary year with a variety of events. To honor this milestone, the Hanover Season will return to its original name – the Barksdale Season at Hanover Tavern.

Signature Season

Chicken & Biscuits

Sept. 29 – Oct. 30, 2022 By Douglas Lyons

The funniest sitcom that you will ever see on stage, Chicken and Biscuits is hot off its Broadway run. Virginia Rep is the first theatre in the region to produce this runaway hit. Rival sisters prepare to bury their father, and a family secret is revealed at the church altar. This laugh out loud play will feed your soul as family drama spills out onto the Sunday dinner table.

Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley

Nov. 25, 2022 – Jan. 1, 2023
By Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon

Two years after the end of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, the Bennet sisters and their spouses are celebrating the holidays with family at the Darcy estate. Mary Bennet, the bookish middle sister, isn’t in a festive mood. She is tired of missing out on romantic escapades. Will an unexpected guest give Mary the ultimate gift of love? Don’t miss this charming sequel.

After December

March 2 – 26, 2023 By Bo Wilson World Premiere

When a particle collider deep beneath the earth’s surface malfunctions, a mysterious woman appears. She cannot say where she’s from or how she got here; she only knows that she is a poet. But when she gives voice to her strange and beautiful poems, reality itself begins to ripple and shift, becoming eerily unreliable. To the physicists, she’s an intriguing mystery; to the authorities, she’s a threat. Could both be right? Discover whether science can unravel the riddle of the poet in this exciting new play.

The Will Rogers Follies

Jun. 22 – Aug. 6, 2023

Snappy tunes, elaborate production numbers, rope tricks and comic sketches abound in this classic Broadway musical about the great American cowboy entertainer Will Rogers. Set against the backdrop of the Ziegfeld Follies, Rogers is an extraordinary host as he leads you through his life, from the family cattle ranch to his stunning rise to fame.

Barksdale Theatre Season

Steel Magnolias

Oct. 14 – Nov.13, 2022 Book: Robert Harling

Join us at Truvy’s beauty parlor, and meet the six hilarious and heartwarming women of Steel Magnolias, whose antics in the salon will have you laughing through the tears. The ladies gossip and spar, but ultimately the strength of their bond is revealed as they stand by one another to face both the good times and bad.

A Broadway Christmas

Dec. 2, 2022 – Jan. 1, 2023

Just in time for the holidays, our ensemble of musical theatre all-stars has put together lively entertainment that celebrates the timeless Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa songs that were initially composed for and performed in Broadway, Hollywood and Virginia Rep musicals. Each song tells a story. Together, they will warm your heart and set your toes to tapping, while fascinating you with the backstage holiday stories of some of the most memorable theatre composers and practitioners of all time. You won’t want to miss this rousing celebration.

Oil City Symphony

Mar. 24 – Apr. 30, 2023

From the creators of Pump Boys and Dinettes comes the knee-slapping and award-winning revue, Oil City Symphony, the story of four graduates who return to their alma mater to honor their beloved music teacher. Performing an eclectic program – ranging from the “1812 Overture” to “The Stars and Stripes Forever” to rock standards, sentimental favorites, and off-beat original songs – the four fill their tribute concert with good old-fashioned fun.

For more information or tickets, call 804-282-2620 or click here.

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Trevor Dickerson is the co-founder and editor of RVAhub.com, lover of all things Richmond, and a master of karate and friendship for everyone.

Arts & Entertainment

VMFA adds diverse selection of over 1,200 new works into its permanent collection

The new acquisitions include an Andrew Wyeth portrait and a 15th-century Chinese gilded statue, among other works.

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The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) has announced that a compelling and diverse group of new acquisitions has recently been added to its permanent collection. More than 1,200 works of art were purchased by or gifted to the museum in Richmond during the fiscal year, which ended June 30, 2022.

“We are overjoyed to continue expanding our comprehensive collection of nearly 50,000 works of art, which will enrich the lives of our visitors for generations to come,” said Alex Nyerges, VMFA’s Director and CEO. “Some of the new works will be showcased in the museum’s new wing, which is slated to open in 2027 and includes expanded galleries for African, American, Native American, and 21st-Century art.”

Highlights of the acquisitions include significant additions to the museum’s American art holdings. In particular, the VMFA says in a release that it is excited to welcome works by notable 20th-century American artists Andrew Wyeth and Guy Pène du Bois. Erickson’s, painted by Wyeth in 1973, epitomizes the artist’s exploration of the human condition through one of his most recognizable subjects, his neighbor George Erickson. Given Wyeth’s status as “one of the most lauded and avidly collected artists of the 20th century,” according to Dr. Christopher C. Oliver, Bev Perdue Jennings Associate Curator of American Art, “VMFA ultimately intends to feature the work as a cornerstone of the museum’s new wing.” Visitors do not have to wait to see the painting; however — it is currently on view in the James W. and Frances G. McGlothlin Wing.

Guy Pène du Bois’ 1929 painting Approaching Storm, Racetrack serves as an equally significant addition to the museum’s American art holdings. The work is “arguably one of the three best and most important canvases” made by the artist, acclaimed for his contributions to American Modernism, according to Louise B. and J. Harwood Cochrane Curator of American Art Dr. Leo G. Mazow. “Approaching Storm, Racetrack is as visually stunning as it is culturally evocative,” said Mazow.

VMFA’s efforts to broaden the scope of its holdings by living artists are evident within a group of multifaceted works new to its contemporary art collection. One such accession is Gravity and Grace, a large-scale installation crafted from aluminum bottle tops and copper wire that was made by the Nigerian-based Ghanaian artist El Anatsui in 2010. Through the artist’s simultaneous use of abstraction and unconventional materials, as well as traditional Ghanaian Adrinka imagery, the work marries modernist impulses with classical West African sensibilities. The artist pushes viewers to ponder the intersections of persisting global issues by interrogating “the legacy and residual effects of colonialism in African countries like Ghana and Nigeria by using materials rooted in consumption, waste and the environment,” according to Valerie Cassel Oliver, Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. “Through used and discarded objects, Anatsui addresses the postcolonial ramifications upon former colonized nations. However, it is the artist’s manipulation of these very materials into magnificent works of art that speaks to African communities’ resiliency and beauty, emphasizing transcendence past limitations,” added Cassel Oliver, who looks forward to installing the 37-feet wide work in the museum’s new wing.

Another noteworthy acquisition to VMFA’s contemporary holdings is Armour Skirt IV, a 2017 sculpture by renowned Pakistani artist Naiza Khan. The work, which alludes to structural female undergarments in its form, meditates on the politicization of the public female body in Pakistan amidst the ongoing cultural conflict between Islamization and feminist activism that began in the 1980s. “The sculpture is the first work by a Pakistani woman artist to enter VMFA’s South Asian collection,” noted Dr. John Henry Rice, E. Rhodes, and Leona B. Carpenter, Curator of South Asian and Islamic Art.

VMFA is also delighted to add esteemed photographer Carrie Mae Weems’ 1990 breakout body of work, The Kitchen Table Series, to the photography collection. The series questions the role of racial and gender power dynamics within family relationships through 20 photographs and 14 text panels. “Acquiring such an iconic body of work expands our extant holdings of photographs by this important artist and complements our rich collections of work by artists like Louis Draper and members of the Kamoinge Workshop,” said Dr. Sarah Kennel, Aaron Siskind Curator of Photography and Director of the Raysor Center for Works on Paper.

Rounding out the museum’s new acquisitions are exciting additions to VMFA’s holdings of European art and East Asian art, including a historically significant painting by French Romantic master Théodore Géricault and a 15th-century Chinese gilded statue. Portrait of An African Man, painted by Géricault in 1819, epitomizes the artist’s embrace of “established conventions of history painting in the service of marginalized or oppressed groups and causes, including abolitionism,” said Dr. Sylvain Cordier, Paul Mellon Curator and Head of the Department of European Art. The painting depicts a survivor from the infamous 1816 Medusa shipwreck, wherein the doomed ship’s captain left lower-ranking members of the crew, particularly those of color, to die, opting to save only himself and his senior officers. The portrait, which is believed to be a preparatory study for Géricault’s 1819 masterpiece The Raft of the Medusa, depicts one of the painting’s main protagonists, an African man whose tragic heroism transforms the scandalous incident into a “monumental scene” imbued with abolitionist political intent.

The museum’s East Asian Art collection welcomes the addition of Chen Yanqing’s Seated Figure of Yuanshi Tianzun (Celestial Worthy of Primordial Beginning), a stunning early 15th-century Chinese gilded bronze statue of the preeminent Daoist deity.  Through “the work’s exemplary exploration of Daoist aesthetics and concepts, the statue will serve as one of VMFA’s most important pieces of Chinese art,” said Li Jian, E. Rhodes, and Leona B. Carpenter, Curator of East Asian Art. One of only 12 surviving bronzes by Chen Yanqing, this work joins three others that are held outside China, all in North American museum collections. The sculpture, which was acquired at auction at Sotheby’s, New York, in March 2022, will be exhibited later this summer.

In the process of expanding and transforming VMFA’s collections over the last 12 months, the museum’s 15 curators have sought to “address the historical under-representation of African, African American, Islamic, Latinx, LGBTQIA+, Native American and women artists,” said Dr. Michael Taylor, Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Art and Education. “These efforts are evident in the works the museum added to the collection over the past year, and for the seventh year in a row, VMFA has spent more than 30 percent of its endowed acquisition funds on African and African American art in line with our strategic plan.” Through these efforts, VMFA hopes to fulfill its “profound commitment to representing and serving all of the state’s diverse communities,” Dr. Taylor added.

For more information about the permanent collection of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, visit www.VMFA.museum.

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Arts & Entertainment

U of R’s Modlin Center for the Arts announces 2022-2023 season

The University of Richmond’s Modlin Center for the Arts has announced its 2022-2023 season, and has announced that it is being even more intentional than ever in offering a diverse program of artists, emphasizing BIPOC and women-led companies to share its stages and classrooms this season.

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The University of Richmond’s Modlin Center for the Arts has announced its 2022-2023 season, and has announced that it is being even more intentional than ever in offering a diverse program of artists, emphasizing BIPOC and women-led companies to share its stages and classrooms this season.

Modlin is working to create more opportunities to connect with artists, in new settings and over periods of weeks or years, rather than brief visits or singular performances. Expanding spaces for conversations with artists, University of Richmond students and the greater Richmond community will include artist residencies, panel discussions, master classes, social gatherings, free school series events, and more.

“Modlin Center for the Arts has long held a commitment to presenting a breadth and depth of artists, performing work that engages audiences in ways that extend beyond the stage,” shared Paul Brohan, Modlin’s Executive Director. “Three factors served to guide Modlin Center in building the 2022-2023 season of transformational experiences for our community: inclusive diversity, creating expanded opportunities for engagement, and removing barriers to access.”

“Modlin Center for the Arts and the University of Richmond believes that art is available to everyone and you belong here,” Brohan added. “We can’t wait to welcome you back.“

As Modlin returns to in-person events and full-capacity seating, every adult ticket this season is $35 (or less). Modlin patrons are invited to Create Their Own (4+) Series ¾ choose four or more events and enjoy 20% off all adult tickets. Discounted single event tickets are also available for seniors and students/youth. Additionally, the Department of Music Free Concert Series and UR Free Theatre and Dance season add over 30 free opportunities to see compelling live performances. UR Museums offer regular exhibitions and other programs that are free and open to the public.

Tickets are available online at https://modlin.richmond.edu, where you can view this season’s lineup, and by phone at 804-289-8980.

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Arts & Entertainment

Over $300,000 awarded to Richmond arts and culture organizations through CultureWorks’ annual grants program

Through the generosity of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), as well as generous support from Altria Group, the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond, and individual donors, these grants support a wide variety of projects and experiences that focus on two distinct areas: Cultural Equity and Building Capabilities.

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CultureWorks has announced that over $300,000 has been invested into the local arts and culture community through its annual Grants Program, funding 17 organizations and 17 professional artists throughout the Richmond and Tri-Cities region.

“The support of CultureWorks over the years has helped Afrikana to grow and be a consistent presence in our region. This year, the grant funds will support us in presenting our first full festival since 2020, giving us a chance to share stories of the Black diaspora here, in Richmond, the birthplace of American Blackness, during a time of tremendous change for our city. CultureWorks understanding the value of Afrikana and other spaces that represent the diverse voices and creative energies in our city is exactly what we need in this moment, and their continued support is deeply appreciated.” – Enjoli Moon, Afrikana Film Festival

Through the generosity of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), as well as generous support from Altria Group, the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond, and individual donors, these grants support a wide variety of projects and experiences that focus on two distinct areas: Cultural Equity and Building Capabilities.

In November 2021, CultureWorks was awarded a $250,000 American Rescue Plan grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, of which $200,000 was specifically for sub-granting through its Cultural Equity grants program. “The NEA’s significant investment in local arts agencies, including CultureWorks, is a key element in helping the arts and culture sector recover and reopen while ensuring that American Rescue Plan funding is distributed equitably,” said Ann Eilers, NEA’s acting chair when the NEA grant was awarded. “These grants recognize the vital role of local arts agencies and will allow them to help rebuild local economies and contribute to the well-being of our communities.”

Cultural Equity grants support initiatives that reach, serve, and engage underrepresented populations in the community, while Building Capabilities grants uplift artists and organizations by improving infrastructure, technology, and strategic development. This year, 74% of awardees are BIPOC or are organizations led by or primarily serving marginalized communities.

The CultureWorks Annual Grants Program assists professional artists and nonprofit arts and culture organizations with operating budgets of less than $750,000, and benefits the cities of Richmond, Colonial Heights, Hopewell, and Petersburg, the counties of Charles City, Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent, Powhatan, and the town of Ashland.

“With the grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, together with annual support from Altria Group, the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond, and many other generous supporters, we were able to triple this year’s total awards and extend the impact of the program,” says CultureWorks President, Scott Garka. “We are inspired and invigorated by the work that these awardee artists and organizations are doing to strengthen and drive positive impacts in our region.”

To learn more about this year’s recipients, click here.

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We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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