Acts of Faith Theatre Festival Kicks Off 12th Season on January 17th

Acts of Faith Theatre Festival Kicks Off 12th Season on January 17th

The Acts of Faith Theatre Festival kicks off its twelfth season of stories and dialogue surrounding the many faces of faith in this world. Supported by diverse religious communities in the Richmond Metro area, this award-winning Festival continues to be the largest faith-based theatre festival in the United States, with 17 area theatres offering 19 shows.

Rev. Alex Evans, pastor at Second Presbyterian Church, the convening sponsor of the Acts of Faith, says, "As we move into our 12th season, all of us connected to the Acts of Faith Festival are continuously enthused by the growing energy and sense of community that emerges from this intersection of faith and culture. People come together, engaged by top-quality dramatic productions, with thoughtful discussion that encourages reflection on important topics for faith and life. This, I believe, is metro Richmond at its very best - building civility, grace, conversation, and community. We are so delighted to be part of this continuing effort."

Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faith communities come together to sponsor The Acts of Faith Festival; while theatres that participate offer shows that reflect an even wider diversity of belief and tradition. The ecumenical basis of the Acts of Faith Festival and the variety of stimulating and sometimes challenging shows, keeps the Acts of Faith going strong.

Richmond area theatres continue to offer their best talent and skills to the Festival. The Richmond Theatre Critics Circle presented ten "Artsie" Awards to plays participating in the 2015 Acts of Faith Festival. Among the awards were Best Musical, Best Play, Best Actress in a Musical and in a Play, Best Actor in a Play, Best Supporting Actor in a Musical, and Best Supporting Actress in a Play.

The 2016 Festival kicks off with the Acts of Faith Preview on Sunday, January 17, 2016 at the Sara Belle and Neil November Theatre, 114 West Broad Street at 7:00 p.m. During the Preview event, participating theatres present brief scenes from their shows to give a taste of the upcoming Festival. The Preview is free and open to the public, making it extremely popular with Festival attendees. A full house is expected.

The Acts of Faith Festival runs from January 17 through March 31, 2016. Participating theatres choose plays with significant themes pertaining to faith. After designated performances, theatres host talk-backs, placing the audience in conversation with the cast, the director, and sometimes the playwright. Whether the show is a drama or comedy, musical or staged reading; stories of faith can sometimes veer into unfamiliar and difficult territory. But time and again, the more provocative stories tend to generate the deepest discussion. The Festival leaders hope that open and honest conversation about what matters most to all of us will expose our similarities despite our differences, engender a sense of community, and create a desire to deepen our faith. In 2015, over 1,700 people participated in post-show conversations at our theatres. Talk-backs continue to be the most meaningful aspect of this Festival. In addition to the post-show dialogue, the Festival encourages groups to see the plays together and continue the discussions beyond the theatre.

For more information on the Acts of Faith, a listing of play dates and discussion forum times, and ticket information, go to www.theactsoffaith.org or call 804-514-4460.

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