Virginia Stage Company Announces New Public Works Virginia Initiative

For forty years, Virginia Stage Company has brought great plays to life for the citizens of Hampton Roads. Public Works Virginia expands that mission to making theatre not just for the community, but with the community.

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 an extraordinary diversity of people to participate in workshops and classes, to attend performances, and to join in the creation of audacious works of theatre.


Communities participate in acting classes ranging from improv to puppetry to musical theatre and playwriting.


We attend plays, meet artists and deepen our community connections.


We all come together to celebrate Virginia onstage with a large-scale production at the Wells Theatre on Labor Day weekend.

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 has enjoyed enormous success in New York, Dallas and Seattle," Quaintance said. "It is changing the way theatres engage with their communities, and we are thrilled to be a part of this national program."

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.

Virginia Stage will partner with many other local non-profits, community organizations, and locally minded companies. Some of the current partners are: Chesapeake Parks, Recreation, and Tourism | The Y on Granby | Access Virginia | The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center of Hampton Roads.

This initiative is made possible largely in part by the Batten Educational Achievement Fund of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation.

Interviews can be arranged with administrative and creative staff regarding the launch of this pilot initiative.

Virginia Stage Company is southeastern Virginia's leading theatre destination, serving an audience of over 70,000 annually both at the Wells Theatre and throughout the community. Virginia Stage Company's mission is to "enrich, educate, and entertain the region by creating and producing theatrical art of the highest quality."

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