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Virginia Stage Company to Present THE HAMPTON YEARS

Virginia Stage Company's first production of 2016, The Hampton Years, explores the empowering nature of art through the journey of two students and their professors. Set at Hampton Institute (now Hampton University) in the 1940s, the production examines society's expectations surrounding African American artists. Based on the true story of students John Biggers and Samella Sanders, The Hampton Years follows their struggle to find their unique voices. As these students discover themselves they challenge their place in society by defining what it means to be an artist.

This original work by playwright Jacqueline E. Lawton will receive its second production at the historic Wells Theater just down the road from Hampton University where these heroic students made history. The Hampton Years celebrates the galvanizing power of creation in the community where it all began. As John and Samella work on their groundbreaking exhibition, audiences will become immersed in the multimedia journey of the artists.

In addition, Virginia Stage Company will be releasing in installments the behind-the-design video series INSIDE VSC: Creating a World in order to give Hampton Roads a deeper understanding of how their shows are created here in Norfolk. The series will feature the creative minds behind The Hampton Years and will reveal inspirations for the set, lighting, sounds, costumes, etc. Keep an eye out on their website and social media accounts to watch as they share with our community an inside look at all that goes into a VSC production, and watch the first episode at

The Hampton Years begins with three discounted preview performances, January 19-21, and officially opens on January 22. After 21 performances, the production will conclude on February 7. Tickets for each show start as low as $19, a radically different price than in seasons past. The best seats in the Theatre are available for $55 with discounts for groups, students, and the military.

Interviews can be set up with members of the cast, crew, creative team, or staff of VSC. All reviews are welcome and tickets can be provided to anyone who wishes to see the production for these purposes.

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

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