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Norfolk Theatre Festival Returns This Week!

2022 Performances April - June in venues across the city

Words and Images courtesy of the Virginia Arts Festival.

Norfolk has become a cultural destination for arts lovers and this spring Norfolk Theatre Festival returns with shows that reflect our diverse community and spirited audiences. Home to vibrant producing theatre companies, gifted performers of all ages, and university theatre programs, Norfolk Theatre Festival features home-grown talent, new and established artists in some of the most beautiful and historic venues in the city. Norfolk’s many restaurants, breweries and beautiful hotel choices enrich these immersive theatre weekends. Experience unforgettable shows and discover the riches of the Norfolk theatre scene —the perfect spring getaway or staycation! Buy tickets and find more information including restaurants and area hotel partners at

Performances during Norfolk Theatre Festival include:

Dreamgirls April 13 - May 1 Wells Theatre Co-produced with Virginia Stage Company and Norfolk State University Theatre Company A sweeping and inspirational journey through 20th century American pop music, Dreamgirls chronicles one Motown group's rise from obscurity to superstardom. Through gospel, R&B, smooth pop, disco and more, Dreamgirls explores themes of ambition, hope and betrayal, all set in the glamorous and competitive world of the entertainment industry. This powerhouse musical will grace the Wells Stage around its 40th anniversary of its six Tony ® Award wins. No Exit April 30-May 1 ODU Theatre Performance Studio Presented by CORE Theatre Ensemble Two women and one man are locked up together for eternity. The windows are bricked up, there are no mirrors, the electric lights can never be turned off, and there is no exit. The irony of this hell is that its torture is not of the rack and fire but of the burning humiliation of each soul as it is stripped of its pretenses by the cruel curiosity of the damned. Here the soul is shorn of secrecy and even the blackest deeds are mercilessly exposed to the fierce light of hell. It is an eternal torment. Hell truly is other people. The In[HEIR]itance Project May 5-7 Attucks Theatre Presented by Virginia Arts Festival Since August 2021 In[HEIR]itance Project artists have been working with community members exploring three narratives side-by-side: the story of Exodus, the history of Coastal Virginia, and the reflections of the people who call this place home. Co-created with hundreds of locals, this funny and thought-provoking drama reimagines the 7 cities as an intergenerational family, and explores the hidden (and not so hidden) struggles of the 757. Tickets are being sold in a “Pay What You Can” model and 100% of the box office proceeds will go to local artists and arts organizations working with teens in Hampton Roads.

The Sound of Music May 13-15 Harrison Opera House Co-produced by Virginia Arts Festival and Virginia Opera Music by Richard Rodgers Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II Book by Howard Lindsay & Russel Crowe Suggested by “The Trapp Family Singers” By Maria Augusta Trapp Rob Fisher, conductor Virginia Symphony Orchestra One of the most beloved musicals of all time, The Sound of Music became a Broadway legend when it opened in 1959, capturing five Tony Awards including Best Musical; the film version released in 1965 won five Academy Awards including Best Picture. Set in 1938 and based on the story of the Trapp Family Singers, the musical is about a young Austrian postulant nun, Maria, who is sent to the villa of a retired naval officer and widower to be governess to his seven children. In the shadow of the Nazi invasion of their country, Maria brings love and music to the family. The score, which generations of fans can sing by heart, includes such memorable songs as "My Favorite Things," "Climb Ev'ry Mountain," "The Sound of Music," "Do-Re-Mi" and more. The new production will be conducted by Rob Fisher, renowned on Broadway, television, and in recordings for his “nimble baton” that draws “attention to the intricacy and wit of the orchestrations” (The New York Times). Fisher’s conducting on the Chicago Lyric Opera’s 2014 production of The Sound of Music won rave reviews. The Sound of Music is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization.

Every Brilliant Thing May 18 - June 5 Wells Theatre Presented by Virginia Stage Company An immersive storytelling experience that blends comedy, improv, and audience interaction to tell the story of an adult growing up in the shadow of mental illness, and learning to grapple with his own experiences with love, loss and depression. Every Brilliant Thing provides a life-affirming jolt of humanism, reminding us that hope comes from the miracles of life’s minutiae. Briar Patch (from Tales From the Briar Patch) and Companionship June 3 and June 5 Attucks Theatre Produced by Virginia Arts Festival’s John Duffy Institute for New Opera These new one-act operas were created through the Festival’s John Duffy Institute for New Opera, which gives composers and librettists opportunities to create new works, mentored by opera professionals. The slyly joyful Bre’r Rabbit, from composer Nkeiru Okoye and librettist Carmen Moore, reboots the beloved folk tale while paying tribute to the African tradition of storytelling. The wry and witty Companionship, by composer/librettist Rachel J. Peters, sings the story of an aspiring baker who finally reaches the end of her obsessive quest to bake the perfect baguette when the 207,345th one suddenly comes to life. Discover world premieres by gifted creators.

More information on Norfolk Theatre Festival can be found at

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