Virginia Repertory Theatre announces the musicals, plays, and special presentations for its 2023-2024 Signature Season at the November Theatre downtown, the Barksdale Season at Hanover Tavern, the Children’s Season at the Virginia Rep Center for Arts and Education as well as the Theatre Gym studio space. Season Subscriptions are now on sale by calling the Box Office at 804-282-2620 or going online to Virginiarep.org. Single tickets will go on sale this summer.
“Our 2023-2024 season features the regional premiere of an irreverent political comedy, fresh from its acclaimed Broadway run, an intriguing-yet-hilarious mystery, a new American musical, a pair of intimate biographical dramas, Dolly Parton’s uproarious nod to gender inequality in the workplace, as well as collaborations with Cadence Theatre Company and the Weinstein Jewish Community Center,” said Artistic Director of Programming Rick Hammerly.
“We’ll have five amazing children’s productions in our new space at the Virginia Rep Center for Arts and Education,” added Todd D. Norris, Artistic Director of Education. ”This season we experienced the happy voices of thousands of children for our shows in the Jessie Bogese Theatre, and it’s been such a wonderful return to children’s programming. Families have definitely found us!”
Desirée Roots, Artistic Director of Community, will lead a variety of programs in the new season centered on community partnerships, including Gospel Nativity at the holidays, Disney Musicals in Schools, TALL (Theatre Arts Learning League), as well as concerts and public appearances.
Signature Season at the November Theatre
POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive
Sept 1, 2023 – October 1, 2023
By Selina Filling
Directed by Dorothy Holland
Dedication: Carol Piersol
Regional Premiere Hot off its Tony Award-nominated Broadway debut — POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive is a riotous comedy about the women in charge of the man in charge of the free world, whose use of a four-letter word is about to rock 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. When the President unwittingly spins a PR nightmare into a global crisis, the seven brilliant and beleaguered women he relies upon most risk life, liberty, and the pursuit of sanity to keep the commander-in-chief out of trouble.
The Silver Belles
November 24, 2023 – December 31, 2023
Book by Allyson Currin
Music by Matt Conner
Lyrics by Stephen Gregory Smith
Based on an idea by Cathy Alter & Sandra Johnson
Directed by Susan Sanford
A heartfelt holiday hoedown with humor and a heaping helping of well-known Christmas songs and clever new country and western ditties. It’s “Designing Women” meets ”Golden Girls” when Oralene, the longtime director of small town Sylva Ridge’s Christmas Pageant, suddenly passes away, and the Silver Belles must come to the rescue! With the spirit of Oralene looking on, the sterling-hued vixens band together, uncover their talents, and pull out all the stops to keep the town’s beloved pageant alive.
Satchmo at the Waldorf
Featuring Jerold Solomon
March 1, 2024 – April 7, 2024
By Terry Teachout
Directed by Rick Hammerly
In this one-actor, three-character play, Richmond favorite Jerold Solomon portrays Louis Armstrong, the greatest of all jazz trumpeters; Joe Glaser, his white manager; and Miles Davis, who admired Armstrong’s playing, but detested his onstage manner. In 1971, in a dressing room backstage at the Empire Room of New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, four months prior to his death, Armstrong attempts to come to terms with his long-standing relationship with Glaser, whom he once loved like a father but now believes to have betrayed him.
9 to 5, The Musical
June 21, 2024 – August 4, 2024
Music and Lyrics by Dolly Parton
Book by Patricia Resnick
Based on the 20th Century Fox Picture
Originally produced on Broadway by Robert Greenblatt, April 2009
Directed by Debra Clinton
Dolly Parton’s hilarious musical celebrates female friendship, and the ultimate revenge against their male boss. Pushed to the boiling point, three female co-workers take control of their office and learn there’s nothing they can’t do, even in a man’s world. Violet, Judy and Doralee concoct a plan to get even with their sexist-egotistical-lying-hypocritical-bigot of a boss and live out their wildest fantasy. The women give their workplace a dream makeover, stepping up to run the company that had always kept them down.
Barksdale Season at Hanover Tavern
Martha Mitchell Calling
Featuring Debra Wagoner and Joe Pabst
September 29, 2023 – October 29, 2023
By Jodi Rothe
Directed by Rick Hammerly
A humorous, yet poignant, exploration of Martha Mitchell (Debra Wagoner), legendary wife of Watergate conspirator and Attorney General John Mitchell (Joe Pabst). Flamboyant, formidable and often misunderstood, Mitchell demanded the truth even when no one believed her. Though ostracized as a traitor and abandoned by her family, she never lost her spirit, even as she called for Nixon’s resignation. As Nixon himself told David Frost during their famous 1977 interview, “If it hadn’t been for Martha Mitchell, there’d have been no Watergate.”
Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery
December 15, 2023 – January 21, 2024
By Ken Ludwig
Get your deerstalker cap on — Sherlock Holmes is on the case. The play’s afoot in Ken Ludwig’s murderously funny twist on Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles. The male Baskerville heirs are being dispatched one by one. To find their ingenious killer, Holmes and Watson must brave the desolate moors before a family curse dooms the next heir. Our intrepid investigators try to escape a dizzying web of clues, silly accents, and disguises, as five actors deftly portray more than forty characters. Can our heroes discover the truth in time? Join the fun and see how far from elementary the truth can be.
March 15, 2024 – April 14, 2024
Music and Lyrics by Matt Conner
Book and Lyrics by Stephen Gregory Smith
Directed by Todd D. Norris
Amidst the turbulent 1920’s, Frank and Flora Conrad were on the edge of discovering mass broadcasting. These two unsung radio pioneers broke through the static and established the first radio station in America within their own unassuming garage in East Pittsburgh. ON AIR follows their untold love story, their professional victories and disappointments, as well as their journey in establishing broadcast radio as a constant companion, messenger, and soundtrack for the life of every American.
Children’s Season in the Jessie Bogese Theatre inside Virginia Rep Center for Arts and Education
The Emperor’s New Clothes
October 20, 2023 – November 12, 2023
By Hans Christian Andersen
Adapted by Richard Giersch
Music by Jason Marks
Directed by Jan Guarino
The classic fable is brought to life in this Hans Christian Andersen story of greed and privilege. When it comes to fashion and…well, everything… this emperor knows it all, or so he thinks. The emperor has decreed that color and music are banned from the kingdom and are only allowed in his castle. Two charlatans persuade the emperor that they have the world’s most exquisite fabric. The emperor pays the “tailors” a fortune for his new clothes, but when he parades through town in his new wardrobe, a good-hearted, honest child shouts out what everyone else is thinking!
The Santa Clues
December 8, 2023 – December 31, 2023
By Pat Mullen
Ever wondered “Who exactly is this Santa guy anyway?” Well the United States special agency, The Bureau of Oddities, would like to know too! Join special agents Drake and Fletcher as they follow clues that reveal the secret identity of the jolly old man in red. Be prepared, as things might not turn out as you expect.
Chasing George Washington: A White House Adventure
Field trips are fun, especially when your destination is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue! Students Dee, José and Annie accidentally knock George Washington out of his portrait and into real life—turning their White House tour into an unexpected adventure. As they try to get the nation’s first president back into his painting, the threesome encounters Jacqueline Kennedy; Abraham Lincoln and his wife, Mary Todd; Dolley Madison; and other famous White House residents. Together, they learn that the White House isn’t just a historic building—it’s also a home.
Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Rock Experience
April 12, 2024 – May 19, 2024
Based on Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed book by Mo Willems
Published by Hyperion Books for Children
Script and Lyrics by Mo Willems
Music by Deborah Wicks LaPuma
Directed by Todd D. Norris
Dude! Kids and adults will love this rock ‘n roll parable based on the hit children’s book by Mo Willems. Wilbur and all his fellow naked mole rats in the Tunnel have always been, well… naked. Wondering what other possibilities are out there, Wilbur discovers a love for clothing and style. When word of his new passion turns the Tunnel upside down, he proves to everyone that there’s no need to be just like everyone else.
Dragons Love Tacos
July 14, 2024 – August 4, 2024
By Ernie Nolan
Based on the book by Adam Rubin with illustrations by Daniel Salmieri
Published by Penguin Group; Produced by special arrangement with Plays for New Audiences; with music by Chris LaPorte
Directed by Kära Ernst-Schalk
A boy and his dog are watching a TV show about dragons when they unexpectedly get caught up in the ‘Dos and Don’ts’ of what to feed dragons. Turns out they LOVE tacos, but if they accidentally eat spicy salsa…watch out!
About Virginia Rep
Virginia Repertory Theatre is a regional professional theater headquartered in downtown Richmond, and is one of the largest performing arts organizations in Central Virginia. Virginia Rep will stage three primary seasons in 2022-2023: the Signature Season at the Sara Belle and Neil November Theatre, the Barksdale Season at the Hanover Tavern. Virginia, and the Children’s Season at Virginia Rep Center for Arts and Education, 4204 Hermitage Road in Richmond’s Northside. Virginia Rep also tours children’s shows, both virtual and live, and provides educational programming to schools throughout Virginia and to major performing arts centers throughout 32 states.