UVA Arts, University of Virginia

Vol 10 Summer 19 Library
Rehearsal ofA Chorus Line, Heritage Theatre Festival 2018 Season (Credit: Ken Huth)
Heritage Theatre Festival

45th Anniversary Season

(Photo: Ken Huth)

Heritage Theatre Festival is celebrating its 45thyear with a season that explores the concepts of connection and community from a variety of fascinating, entertaining, and engaging angles. The season kicks off on June 28 with the Tony-nominated Million Dollar Quartet. Next up is a new look at an ageless classic in Kate Hamill’s whimsically raucous and romantic adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, followed by the much-beloved Steel Magnolias, by Robert Harling. The season will conclude with The Niceties, by Eleanor Burgess, which takes a timely and explosive look at how we think and talk about race, history, and power. 

Million Dollar Quartet gets things off to a truly rocking start, capturing a magical moment in rock and roll history! On December 4, 1956, reigning superstars of the day Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis had a chance meeting at the legendary Sam Phillips’ Sun Records in Memphis. The jam session that ensued was the stuff of rock and roll history, and it was captured for posterity by Phillips. Colin Escott’s and Floyd Mutrux’s smash-hit features a wildly talented cast of actors who each play their own instruments, and it has had audiences on Broadway jumping to their feet night after night. 

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Hamill’s adaptation of Pride and Prejudice is Austen as you have never seen her before, with eight actors doubling up on roles and doubling down on laughter, whimsy, and romance as they tell the classic tale of the lengths to which people go for love. It’s a highly-entertaining journey for audiences of all ages. Robert Harling’s beloved Steel Magnolias centers around the sharp, strong, witty, and big-hearted cast of characters inside Truvy’s beauty salon in Chinquapin, Louisiana. Truvy dispenses shampoos, scathing wisecracks, and free advice, all delivered in equal measure and with her signature flair, to a group of dynamic, hilarious, and resilient women. When tragedy enters the picture, the women offer powerful and universal lessons in sacrifice, love, and the importance of building friendships and memories that can sustain us forever. 

Called “a barnburner of a play,” and “one of the best plays I’ve seen about who gets to tell our story and how” by the Washington Post, Eleanor Burgess’The Nicetiesis the story of a young African American student who challenges her white, liberal, female professor on the role of slavery in the American Revolution, creating a powder keg of a conversation that fundamentally changes each woman, and teaches all of us valuable lessons about how we talk to, and listen to, one another. The 2019 Heritage Theatre Festival season will run through August 11. For complete schedule information and to learn about season subscriptions and individual show tickets, visit heritagetheatrefestival.org

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