Marking 50 years of theater
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The Virginia Theatre Festival is marking its 50th anniversary this year.
It was originally founded in 1974 as the Heritage Repertory Company, and this year will include a special production looking back at its decades-long history.
This will be the 50 Years and Counting: A Musical Revue, directed by Robert Chapel, who served for a long time as the VTF’s artistic director.
This show will feature a curated selection of some of the songs from the company’s shows over the years that will be performed by audience-favorite performers.
“It’s thrilling to celebrate this important milestone, marking 50 years of bringing live professional theatre to Charlottesville,” said VTF Artistic Director Jenny Wales. “From its beginnings as Heritage Repertory Company all the way through its evolution to the Virginia Theatre Festival, our company has been an incubator and developer of talent. We are delighted to welcome back Bob Chapel, who has played such a pivotal role in our theatre’s history in his 29 years here.”
She adds that Chapel’s return is particularly appropriate this year due to his role in bringing musicals to the Charlottesville community.
“It was under Bob’s leadership that Heritage started producing musicals, so for him to come back and put together an evening that celebrates musical theater and what it has meant to our community feels particularly significant.”
This production will kick off the season with shows from June 27 to 30 in the Culbreth Theatre.
Up next at the Culbreth will be Little Shop of Horrors, which will run from July 11 to 21.
The season will wrap with The 39 Steps, a classic Hitchcock mystery flipped on its head.
“What I love about The 39 Steps is the mashup of farce and mystery. You get to watch actors at the very top of their games whip us around from character to character and location to location and storyline to storyline,” Wales said. ”It’s like Hitchcock on steroids with heavy doses of physical comedy, incredibly sharp writing, and all the things that we love about a classic farce. It’s the perfect combination of film noir and live theater.”
This production will be in the Ruth Caplin Theatre from July 25 to Aug. 4.
Tickets for the 2024 season will go on sale on June 6.
For more information about the Virginia Theatre Festival, click here.