Virginia Stage Company welcomes theatergoers from Hampton Roads and all around as it opens the curtain on its forty-fourth season with Cat on a Hot Tin Roof written by Tennessee Williams at the Historic Wells Theater (108 East Tazewell Street, Norfolk VA ) to be played from September 14 to October 2, 2022.
Virginia Stage Company joins the ranks of other performing arts organizations returning from the pandemic with renewed vigor to connect world-class live theater with the passionate audiences of Hampton Roads. Khanisha Foster, a familiar VSC Audiences performer, returns to bring the long-awaited three-year-old Williams play to life on stage. Having done such thought-provoking works at Wells like The Bluest Eye and Disgraced; this start to the season promises to be unforgettable. Khanisha is joined by an incredible creative team comprised of some of VSC’s most memorable designers; set design by Josafath Reynoso (The Bluest Eye, Disgrace), costume design by Bryce Turgeon (The Legend of Georgia McBride, Dreamgirls), lighting design by David Castaneda (Parchman Hour, The Bluest Eye) and sound design by Steven Allegretto (Guys & Dolls, Dreamgirls).
The Cat on a Hot Roof is one of Tennessee Williams’ most famous and arguably most controversial works. Written in the 1950s and revised in the 1970s to make it more ‘digestible’ for mainstream audiences, this Pulitzer Prize-winning drama portrays a family in crisis in the scorching south of Mississippi. A birthday party reveals secrets as everyone gathers at the family home. With Big Daddy’s declining health, Brick’s troubled past, and Maggie’s desperation for love and money, will the truth ever be revealed? As Khanisha read this work, stories and stories from her own past bubbled up and led to a unique approach to this work for which she has become known. She states:
“What really drove me to bring this story alive to Cat was Strom Thurmond. He and a black woman… had a love affair. She got pregnant. They did not marry as they wanted, but they had the child. Strom Thurmond was visiting his daughter at college…and asking her about her mother. Well, one year she told him that her mother had died. It was after this news that Strom Thurmond began enacting laws that devastated black people. Does it mean repressing your feelings for someone you love so much that after they die you want to punish everyone who looks like them?
Production Art Director Tom Quaintance is thrilled with the team of artists working on this production. “This cast can only be described as a force of nature…Big Daddy (Jeff King) and Big Mama (Marsha Estell) command space in ways beyond description. Maggie (Anna Sundberg) and Brick (Greg Warren) have this electric interaction that made me miss live theater more than ever.” The fiery conviction of Williams’ words is sure to provide a live theater experience that art lovers in Hampton Roads won’t want to miss.
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. Virginia Stage Company present CAT HOT TIN ROOF leave moist