Sunday, March 26, 2023

Norfolk’s Performing Arts Community Showcased at Upcoming Theatre Festival

Norfolk is one of the most theatre-rich cities in Virginia, a diverse community full of spirited audiences in venues large and small. February 14-17, the Norfolk Theatre Festival will mark Norfolk’s role as a cultural destination and celebrate the performing arts organizations that enliven the scene here. 

“As the arts and culture destination of Hampton Roads, Norfolk is excited to bring the highest caliber of theatrical performances to our city for residents, visitors and the community to celebrate,” said Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander. 

Norfolk is home to a gifted performing arts community, vibrant theatre companies, multiple universities with theatre programs, and a nurturing environment for new works. Norfolk also hosts a robust touring Broadway series which draws tens of thousands of residents and regional visitors per season. In addition, the venues that house some of the liveliest performances in Norfolk are among the most beautiful and historic places in this architecturally distinguished city. 

Experience unforgettable shows, behind-the-scenes events, and more. Discover the riches of the Norfolk theatre scene in a whirlwind weekend in February 2019—the perfect Valentine’s getaway or staycation! 

Performances during Norfolk Theatre Festival include: Once On This Island presented by Norfolk State University Theatre Company Thursday, February 14, 7:30pm Saturday, February 16, 2:00pm Sunday, February 17, 2:00pm Norfolk State University’s G.W.C. Brown Memorial Hall Mainstage Theater 

Once On This Island is the big, bold and breathtaking tale of Ti Moune, a fearless Caribbean girl who is ready to risk it all for love. Guided by the mighty island gods, Ti Moune sets out on a remarkable journey to reunite with a boy who has captured her heart. Once On This Island won the 2018 Tony Award for Best Musical Revival. Behind the Scenes Events 

Thursday evening, come early for a 6:30pm reception, and stay after the show for a talkback with the cast and director. Or choose the Saturday matinee performance and enjoy a post-show chat with the cast and director. 

The Scarlet Letter presented by CORE Theatre Ensemble 

Thursday, February 14, 8:00pm The Wells Theatre This classic tale of forbidden love and irrevocable guilt is presented with Core’s inventive blend of literature, theatre, music, and dance. Secrets, sin, and scripture keep a New World settlement alight with gossip and suspicion as Hester Prynne is accused of adultery. With her newborn child in hand she is sentenced to wear indefinitely the scarlet colored letter ‘A’ as a symbol of her sin while she continues to keep the father’s identity a secret even as her estranged husband re-emerges. In both the light and darkness there is “nothing more wretched than the mind of a man conscious of guilt.” 

Choir Boy presented by Norfolk State University Theatre Company Friday, February 15, 7:30pm Saturday, February 16, 7:30pm Sunday, February 17, 5:00pm Attucks Theatre NSU Theatre Company’s critically acclaimed 2017 National Black Theatre Festival production of Choir Boy is infused with the spirit and music of glorious gospel spirituals. It tells the story of Pharus, who wants to lead his school’s legendary choir—but quickly learns that the “key” he sings in, is not in tune with the men of Drew Prep. Choir Boy contains adult language and situations. 

Behind the Scenes Events Friday evening, come early for a 6:30pm reception, and stay after the show for a talkback with the cast and director. Or stay after the show on both the Saturday and Sunday performances and enjoy a post-show chat with the cast and director. 

The Wizard of Oz Broadway in Norfolk 

Friday, February 15, 8:00pm 

Saturday, February 16, 2:00pm & 8:00pm 

Sunday, February 17, 1:00pm 

Chrysler Hall There truly is no place like home as the greatest family musical of all time twists its way into Norfolk! The entire family will be captivated as they travel down the Yellow Brick Road and beyond with Dorothy, Toto and their friends the Cowardly Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow in this lavish production, featuring breathtaking special effects, dazzling choreography and classic songs. 

Behind the Scenes Event Saturday, February 16 After the Saturday evening performance of The Wizard of Oz, the audience is invited to a post-show talk with the actors, who share their adventures of life on the Yellow Brick Road! 

The Comedy of Errors presented by Generic Theater Friday, February 15, 8:00pm Saturday, February 16, 8:00pm Sunday, February 17, 6:00pm Selden Arcade 

Laugh along with the slapstick story of two sets of identical twins who were accidentally separated at birth. In Shakespeare’s classic comedy, when friends and families encounter the twins, a series of wild mishaps based on mistaken identities lead to wrongful beatings, a near-seduction, arrests, and false accusations of infidelity, theft, madness, and demonic possession! 

The Secret Garden presented by Virginia Stage Company Friday, February 15, 7:30pm Saturday, February 16, 3:00pm & 7:30pm Sunday, February 17, 2:00pm 

Norfolk Botanical Garden 

This Tony Award Winning masterpiece musical premiered at Virginia Stage Company in 1989 before its acclaimed Broadway run. Based on Frances Hodgson Burnett’s beloved children’s novel, this magical tale follows lonely orphan Mary Lennox, who is sent to live with her uncle on the Yorkshire moors and discovers renewed life for herself and her sickly cousin, in bringing a secret garden back to life. Soon returning to Broadway, this is a rare opportunity to hear this gorgeous music performed live before it heads back to the great white way. Presented as a concert version of the musical in collaboration with the Norfolk Botanical Garden, this performance will pay homage to the beautiful music, lyrics, and Pulitzer Prize winner Marsha Norman’s script. Cast includes Broadway veterans Kate Fahrner (Glinda, Wicked) and Craig Waletzko (Harry the Horse, Guys and Dolls). Don’t miss your chance to experience this show in a beautiful Norfolk Landmark—the Norfolk Botanical Garden! 

Behind the Scenes Event How does a performance come together? Come early to the Friday, February 15 performance of The Secret Garden for a pre-show talk with Director Tom Quaintance and Music Director Joanna Li. 

Special Hands-On Workshop! 



As part of their engagement at Selden Arcade, Generic Theater invites you to a fun, do-it-yourself workshop making Good Witch Wands, masks & puppets using free and recycled materials. Learn fun basics of creating theater wizardry! 

More information on Norfolk Theatre Festival can be found at

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