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2022/23 Transformations Season Announced


Live Arts announces a full season of powerhouse shows for its 2022/23 Transformations Season. The season opens with Caryl Churchill’s kaleidoscopic LOVE AND INFORMATION, and continues with the heartfelt musical VIOLET with music by Jeanine Tesori and lyrics and book by Brian Crawley. The musical is followed by Jez Butterworth’s mysterious THE RIVER, then CRUMBS FROM THE TABLE OF JOY follows in the spring, a poignant memory play by Lynn Nottage. Next arrives the outrageously funny solo show BUYER & CELLAR. The Transformations Season closes with the first ever WaterWorks Festival, a month-long festival celebrating new writing for the theater. Subscription packages start at just $90 for the season. Subscriptions are available now through the Box Office at or by phone at 434-977-4177 x123.

“Live Arts audiences are risk-takers. They recognize theater has the power to change, to transform lives,” says Artistic Director Susan E. Evans. “Every theater-maker who joins us to pick up a hammer, hang a light, sew a costume, act, direct, design, or produce is shaping a one-of-a-kind lightbulb moment together.”  

“The shows that make up the 2022/23 Season are all about transformations. Whether the story explores human connections and information overload, a journey to erase a disfiguring scar, a couple on a moonless night, a family in transition, or a lonely superstar and her fan, each one is a powerful story of change,” says Evans.

Live Arts is especially excited to launch the WaterWorks Festival as the grand finale of the Transformations Season—a month-long celebration dedicated to the playwright in all of us. WaterWorks showcases local voices through readings of new plays and musicals, workshops for writers and directors, contests, and more.  


Caryl Churchill’s LOVE AND INFORMATION asks us how we can connect with each other and make sense of it all amidst the glut of data and noise in our everyday lives. Fifty-seven self-contained playlets and more than 100 characters leave us abuzz with questions as we puzzle over the moments before and after. 

Presented by Barbara & Jay Kessler. 
Starts September 2022. Founders Theater. Directed by Susan E. Evans

A soaring musical pilgrimage by the composer of Fun Home and Caroline, or Change, VIOLET arrives on the Live Arts stage in November. With a mixture of country, gospel, blues, and honky-tonk rock, this heart-felt piece with music by Jeanine Tesori and lyrics and book by Brian Crawley was a Drama Critics’ Circle Award Winner and Tony nominee for best revival of a musical. In 1964, a young woman from a North Carolina hilltop town in the Blue Ridge Mountains takes a 900-mile Greyhound bus journey. She hopes a televangelist preacher in Tulsa will pray away the deep scar on her face and transform her life. Based on the short story The Ugliest Pilgrim by Doris Betts. 

Presented by Latitude 38. Sponsored by Woodard Properties.
Starts November 2022. Gibson Theater. Director TBA. 

From the writer of the internationally acclaimed plays Jerusalem and The Ferryman, Live Arts brings the Virginia premiere of Jez Butterworth’s THE RIVER to Charlottesville in January 2023. It’s a moonless night in August when the sea trout are ready to run. A man brings a woman to a remote cabin on the cliff, above the river, where he has come to fish since he was a boy. And then suddenly she is missing. Haunting, lyrical, and mysteriously thrilling, THE RIVER will keep audiences teetering on the edge, a question hanging in the air: when we find someone new, are we summoning someone once lost? 

Presented by Panorama Consulting, and George Worthington & Cameron Mowat.
Starts January 2023. Founders Theater. Directed by Robert Chapel

A warm and touching coming-of-age story told through the eyes of 17-year-old Ernestine Crump, CRUMBS FROM THE TABLE OF JOY is next up in the Gibson Theater. Playwright Lynn Nottage’s memory play is set in 1950 Brooklyn, where recently widowed Godfrey Crump has just moved his family north from Pensacola. The Crump girls escape their isolation by going to the cinema, while their father finds solace in radio evangelist Father Divine. Things change quickly when Aunt Lily, a free-spirited communist, bursts into their home.

Presented by The Caplin Foundation. Sponsored by Allison Partners. 
Starts March 2023. Gibson Theater. Directed by Ti Ames.

A struggling L.A. actor, canned from Disneyland, takes a gig working in the Malibu basement mall of a mega-superstar. Alex isn’t that big of a Barbra queen, but when Her Majesty Herself shows up, the bonding begins. Playwright Tolins got the idea for BUYER & CELLAR, a delightfully hilarious solo show about the price of fame and the value of “things,” from Barbra Streisand’s coffee-table book, “My Passion for Design,” which showed off her subterranean emporium.  

Starts April 2023. Founders Theater. Directed by Jude Hansen. 

In May, Live Arts launches a month-long celebration of new theatrical voices building on its long history of showcasing new works! The WaterWorks Festival: New Works on Water Street puts the playwright at center stage. Live Arts renews its commitment to cultivating new theater pieces, supporting playwrights in the development of their work, and diversifying local stories told on the Charlottesville stage. The WaterWorks Festival lineup will include: 

LOCALLY SOURCED 2023 | This annual production of short original plays is presented by the Live Arts Playwrights’ Lab and features the work of local writers.

SILAS, THE UNINVITED by Derek Snow | Presented in partnership with The Breath Project, a national coalition of artists to create, develop, and support original theatrical works by BIPOC artists. Sponsored by Chaski Global. Directed by Hannah Vidaver.

Plus workshops, readings, contests, and much more!

Presented by Pamela Friedman and Ronald Bailey. 
Starts May 2023. Director of New Works Adrienne Oliver. 

In addition to the six productions included in the 2022/23 subscription packages, the teen summer musical returns in July 2023, offering theater lovers aged 14-20 the chance to perform together on the Gibson stage. Title to be announced! 

Starts July 2023. Gibson Theater.

Live Arts offers a myriad of ways to engage, bringing volunteers together for all types of theater-making. Accessible educational opportunities for all ages include classes, workshops, audience talkbacks, scene shop builds, volunteer-led groups, and more. Live Arts is committed to centering the values of diversity, equity and inclusion in every aspect of theater. 

Subscribers to Live Arts save on ticket prices and are guaranteed premium reserved seating at each show and other perks. Single ticket prices range from $27 to $33 with discounts available for students and senior citizens. Pay-What-You-Can tickets sponsored by Ting Charlottesville will be available on the opening Saturday and all Wednesday night performances. 

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