Get to know our new Artistic Director, Nathaniel Shaw

Artistic Director, Nathaniel Shaw
Artistic Director, Nathaniel Shaw

Every day my excitement builds about my new role as Artistic Director of Virginia Rep.  While I officially started on July 1, previously planned commitments and life events mean that I will work remotely until I permanently move to Richmond October 1.  My family will follow a few weeks later.  I think Lisa and I can safely say that this summer will be one of the craziest few months of our lives.

Late last fall, we had just discovered my wife was pregnant with our second child.  Not to diminish the remarkable feat of pregnancy, but my wife’s first experience was a relatively graceful one.  At about the same time we discovered we could expect our next child in August, I was receiving offers to direct throughout the summer.  We did not know at that time that I would eventually earn the job at Virginia Rep, and we both felt I needed to continue building my resume.  One of the offers I received was to direct back-to-back productions of West Side Story and A Chorus Line at Cortland Rep in upstate New York.  Agreeing to do these shows would mean six consecutive weeks away from home while Lisa was 7-8 months pregnant with a two year old tearing the house apart.  Although we knew it would be challenging for both of us (particularly my wife), we agreed that I should seize the opportunity to direct these two masterpieces.  How naive we were.  At the time my wife needed me the most, I was off playing make-believe.  Fortunately, Lisa is an amazing woman, and she, my son Benny, and the house, all survived.

For West Side Story and A Chorus Line, Cortand Rep hired primarily the same company of actors.  Only a couple of actors left us after West Side, and only our Zach and Cassie joined us for A Chorus Line.  Everyone else was pulling double-duty.  To rehearse and perform one of these iconic dance shows is a challenge for any triple-threat performer.  But to rehearse West Side Story from 10am to 10pm every day, then begin rehearsing A Chorus Line during the day immediately following our West Side opening, and giving your all to both projects simultaneously, is a nearly impossible task.  Well, if I had to be away from my family for six weeks, the company of actors we hired made it completely worthwhile.  I have never in my career been affiliated with a more devoted group of artists.  They would dance from 10-4:30, rush off for dinner and a 6:30 call to the theater, go through a rigorous pre-show fight call and directly into performance.  Usually, from about 11pm-1am I would type up and email my notes from the previous days work.  Without fail, every single note I sent them (and there were always pages and pages) was considered and “in” for the next day’s rehearsal.  The collaboration with this special group of actors has forever raised the bar on my expectation of actors in relation to work ethic, and the  pursuit of personal connection and detailed, specific storytelling.  This wonderful company has also allowed me to raise expectations of myself.  If they can deliver the level of detail our demanding creative teams asked, while working exhaustively on two physically and emotionally challenging shows, then I must require more of myself and my collaborators on all projects.  I feel immeasurably blessed to have worked with this special group of people before beginning my tenure at Virginia Rep.

Up next…. Touch with Libra Theater Company at 59e59 in New York.  We open this project on August 19th…. our baby is due August 20th.  Our naivety continues.  We will see how that week shakes down.

I sincerely cannot wait to be in Virginia working with all of the wonderful people that have made this get-to-know-you process so exciting.  See you soon!

Electrics Internship 2016-17

When the lights go up on a stage; that thrill of getting something that has nothing to do with acquisition.
~ Sadie Jones


The deadline to  apply for our Electrics Internship has been extended to August 15, 2016.

Applications are now being accepted.

Duration of Internship: September 2016 – May 2017

The Electrics Intern will gain valuable experience working in a professional theatre environment while assisting with electrics load-in, hanging, focus, and strike, and will help facilitate audio/visual setup for special events and projects.

More about the internship and how to apply


Additional Auditions for ‘1776’

Direction by Debra Clinton

Additional auditions will be held on Friday, June 10, 5-7PM.

Auditions are by appointment only and will be held at Virginia Rep’s November Theatre, 114 W Broad St., Richmond, VA 23220.


Those who auditioned at the 2016-17 Season Open Call should not attend this audition.


Please e-mail to request an appointment.


Those auditioning are asked to prepare a short musical theatre song, not to exceed 2 minutes in length.  An accompanist will be provided.  Please bring sheet music in the appropriate key.


Rehearsals begin August 29 for a September 28 – October 23 run.

Seeking Union and Non-Union performers. All performers will be paid.


Please direct questions to



Casting the following roles:



JOHN ADAMS (Fortyish): A not tall, fiery, very articulate, proud, passionate man. He is a New England Puritan coupled with a passion for ideas and an incredibly strong love for his wife, Abigail. Charismatic in a hard working way; he’s always there. An opposition’s nightmare. Good sense of humor. Baritone, C to F#.
**This role is cast.  Seeking cover only.


THOMAS JEFFERSON (Thirtyish): Tall- must be at least 6’2”. The “American Sphinx” transformed into the quiet but intellectually forceful romantic lead. Sexy in a languid way. Good sense of humor. Vocal Range: Baritone, C to G.


BENJAMIN FRANKLIN (60-70) Intelligent, incorrigible, and pleasantly cunning. A jolly and admirable fellow with whom anyone would desire friendship. Vocal Range: Ab to Eb.


RICHARD HENRY LEE (30-45): Tall, masculine and full of himself. Most move well and have plenty of energy. Has big comic character number. Vocal Range: High Baritone, Bb to G (or Ab).


JOHN DICKINSON (mid-40’s): Leader of the conservative opposition to Adams. Sharp-tongued and formidable. Vocal Range: A to E.


EDWARD RUTLEDGE (late 20’s) South Carolina aristocracy. Oozes confidence and cynicism, almost serpentine. Vocal Range: C to A.


ROGER SHERMAN (45-55): A simple cobbler from Eastern Connecticut. Tenor, C to Bb.


COL. THOMAS MCKEAN (40-60): A rough-hewned Scott (with brogue) who’s seen many battles. Loud and Funny. Vocal Range: Bass Baritone, low C to Eb.


SAMUEL CHASE (35-50): Large, rotund gentlemen with an insatiable appetite. Has a lot of both grace and sweat. Vocal Range: Tenor, up to Ab.


ROBERT LIVINGSTON (30-45): A gracious diplomat. Droll. Is on the Declaration writing committee. Vocal Range: Tenor, Bb to F.


STEPHEN HOPKINS (60-70): Second oldest member of Congress, starts the day with a strong drink. Vocal Range: C to Eb.


ANDREW MCNAIR (40-60): The Congressional custodian. Earthy, plain-speaking with a wry sense of humor. Vocal Range: Light Baritone, low Bb to Db (just above middle C).


COURIER (18-22): The bedraggled message runner between General George Washington and the Continental Congress. Has seen a lot of war for his young age. Vocal Range: C to Db.




ABIGAIL ADAMS (35-40): Sensible, loving, smart mate to JOHN ADAMS and who is his equal in all things. Has tremendous devotion to John while also being his alter-ego to balance out his fiery nature. Mezzo-Soprano, Db to F.

MARTHA JEFFERSON (20-30): Like air she floats into the play and dazzles JEFFERSON, ADAMS, and FRANKLIN with her beauty and joy. Must dance well. High Belt in mix, Bb to D.

Auditions for Annie Baker’s ‘John’

Cadence Theatre Season 2016/17

Auditions Announced for Annie Baker’s John

Cadence Theatre Company in partnership with Virginia Rep is seeking two actresses for its upcoming production of Annie Baker’s new play, John, directed by Rusty Wilson:

Jenny Chung – Asian American, 31 years old, no glasses.
Genevieve Marduk – 85 years old, blind.

*The role of Elias will be played by Matt Bloch, and the role of Mertis will be played by Kelly Kennedy.

Auditions are by appointment only Saturday, June 11th between 1-3 p.m. at Virginia Rep’s Children’s Theatre at Willow Lawn, located at 1601 Willow Lawn Drive, Richmond, Virginia 23230. Callbacks will be held from 3-4 p.m. that day.

**To arrange an appointment, contact, and send a headshot/resume.  No phone calls, please.**

Those auditioning should prepare a contemporary monologue, no longer than one minute in length, and be prepared to read from the script.

Rehearsals begin Sept. 19th for an October 20th opening. The show runs through November 12th at Theatre Gym at Virginia Rep Center.

All actors paid.

Elias and Jenny, a young couple struggling to stay together, arrive at a bed and breakfast in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the week after Thanksgiving. Met by a cheerful innkeeper, and surrounded by thousands of watchful inanimate objects, the two search for connection in lives heavy with loneliness. One of TIME Magazine’s top ten plays of 2015, John intertwines the natural and the supernatural in a haunting meditation on life and love.

Please direct all questions to