NORFOLK, Virginia – Over 20 years, Jeni Schaefer has designed, researched, and created countless costumes, transporting audiences to a time and place they may never have known.
But for 17 months, the resident costume designer of Virginia Stage Company couldn’t really do the job she loves.
Finally … a comeback is in sight.
“I’m really looking forward to being able to sit down again and create an original design,” Schaefer, who is also acting deputy art director, told News 3 inside the Wells Theater.
The beautiful, century-old Performing Arts Hall is where the Virginia Stage Company, the region’s largest professional theater producer, has made its home.
In October, it will again be at full capacity with full productions.
“We do (play) ‘Dear Jack, Dear Louise’ and ‘Hold These Truths’ and then we have ‘A Christmas Carol’ coming up,” said Tom Quaintance, artistic director of production for the Virginia Stage Company.
Since shutting down in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Quaintance says the company has been creative with virtual performances and camps as well as outdoor shows and a special and socially distant version of “A Christmas Carol “inside the wells in December.
But it’s not the same, especially for people whose full-time job revolves around the performing arts.
“It’s been tough running a theater over the last year and a half, but it’s nothing like being a freelance artist,” Quaintance said.
That’s a big reason he’s so excited to see live theater making a comeback.
On Saturday June 12, the Virginia Stage Company is hosting their annual gala to raise funds and reveal the rest of the 2021-22 season. The gala will be in person at the Wells Theater and webcast online.
From the season ahead, Quaintance offers a clue as to what the public can expect.
“The theme for this season has to do with sparkle. We’re going to ask our audience to come up with these brilliant things that they love in theater, they love our community and that will be the theme of the year,” he said. said.
For Schaefer, the new season cannot come soon enough.
“We miss you and can’t wait to bring you home,” she said.
Click on HERE for information on tickets to the Virginia Stage Company’s annual Set the Stage gala.