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VSC Play Now At The Wells Highlights 4 Black Women




The Virginia Stage Company (VSC) production of Pearl Cleage’s Angry, Raucous, and Shamelessly Gorgeous, runs from March 1-19, 2023 at the Wells Theatre in Downtown Norfolk. It is sponsored by the Capital Group.

Four distinctively different Black women who are of different generations, career paths, and locations on their life’s journey are at the center of this play.

Dr. Tawnya Pettiford-Wates, the director, explains, “We are treated to all the passion, boldness, truth and joyful smackdowns that are a part of the sisterhood of Black women and girls. The multi-generational banter throughout the play, exposes serious differences of opinion, beliefs, and the distinct ways of being and knowing that are unique to the sistas who boldly embrace their truth and authenticity as angry, raucous, gorgeous, and unapologetically Black!”


She continues, “As a playwright, Cleage has always been committed to unpacking historic legacy and how identity and race significantly impacts that legacy.”

The cast includes Norfolk native Mikayla Lashae Bartholomew (playing Precious “Pete” Watson), who considers it a great privilege to be a Black woman afforded the opportunity to use storytelling as a means for social good. She said it is an honor to come home to Norfolk to give back to the community that built her (shoutout Tanners Creek Elementary, Ruffner Middle, and Granby High). The Tony Award winning advocate & award winning stage/film actor & activist is based in LA & NYC.

Patricia Alli (who plays Anna Campbell) is performing on VSC’s stage for the first time. She most recently played the role of Mom in Passing Strange which received the Richmond Artsie Award for Best Ensemble, with Firehouse Theatre.

Terri Brown (who plays Betty Samson) is making her Virginia Stage Company debut, as well. She has a hit of regional theatre credits in Minnesota, Maine, NY, and Atlanta.

Bethany Mayo (who pays Kate Hughes) is an actor and teaching artist from Des Moines, IA. She is a Teaching Artist at Governor’s School for the Arts and the sitting Director of Education at Virginia Stage Company. When not teaching or acting, she sews and takes ballroom dancing lessons.


Tawnya Pettiford-Wates, PH.D. (Director) Professor of Acting and Directing Pedagogy at Virginia Commonwealth University and the Co-Artistic Director & Founder of The Conciliation Lab, a non-profit social justice theatre company Dr. T. is a playwright, director, actor, poet, and writer.

Tickets are currently on sale and can be purchased online at, over the phone at (757) 627-1234 or in person at the box office located at the Wells Theatre at 108 E. Tazewell Street, Norfolk. Box office hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Virginia Stage Company is Southeastern Virginia’s leading theatre destination, serving an audience of over 58,000 annually, both at the Wells Theatre and throughout the community. Virginia Stage Company’s mission is to “enrich, educate, and entertain the region by creating and producing theatrical art of the highest quality.”

Capital Group, home of American Funds, has been singularly focused on delivering superior results for long-term investors using high-conviction portfolios, rigorous research, and individual accountability since 1931.

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