Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts

Welcome to Grace Street Theater

Virginia Commonwealth University's Grace Street Theater is a little known but successful example of renovation and adaptive use of a historic property. The building originally opened in 1935 as the Lee Theatre, a neighborhood movie theater showing second-run films. It served for a brief period in the late 1950s/early 1960s as an art house theater. In 1965 it became known as the Lee Art Theatre and began presenting adult films along with burlesque style dancers. VCU purchased the property in 1993 and after extensive renovations the building re-opened in 1996 as VCU's Grace Street Theater. The theater is now the primary performing venue for VCU's Department of Dance and Choreography which operates the building and the box office. VCU's Department of Art History and Cinema Program also uses the building for many of its classes and screenings. In addition to its University uses, the 225 seat theater is available to the Richmond community to rent for dance performances, films, lectures, and other events.


We Are Artists

August 22nd at 8pm

Tickets: $15/Adults $10/Students














We are Artists presents an evening of new choreographic works by local artists at the Grace Street Theater on August 22nd, 2015 at 8pm. Tickets are available for $15/Adults and $10/Students.





Cinematheque presents

The Return

August 25th at 7pm

Free and open to the public

105 min. 2003 dir. Andrey Zvyagintsev (Russia)
In the Russian wilderness, two brothers face a range of new, conflicting emotions when their father – a man they know only through a single photograph – resurfaces.












Cinematheque presents

Summer Hours

September 1st at 7pm

Free and open to the public

103 min. 2008 dir. Olivier Assayas (France)
Three children cope with the death of their mother through the objects she bequeathed to them.  The film explores the difference between commemorating the past and capitalizing from a family inheritance.














Cinematheque presents


September 8th at 7pm

Free and open to the public

70 min.  2002 dir. Bill Morrison (UK)
Made out of decaying archival footage, Decasia is an ephemeral meditation on life, death, and the cyclical nature of decay.












VCU Dance on Camera Film Screening

September 10th, 8-10pm

$8/5 Students

An intriguing evening of dance based films combining the communication arts, film, choreography, and a number of other art forms.












VCU Southern Film Festival

September 12th, 12-7:30pm

2pm:  Porgy and Bess (1959; 2 h 19 min.)

Based on the 1935 opera of the same name by George Gershwin and the novel Porgy by the white author Dubose Heyward, Porgy and Bess tells the story of a legless beggar (Sidney Poitier), and his quest to win the love of the sultry and self-destructive Bess (Dorothy Dandridge).  Set in the poverty-stricken neighborhood of Charleston’s fictional Catfish Row, the film was largely denounced for its portrayal of African-Americans even as it propelled Poitier and Dandridge into box office sensations and renewed interest in the Gershwin hits “Summertime” and “It Ain’t Necessarily So.”  The film is currently not in circulation, and an archival copy will be shown.

Introduction by VCU History Professor Emilie Raymond and talk-back with VCU Anthropology Professor Christopher Brooks.

5pm:   We Shall Overcome (1989; 58 min.)

This documentary film narrated by Harry Belafonte traces the sources of the civil rights anthem “We Shall Overcome” from the Sea Islands of South Carolina to the 1963 March on Washington.  A live musical performance by the VCU Black Awakening Choir will follow the film.


Cinematheque presents

Everlasting Moments

September 15th at 7pm

Free and open to the public

A working class woman with an abusive husband wins a camera in a lottery.  The camera transforms her life as her children grow and her photographic skills mature.everlasting-moments






Faculty research lectures / 20 × 20 (×8)
Thursday September 17 at 4:30pm

GDes Faculty (new) research presentations. Research will be presented in pecha kucha style — 20 slides, 20 seconds each slide. Each faculty will have 6 minutes and 40 seconds to talk about their work and research interests. Come see Steven Hoskins, Jamie Mahoney, John Malinoski, Roy McKelvey, David Shields, Jas Stefanski, Lauren Thorson, and Sandy Wheeler talk (quickly) about what lights them up as designers.
















Starr Foster Dance Project Presents Page to Stage

Thursday, Friday, Saturday October 1st, 2nd, and 3rd at 8pm

Sunday October 4th at 2pm

$20 General/ $15 Students

TARR FOSTER DANCE PROJECT is a critically acclaimed modern dance company which calls Richmond, Virginia its home and tours nationally throughout the year. Artistic Director Starrene Foster has received numerous awards for her teaching and choreography and feels strongly about creating work that embraces the human spirit. As a performing company, their mission is to provide a positive experience for the audience by creating and presenting emotionally intoxicating and physically charged works with themes based on human nature.


Page to Stage Dance Series, produced by Starr Foster Dance Project, is a cross discipline project combining the art of writing and dance. In the Spring of 2015, we launched a call for submissions of sudden and flash fiction stories to be considered for this exciting project. We received an incredible response from writers across the country and have selected eight stories to be created into, and inspire, new dance works choreographed by Starrene Foster. The stories are a vast range from adventurous to fearful, sinister to sincere; creating a prolific and diverse program. The stories selected will be printed in the event program booklet, as well as on the Starr Foster Dance Project website, to allow the audience to read the stories before or after the performances.










Cinematheque presents

The Robber

October 6th at 7pm

Free and open to the public

101 min. 2010 dir. Benjamin Heisenberg (Germany)
Many professional runners have day jobs.  Johann Rettenberger, for example, robs banks.  The film is a thriller, following Johann from meetings with his parole officer, to heists, to racing for his life.  The story is based on the record-setting long distance runner and bank robber Johann Kastenberger.


Levis Prize Reading

Sandra Lim The Wilderness

October 8th at 7pm

Free and open to the public

Awarded by the Department of English and its MFA in Creative Writing program at Virginia Commonwealth University, the prize is given annually in the name of the late Larry Levis for the best first or second book of poetry published in the previous calendar year. Ms. Lim will receive an award of $5000 and will read from her prize-winning work at 7 p.m. on October 8, 2015 in Richmond at the Grace Street Theater, followed by a reception.















Cinematheque presents

Salvador Allende

October 13th at 7pm

Free and open to the public

100 min. 2004 dir. Patricio Guzmán (USA)
A film about the life of revolutionary and Chilean president Salvador Allende to his death on September 11, 1973, and the countermeasures U.S. President Nixon and the CIA took against him.











VCU Sculpture Department Guest Lecture

Vito Acconci

October 15th at 3-5pm



Cinematheque presents


October 20th at 7pm

Free and open to the public

96 min. 2008 dir. Steve McQueen
Irish republican Bobby Sands leads the inmates of a Northern Irish prison in a hunger strike.










VCU Dance 35: Alumni Concert

October 23rd and 24th at 8pm$

$15/10 Students

VCU Dance celebrates its 35th Anniversary Season with an Alumni Weekend, featuring the work of our former Dance majors from near and far in formal and informal performances.



Cinematheque presents

Django Unchained

October 27th at 7pm

Free and open to the public

With the help of a German bounty hunter, a freed slave sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner.
*The VCU Humanities Center has invited four African-American Studies scholars to publicly discuss Quentin Tarantino’s controversial film Django Unchained on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015. The Humanities Center will pay for the guests to travel to campus and their hotel.
Prof. Oliver Speck, Associate Professor of Film Studies in World Studies is organizing the project.











Cinematheque presents

Still, The Children Are Here

November 10th at 7pm

Free and open to the public

85 min. 2004 dir. Dinaz Stafford
A portrait of an indigenous society that has maintained its culture in isolation from a rapidly urbanizing and westernizing India.










VCU Dance Fall Senior Projects

November 19, 20, 21st at 8pm

$15/10 Students

The Senior Project concert serves as a capstone experience in both performance and choreography for graduating Dance majors.













Cinematheque presents

North bu Northwest

November 24th at 7pm

Free and open to the public

136 min. 1959 dir. Alfred Hitchcock
A hapless New York advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive.










Quill Theater

Holiday Memories by Truman Capote / Adapted by Russell Vandenbroucke

December 4, 5th at 8-10pm

December 10 at 7-9pm

December 11, 12 at 8-10pm

December 13 at 2-4:30 (with talk back)

December 17 at 7-9pm

December 18, 19th at 8-10

December 20th at 2-4:30 (with talk back)

December 22, 24th at 7-9pm

December 26th at 8-10pm