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.


AIGA – RVA Design Week

“Design the New Business” by Zilver Innovation

September 18th, 2014 at 6:30pm-8:30pm

Admission: $10/students, $15/members and $20/non-members

This short documentary screening and panel discussion is dedicated to how designers and business people are working together to solve problems facing business today. The discussion will be followed by a panel discussion led by local design and business professionals.


Debbie Millman
“On Rejection” – making it or not in New York City

September 19, 2014 at 6:30pm

Admission: $10/students, $15/members and $20/non-members

Pre-Show: Student PechaKucha Presentations

Join us for a special evening with writer, educator, artist, brand consultant and host of the radio show “Design Matters” for her insights into the role of rejection and becoming successful.

Tickets are available for purchase at




dr-strangelove-movie-poster-1964-1010427498Cinematheque Presents: “Dr. Strangelove”

September 23rd, 2014 at 7pm

Admission: Free and open to the public

95 min. 1964. Directed by Stanley Kubrick (USA)

Description: An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a war room full of politicans and generals frantically try to stop.

For more information about Cinematheque or the VCU School of Arts Cinema Department please visit:



Dance on Camera- Film Screening

Thursday, September 25, 2014 at 8pm

Admission:$8/$5 students

An intriguing evening of dance based films that range from the abstract contemporary works of today, to the political and social statements of the past, combining the communication arts, film, choreography, and a number of other art forms.




2+2+4 – An Evening with Company E

Saturday, September 27, 2014 at 8pm

Admission: $15 general admission, $5 student admission

Washington DC’s Company E makes its Richmond dance debut!

“Company E, Washington, DC’s celebrated contemporary dance company, praised by Ha’aretz Newspaper of Tel Aviv, Israel as a “company deserving of its reputation as one of America’s finest,” makes its Richmond debut on Saturday, September 27th at the Grace Street Theater.

“We’ve spent the majority of our first three seasons overseas,” commented Executive Director Paul Gordon Emerson. “This year, in addition to our international work with the State Department and Ministries of Culture, we wanted to work closer to home. Richmond has been a special place for many of us over the years, both through college and concerts we’ve done with other companies, and we wanted our season debut to be at the Grace Street Theater.”

For Grace Street the Company has chosen an evening of duets, including the US premiere of celebrated English/Israeli choreographer Rachel Erdos’s “Why We Tell.”

“Rachel is a special choreographer,” notes Co-Artistic Director Kathryn Sydell Pilkington. “This is our third commission with Rachel and we’re always amazed by how much humanity, depth and insight she brings to the stage. She’s the kind of artist who makes people feel they are a part of her work no matter where they are in the audience. We’re excited for our Richmond audience to experience the US premiere of ‘Why We Tell.”

Grace Street also marks the Company E US debut of Gavin Stewart, who spent the last two seasons with the Richmond Ballet, and VCU alumnus Kyoko Ruch. “Richmond is a special city for dance,” said Stewart. “Whether as a dancer at the Ballet or a choreographer myself, I’ve loved working there.” Stewart spent three weeks with Company E on a four-city teaching and concert tour of Kazakhstan in August. “The international work the company does is astonishing. We were working in places where contemporary dance is a completely new art form, where 100 students sign up for a two-week workshop with a few days notice and are just transformed in front of your eyes. Its an amazing reminder of the power of dance regardless of culture or language.”

Among the highlights of the Company E program of Richmond premieres is Emerson’s “Falling” the award winningduet the Washington Post praised as “a heart-stopping duet that portray(s) the highs, sputters and spats of a relationship,”2 and by Haaretz as “an exquisite duet.”3

“There’s one dance on the show which is not a duet,” notes Pilkington. “We doubled the 2+2 and took us to four with Robert Priore’s fascinating “Abandon,” which has been jury selected for concerts in New York City and Houston, Texas in October. It was too good to pass up the chance to share it with our Richmond audience.”


Founded in the Peruvian jungle in the summer of 2011 by Paul Gordon Emerson, Kathryn Sydell Pilkington, Jason Garcia Ignacio, Robert J. Priore and Amanda Engelhardt, Company E is an international contemporary dance troupe based in Washington, DC. In its first three seasons, most often in partnership with the US Department of State, the Company has toured to 20 countries on five continents, building partnerships, creating dances and crafting an enduring legacy of contemporary dance from the world’s great cities to communities where contemporary dance is a new and often provocative art form. From Switzerland to Tajikistan, Spain to Turkmenistan, Company E’s artists teach, engage, create and perform in Opera Houses in the heart of Europe and open fields on the Afghan border.

The seven member troupe has been commissioned by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC to create “Looking for Don Quixote”, honored by the US Department of State for its imagery, partnered with Embassies from Israel, Spain, Italy and others in Washington to bring great choreographers from abroad to make dances for the company and engaged dancers from far off Kazakhstan to intern with the company in Washington.

For more on Company E, visit the company’s website at

To purchase tickets, please visit or call our Grace Street

Theater box office at 804.828.2020 from 12:00-4:00pm, Monday-Friday.





Starr Foster Dance Project presents LUNACY

A company performance featuring works by Artistic Director Starrene Foster

October 2nd, 3rd and 4th, 2014 at 8pm and October 5th at 2pm

Admission: $20 General Admission/ $15 Students/ $10 group rates

Starr Foster Dance Project will begin their 2014-2015 season in their hometown Richmond, Virginia with the premiere of LUNACY and 3 other exciting new works created by Artistic Director Starrene Foster. This season also celebrates the expansion of the company as we welcome 3 new dancers; Caitlin Cunningham, Michael Camper-Barry and Monica Rhea.


Starr Foster Dance Project is a critically acclaimed modern dance company which calls Richmond their homeand 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.


A Richmond native, Starrene Foster, is a performer, dance educator and the Artistic Director of Starr Foster Dance Project. Starrene is the recipient of the Theresa Pollack Award for Artistic Excellence and has been featured on the PBS broadcast Virginia Currents. Foster was also awarded Richmond’s Most Prestigious 25 Arts Innovators, The Top 40 under 40 and has been nominated for two ARTSIE awards by the Richmond Theatre Critics Circle for her choreography. Starrene is the beneficiary of the 2003 VCU Star Alumni Award where she ispresently in her fifteenth year as an adjunct faculty member. She has received grants from the Virginia Council for the Arts, and many commissions for new dance works from universities and various dance companies. Starrene teaches throughout the country and her choreography has been presented nationally which include:The Philadelphia Fringe Festival (PA), The Jack Guidone Theatre (DC), SUNY Buffalo (NY), The New World School (FL), Old Dominion University (VA), Cornell University (NY), James Madison University (VA), Dance Charlotte (NC), The Goose Route Dance Festival (WV), the Demetrius Klein Dance Festival (FL), The Richmond Ballet (VA), University of Richmond (VA), Scranton Cultural Arts Center (PA), Baltimore Theatre Project (MD), The Lorton Workhouse (DC), and the Festival of Choreography (NC). As a dancer, Starrene trained under many dance greats and has had the pleasure of training with and performing works by Mark Taylor, Chris Burnside, Doug Varone, Sharon Kinney, Ronald K. Brown, Mark Dendy, Pewan Chow (Hong Kong), Raul Parro (Mexico), among many others. In addition to her faculty position at VCU, Starrene is also on faculty at the Richmond Ballet.

With much acclaim throughout the country, critics  have raved enthusiastically about Foster’s choreography consistently and she has been reviewed as “having a very impressive inventory of work”, “a master of immediacy” and her choreography having “range and imagination“ and “emotional gravity”. She has been recognized for creating inventive and unusual partnering as well as integrating the uniqueness of each dancer in her work. For more information about all artists involved in SFDP please visit


Performed by 8 company dancers, Foster’s newest work Lunacy (premiere), is a portrayal of the fragility of the human spirit and how one’s sanity and balance can quickly evolve into a downward spiral of complete delirium. Lunacy displays Foster’s strong ability to craft unique partnering and physical connection.

Hover(premiere), created for 2 dancers, explores the bond of sibling-ship and the inability to break free regardless of dissent. Hover features Foster’s acute capability to capture compassion through movement.

Foster’s quartet Into Cooler Air(premiere) depicts a journey of being trapped in a dream, in which regardless of your actions or motives, the end result is always the same.

Apt No. 9 (original premiere March 2014) as an audience favorite, was selected to be performed again in the October company performance. With an elaborate exhibit of vintage lightbults that separate the stage space, Apt No. 9 creates a theme of how different people create varying circumstances of life and relationships in one single space at different points in time.

Garland (premiere) is a breathtaking solo performed by company member Jordan Livermon. With much emotional gravity, Garland depicts the remembrance of loss and the journey of healing.

For ticket inquiries, please visit or call our Grace Street Theater box office at 804.828.2020, Monday through Friday from 12-4pm.


Cinematheque Presents: “Warsaw Bridge”

October 7th, 2014

Admission: Free and open to the public

85 min. 1989. Directed by Pere Portabella (Spain)

Description: A female professor, a writer, and an orchestra conductor -three characters, two couples – attend a grand literary cocktail party. The writer has just won the prize for his book “Warsaw Bridge”. The winner answers the journalist’s questions one after another, but he is unable to compe up with a synthesis of the plot of his book. They will simply have to read it.

For more information about Cinematheque or the VCU School of Arts Cinema Department please visit:



Cinematheque Presents: “Edvard Munch”EdvardMunch

October 14th, 2014

Admission: Free and open to the public

210 Min. 1974. Directed by Peter Watkins (Norway)

Description: A biographical film about the Norwegian Expressionist painter Edvard Munch that covers about thirty years of his life, focusing on the influences that shaped his art, particularly the prevalence of disease and death in his family and his youthful affair with a married woman.

For more information about Cinematheque or the VCU School of Arts Cinema Department please visit:




a-prophet-posterCinematheque Presents: “A Prophet”

October 28th, 2014 at 7pm

Admission: Free and open to the public

155 min. 1974. Directed Jacques Audlard (France)

A young Arab man is sent to a French prison where he becomes a mafia kingpin

For more information about Cinematheque or the VCU School of Arts Cinema Department please visit:



a-separation-movie-posterCinematheque Presents: “A Separation”

November 4th, 2014 at 7pm

Admission: Free and open to the public

123 min. 2011. Directed by Asghar Farhadi (Iran)

Description: A married couple are faced with a difficult decision – to improve the life of their child by moving to another country or to stay in Iran and look after a deteriorating parent who has Alzheimer’s disease.

For more information about Cinematheque or the VCU School of Arts Cinema Department please visit:




Cinematheque Presents: “An Evening with Sara Driver: When Pigs Fly”

November 11th, 2014 at 7pm

94 min. 1993. Directed by Sara Driver (Germany)

Description: A down-and-out jazz musician is given a rocking chair by his on-and-off girlfriend, which turns out to be haunted by two ghosts.

For more information about Cinematheque or the VCU School of Arts Cinema Department please visit:


VCU Dance & Choreography: Fall Senior Project

November 20, 21, 22, 2014 at 8pm

Admission: $15/$10 students

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

More Information TBA



amour-movie-posterCinematheque Presents: “Amour”

December 2nd, 2014 at 7pm

127 min. 2012. Directed by Michael Haneke (Germany)

Description: Georges and Anne are an octogenerian couple. They are cutivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple’s bond of love is severely tested. For more information about Cinematheque or the VCU School of Arts Cinema Department please visit:



VCU Dance & Choreography: Student Concert

January 23 & 24, 2015 at 8pm

Admission:$15/$10 students

This professionally produced concert features new work choreographed and performed by talented Dance majors from freshmen to seniors.

More information TBA



February 19, 20, 21, 2015 at 8pm and 2pm Saturday matinee

Admission: $20/$15 students

For 2015, this concert features new works by guest artists Doug Varone and Dawn Marie Bazemore as well as by VCU Dance faculty members, all performed by VCU Dance majors.

More information TBA


VCU Dance & Choreography: Spring Senior Project

April 16, 17, 18, 2015 at 8pm

Admission: $15/$10 students

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

More information TBA