Virginia Beach Zeiders American Dream Theater (The Z) in Virginia Beach Town Center is bringing back its flagship Proteus Festival this fall, celebrating the talents and treasures of the local arts scene. 

New Plays Festival, Sept. 30-Oct. 1 & Oct. 6-7 at 7pm

Theater lovers can play a role in selecting the audience favorite winner of the 2022 New Plays Festival, featuring four new scripts performed in repertory. New works written in the American Dreamwrights Workshop are performed live on the studio theater stage, where audiences will rate their favorite shows to pick the winner. The 2022 Audience Favorite Play will receive an extended 2-weekend run at The Z this November. 

Proteus Music Contest, Oct. 8 at 8pm

Local musicians perform in the Proteus Music Contest, featuring emerging artists from the 757. Five finalists, including the audience favorite selected by a community vote, compete in a live concert contest to be crowned the winner by a panel of music industry professionals.The grand prize winner will be featured in a headlining concert in the Live at The Z Music Series and receive a recording package in The Z’s recording studio.

Creative Teams, Community Performances

Artists of all kinds can take the stage at Proteus 2022 in the Creative Teams contest. Teams work together to create a brand new piece of film, music or theatrical art based on a prompt, and will perform their new creation on the mainstage at The Z. In the past teams from local community theaters, bands, and other arts groups have taken part. There’s still time to form a team and create new art!

Proteus Block Party, Oct. 8 from 2-7pm, FREE

Bringing the event to a close is the Proteus Block Party, a free community event that celebrates the arts with a variety of experiences, performances, and activities for all ages to enjoy. Comedy, children’s theater, and music performances will take place on the outdoor stage, and a sampler of the open mic slate will perform musical theater, spoken word and acoustic songs. 

The Z is bringing its very own Virginia is for Lovers Love sign to the block party, with an interactive art project curated by local artist Renee Calway. The sign will be on display in Virginia Beach Town Center once complete. 

Want to Go?

The 2022 Proteus Festival runs weekends from September 30-October 8, 2022 at Zeiders American Dream Theater. An all-access pass to all events within the festival is available for $100, and all events are ticketed separately. The Block Party is a free, open event for all to join. 

For tickets and information, visit or call The Z Box Office M-F, 12-6pm at 757-499-0317.