Panel: Striking the Balance between Artistic & Work Life

A Z Artist Event

January 17, 2024


Studio Theater


Hear from 3 artists who have been juggling this during their professional careers. Then dive in with your questions & thoughts in this interactive discussion with a network of creatives.


Lindsay Horne refuses to confine her work to one media or expression, working both onstage as a performer and off as a director, and working in sustainable fashion and glass artistry at the Chrysler Glass Studio. Her recent installation called Ley Lines is currently a part of the Shine Exhibition at the CAN’s Offsite Gallery at City Center at Oyster Point in Newport News. Lindsay credits doing improv theater at the Push Comedy Theater as the impetus that led her on the path to creative pursuits, and that her curiosity and passion has led her to her projects. At the heart of all her work is her belief that the communication between artist and audience is healing and transformative experience for all involved.
Edwin Castillo is co-founder of Core Theater Ensemble, who have produced great work all over the region. Edwin is a director, designer, and performer who has recently directed Core’s production of Macbeth and performed in the Virginia Stage production of Pride and Prejudice and Core’s production of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow at the Z. Edwin has worked in Hampton Roads for years and has been successful in mounting and performing productions. What distinguishes Edwin and Core Theater Ensemble is that they answer only to themselves when it comes to the artistic direction and development of work.
Manoli Kouremetis is a playwright who just can’t help himself from dabbling in writing short stories and poetry. Manoli is thankful for the Z, who have had produced the staged reading of his first play, The Rendezvous, and the full-production premiere of his next play, Saint Irene’s. His stories and poems have been published in the Southeast Review and Upstreet and the Chautauqua Review. His latest play, The Light Underground, was featured in the Zeiders Fringe Fest this past spring.

Free with Z artist membership; $10 suggested donation for non-members

Artist Member Events: The Z Artists and local art-lovers are invited to this series of interactive workshops, Master Classes, and social hours aimed at cultivating creativity and community! Your creative spark starts here! BECOME A Z ARTIST HERE

Free with Z artist membership; $10 suggested donation for non-members.

The Word: A Spoken Word Open Mic

An Open Mic For Poets, Storytellers and Fabulists

April 11, 2024

7:30 PM

Studio Theater

The Word welcomes diverse voices and fans of poetry, spoken word, and all forms of storytelling. Share a poem, read a story, or even tell a joke. Take the stage and share your new work-or an old favorite- in a comfortable, laid-back, and encouraging atmosphere. Admission is a suggested $5 donation. Those looking to speak/perform may sign up at the door. Please limit your performance to 5 minutes. Limited spots! The Word is a collaboration with Zeiders American Dream Theater, The Muse Writers Center, Hampton Roads Writers, and Tidewater Writers. ***************** OPEN MIC SERIES: Step on stage and showcase your talents! Writers, comedians, musicians and performers of all kinds can test-drive works-in-progress, debut new pieces, or take the mic for fun in this welcoming, supportive environment. New talent starts here!

THE Z OPEN MICS: The Z Unplugged

an Open Mic Event

March 12, 2024


Studio Theater

Calling all singers, songwriters, and musicians! This is your opportunity to take the mic. Test out a new original song or share your favorite cover. It’s up to you. The most important thing is to share a song for all to hear in this welcoming, supportive, and creative environment. In partnership with Jim Bulleit and Fox Music Artist Members have early access to sign up for performance slots via private link. Learn more about Artist Memberships here. 

A Sound Mind: Exploring the Impact of Music on Mental Health

a Family Time Event

February 17, 2024


Studio Theater

with Roberta Lea

Unleash the transformative power of music and explore its multifaceted influence on the human mind, emotions, and overall mental well-being. Drawing upon research and personal musical insights, A Sound Mind uncovers the various ways music can positively impact mental health, promote self-expression, regulate emotion, and reduce stress. Connecting a series of self-written songs with social-emotional learning competencies, the program offers participants insights and strategies for accessing the therapeutic potential of music.

A Z Ticket Bank, FREE Family Time performance provided by Arts for Learning. Funding for this performance comes from Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission, Helen G. Gifford Foundation, Virginia Commission for the Arts, and National Endowment for the Arts.
Roberta Lea is an award-winning singer/songwriter who has been featured in media that include NPR, The Boot, Virginian Pilot, and Nashville Scene, receiving praise for her ability to “score hits with her catchy, textured, and beautifully sung originals.” She’s a member of the Black Opry, which was recently inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and an inductee into CMT’s Next Women of Country Class of 2023. A former teacher, Roberta continues educational work with Zeiders American Dream Theater and Arts for Learning.

More Than True: Folk and Fairy Tales with Character

a Family Time Event

April 13, 2024

11am & 2pm

Studio Theater

with Sarah Osburn Brady

Once upon a time, there was a little girl—or a little boy—or a dog, or a dragon, or a fairy, or a giant. And that person, or animal, or mythical creature had an adventure, and the adventure brought choices, and the choices ushered in change. In this program, audience members have the chance to choose their own adventures, and even shape the outcomes of the tales, as they travel through stories to discover a world of character built with imagination.

A Z Ticket Bank, FREE Family Time performance provided by Arts for Learning. Funding for this performance comes from Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission, Helen G. Gifford Foundation, Virginia Commission for the Arts, and National Endowment for the Arts.
Sarah Osburn Brady is a storyteller, teaching artist, and writer whose backgrounds in theatre and education influence her storytelling. She taught communication and theatre at multiple universities before making her way into the storytelling world where she spans genres of historical, traditional, literary, and personal tales. Passionate about stories that help us see each other and the world around us, Sarah specializes in finding the heart of each story she tells.

Proteus New Play Festival: The Lessons

Part of Proteus Festival '23

September 30, 2023


Studio Theater

by Jennifer Brown
Directed by Patrick Mullins, Asst. Director: Leila Stephanie

Can truth prevail in the teaching of history to school children? Sixty-five years apart, two Select Committees of the Virginia Textbook Commission face this question. In 1955, a committee member challenges misinformation in a proposed Virginia history manuscript for elementary students. Fellow members are reluctant to stir up unrest in communities of color, and with the state commission. In a 2020 meeting, one member protests the racial equity embraced in a new manuscript of a middle-school text. The chair tries to protect the committee’s work while grappling with intimations of unrest and potential violence.
The Proteus New Plays Festival showcases community-driven staged readings of 4 scripts that have been developed in the Z Playwrights Lab or by Z Artist Members. The staged readings give the playwrights an opportunity to work with a director and a volunteer cast to see their script “on its feet” for the first time, and add the most crucial element to developing a play, The Audience!

Each reading is presented twice during the 2 weeks of Proteus Festival. Audiences are given the opportunity to rate the plays via a survey focused on the elements writing an engaging script and story. Ratings are averaged to select the PNPF Audience Favorite. The Audience Favorite receives a workshop production 2-week run in November, as the second Curtain Up! New Plays Series play of the 23-24 season.