grey background with the words #letstalkaboutit in black and grey words, bold, innovative, community storytelling


In these tumultuous times of unrest and injustice, the Hamner Theater stands in solidarity with our black family and all communities of color; we remain committed to telling the stories of our community, all of them, giving voice to the voiceless and forgotten. Black lives matter. The great work continues: to amplify the voices of black artists and listen to what they say; to be aware of the systemic racism inherent in our organization and the organizations we associate with and act to dismantle it; to educate ourselves about the lives and experiences of black Americans and the history of black America and to let that knowledge power the pursuit of equity and reinvention of our world.
I saw this link on the Wooly Mammoth website and am passing it on.
We can all do something; let’s all do what we can.



Join us each Sunday night at 6PM EST for Zoom improv with the Hamner Improv Troupe (HIT)! Email for Zoom link or questions.


Every fourth Saturday, the Hamner hosts a virtual Community Conversation at 4PM EST. Some of the Community Conversations are agenda-less meetings where participants are free to talk about issues in their lives, in their communities, or in the world, and the other half begin with a theatrical offering to guide the conversation. Please check our calendar for specifics on what type of conversation is happening that day!

Next Conversation, Saturday February 20th.

Everyone is welcome, please email for a Zoom invite!


Lamentations by resident playwright, Royal Shiree

Join us on Youtube!

We are excited to present Royal’s new play, Lamentations during our monthly Community Conversations. We will begin on Saturday, March 20th and continue monthly showings until Junteenth.

Please join the conversation! Email for more info.

Lamentations Cast:

Playwright/solo performer, Royal Shirée has been produced by Lynchburg College, Randolph College, Waterworks Players Theatre, Leading Ladies NY, Downtown Urban Theater Festival NY, Live Arts Charlottesville, and a professional reading by Virginia Playwrights and Screenwriters Initiative. Her solo show, Clippings, has been performed throughout Virginia and in New York. MOJOAA Performing Arts Company performed her piece, Victory, in “Reclamation, ‘Female Voices of Color.” Her ten-minute plays have been produced coast-to-coast

Shirée was nominated for the “James River Council Arts and Humanities’, Celebrate Diversity: Black Artists in Lynchburg.” Shirée is a former board member and producer/director for Riverviews Artspace where she created “Perspective Presents,” training non-professional and novice storytellers to perform true stories interpreted from themes. She is currently the Resident Playwright and board member at Hamner Theatre; is a member of the Central Virginia Theatre Alliance;  Honor Roll!, an advocacy and action group of women+ playwrights over 40; is a Fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and a Dramatists Guild member.  Shirée earned a hybrid English M.A. in Scholarship and Creative Writing from Lynchburg College 2012 and an M.F.A. in Playwriting from Hollins University 2013.

Julinda Lewis

Julinda D. Lewis, dancer, teacher, writer/editor.

BS & MA in Dance & Dance Education, NYU.

Adjunct Instructor, VCU Dept of Dance & Choreography.

Certified BeMoved dance fitness instructor.

Owner/Editor of RVArt Review

Ordained as a Minister of Dance.

Julinda has been dancing for more than 50 years:

“I don’t know, but I’ve been told, if you keep on dancing, you’ll never grow old.”

Brenda (Bebe) Wilson’s love and passion for the performing arts was instrumental in her decision to move from her native home of Louisiana. Upon arriving in Houston Texas, she began working with the late founder George Hawkins at The Ensemble Theatre. She has been an integral part of The Ensemble Theatre for 33 years. Bebe last appeared in the Ensemble Theatre production of The Old Settler. She has many stage credits such as Nacirema Society as (Alpha Campbell Jackson), King Hedley II for her role of Ruby (2011-2012 Giorgee Award for Best Leading Actress), Cinderella, Seven Guitars, The Waiting Room, Gem of the Ocean, Livin’ Fat, The Man Who Saved New Orleans just to name a few. Bebe received a Giorgee Award for Best Supporting Actress in Seven Guitars and was nominated by the Houston Chronicle as Best Actress for Gem of the Ocean. Bebe also had the pleasure of working with a new playwright Crystal Rae and performed her play “Lamariya” at New York City Midtown 2016 Summer Festival. Bebe had the pleasure of playing the role of Aunt Daisey in the Houston Urban Nutcracker produced by Lab Performing Arts Initiative.

Bebe’s directorial credits include Hi Hat-Hattie, The Second Princess, Crowns, Shakin’ the Mess Outta Misery, Bourbon at the Border, Christmas Miracle, Grey Panthers, Girls Night Out: A Twist of Faith, Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, Less Than a Fairytale, and Line Dry.

Bebe currently serves as the Executive Director of the Talented Tenth Theatre.

(Bebe) Wilson is a wife, mother and grandmother and enjoys working with children.

Leigh Lunsford has appeared in over 30 area theatrical productions with the Waterworks Players Community Theatre, Hampden-Sydney College Theatre, Unified Theatre Company, and Longwood University Theatre.  She will be making her film debut in Recollection to be released in April of 2021.  In addition to her passion for acting, she loves all things mathematical and is currently a Professor of Mathematics at Longwood University.  When she is not on stage or doing mathematics, she leads a peaceful life at home with her husband, Marcus Pendergrass, and their two cats.

Gregg Cork, actor 

Native of Washington, D.C., Gregg Cork is a photographer and spoken word producer. He has written and performed in plays for holiday and historical events and celebrations for public schools and religious organizations.

Gregg Cork has also presented numerous staged readings as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Frederick Douglass.August 2020, Gregg was last seen as Frederick Douglass in the full-stage production of the play SISTERS by Joanne Hudson & Royal Shirèe, performed at the historical Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center in Ridgefield, CT.

The Hamner Theater Community Conversation Team

The Hamner also has monthly Conversations about pieces of new theatre. The next performance will be of Lamentations, a new play by resident playwright, Royal Shiree! Stay tuned for the next meeting.


The Hamner Theater youtube link for this afternoon’s Second Saturday Community Conversation – the Newtown Project – Kaleidoscope in Black and White: the Cherry Orchard, Act 1.

Join us for a zoomversation after the performance – link will be provided at the end.The stellar cast of this afternoon’s offering includes (in alphabetic order, women first) Denise Folley, Abena Foreman, Kiri Gardner, Kate Monaghan, Dinah Pehrson, Chris Baumer, Larry Goldstein, Joe Monaghan, John Rabasa, Rasheed Robinson, Dan Stern and Kurt Vogelsang. The adaptation is by Doug Grissom who has worked tirelessly to adapt a version designed for this odd time in which we find ourselves!