Upcoming VST season includes Rodgers and Hammerstein, Sondheim, much more

The Virginia Samford Theatre.

Sondheim, Rodgers and Hammerstein and “Schoolhouse Rock” are all on tap at the Virginia Samford Theatre during its 2023-2024 season.

The season, which will open in September with Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “A Grand Night for Singing,” directed by Jan Hunter, will be formally announced at an event tonight at the Southside theater. Other Mainstage Productions include “The Man Who Came to Dinner,” “Into the Woods,” “Schoolhouse Rock Live!” and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.”

“The VST family has created programming and educational opportunities that reflect the growth and diversity of Birmingham and our surrounding communities,” said Philip Mann, the VST’s new executive director, in a news release. “There’s not just one way to define family, and that is the magic we’ll see.”

The VST will mount five Mainstage Productions, three in its STARS youth theater series and four in an inaugural Community Series.

VST season tickets are $225 for Mainstage Productions, with STARS tickets at $28 for adults and $23 for students and Community Series tickets $15-$25. For more information, go to www.virginiasamfordtheatre.org.

Here’s the season as described by the VST:

2023-2024 VST Mainstage Productions

Sept. 14-24, 2023

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s


Directed by Jan Hunter

Tony-nominated for Best Musical, the New York Times says, “It may leave you humming its wonderful tunes!”. The show marks a major milestone for the VST, as it sees the mainstage directing debut of local legend and VST Artist in Residence, Jan Hunter. With her extensive experience and keen eye for detail, Hunter is sure to bring a fresh perspective to this beloved classic.

Dec. 8-17, 2023


Directed by David McMahon

Just in time for the holidays, the community will have a chance to catch “The Man Who Came to Dinner” from Dec. 7-17. The show is a Christmas-time, mid-century comedy classic to be directed by VST Artist in Residence David McMahon. This show will also feature two of Birmingham’s own comedians, Murrell Wilkinson and Jan Hunter.

Feb. 1-18, 2024

Stephen Sondheim’s


Directed by Chelsea Reynolds

From Broadway’s greatest and most innovative composer, VST is proud to present Stephen Sondheim’s “Into The Woods.” Nominated for 10 Tony Awards, Sondheim’s magical score weaves classic fairy tales with the modern human quest for family, love and compassion. Directed by Samford University’s Chelsea Reynolds, “Into The Woods” will mark VST’s first production created entirely with recyclable and sustainable materials by Artist in Residence Ben Boyer.

April 11-21, 2024


Directed by Jenna Bellamy

Calling all kids, nostalgic parents, lovers of music, history and fun (this means everybody)! Adapted from the classic musical cartoon series, VST is proud to present “Schoolhouse Rock Live!” featuring VST’s top STARS students in our mainstage Season for the first time! STARS (Students Take A Role at the Samford) was created to give every child the opportunity to learn and grow in a safe and supportive arts environment. Directed by STARS Artistic Director Jenna Bellamy, this whimsical musical romp through America’s history will have you singing along as we harken back to the simple joys of Saturday morning!

June 13-30, 2024


Directed by Henry Scott

The truly scrumptious season concludes with the Birmingham premiere of the smash hit London musical, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!” An Olivier Award nominee for Best Musical, this musical adaptation of the classic family film starring Dick Van Dyke and a magical car will sing, dance and fly its way into the hearts of young and old alike. Directed by VST Artist in Residence, Henry Scott, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” will be a brand new entry in VST’s long history of family-friendly summer musicals.


Oct. 26-29, 2023


Directed by Jenna Bellamy

“The Addams Family,” a comical feast that embraces the wackiness in every family, features an original story. Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family– a man her parents have never met. And if that wasn’t upsetting enough, Wednesday confides in her father and begs him not to tell her mother. Now, Gomez Addams must do something he’s never done before– keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia. Everything will change for the whole family on a fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday’s “normal” boyfriend and his parents.

Dec. 7-16, 2023


Directed by Jenna Bellamy

Two compelling stories come together in this heartwarming play inspired by the famous editorial “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.” On Christmas Eve, 1897, in New York City, 8-year-old Virginia is left pondering whether or not Santa really exists after a series of unhappy events. Meanwhile, a young newspaper editor also struggles against tough holiday times as he is faced with losing his job if he can’t find his writer’s voice by morning. Even though they don’t know each other, the spirit of Christmas is about to bring these people together, creating in the process an unforgettable and cherished part of classic Christmas folklore.

Aug. 1-4, 2024


Directed by Jenna Bellamy

“Legally Blonde JR.” follows the transformation of Elle Woods as she tackles stereotypes, snobbery and scandal in pursuit of her dreams. When Elle’s boyfriend, Warner, dumps her and heads to Harvard, claiming she’s not “serious” enough, Elle takes matters into her own hands, crafting a showy song-and-dance personal essay and charming her way into law school. Befriending classmate, Emmett, and spunky hairdresser, Paulette, along the way, Elle finds that books and looks aren’t mutually exclusive. As Elle begins outsmarting her peers, she realizes that law may be her natural calling after all.

2023-2024 VST COMMUNITY SERIES (Inaugural)

March 1, 2024


Trained in the New York, Chicago and Los Angeles improv scenes respectively, Michael, Jacob and Tim have brought their lightning-fast and thunderously weird version of long-form improv home to Birmingham, and they call it “Gladys.”

March 2, 2024


A one-of-a-kind exploration of the history of the Grateful Dead through story and song. Conceived by local poet and Deadhead Matt Layne, VST Executive Director Philip Mann and Birmingham jam-band legends, T.U.B. The UnKnamed Band.

March 8, 2024


A special celebration of one of America’s greatest writers and his wit through stories and songs. Eminent Birmingham actor Edward Miller will portray Mark Twain and be accompanied by local music legend, Ken Burns’ music director, Bobby Horton. This historic pairing of talent is not to be missed.

March 15-17, 2024


What starts as a friendly gathering of friends to play music, turns into an absurd comedy

with 24 characters played by 6 actors/musicians. All of this is woven together with 22

original Sand Mountain-styled songs.

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