VST plans season of classics, including ‘The World Goes ‘Round,’ ‘Assassins,’ ‘Big River’

The Virginia Samford Theatre has a season packed full of classic musicals and plays for 2024-2025.

The season includes three series: The Mainstage Series, STARS Series (Students Take a Role at the Samford, featuring young performers) and the Community Series, which debuted last year.

“We have assembled an exciting and fresh season of Tony Award-winning musicals and plays that reflect VST’s mission of providing high-quality theater for the entire community for 98 years,” Philip Mann, executive director, says in the season brochure.

Here’s a look at all three series:


New this season, all Saturday performances will be 2:30 p.m. matinees. Subscriptions are $225 and include a free ticket to “What the Constitution Means to Me,” part of the Community Series.

“The World Goes ‘Round” (Sept. 12-22). Kristi TIngel Higginbotham will be in the cast of this John Kander and Fred Ebb musical revue, directed by Jan Hunter with music direction by Jocelyn Whatley.

“Little Women: The Musical” (Dec. 5-15). Based on Louisa May Alcott’s classic noel and featuring Hannah Kuykendall as Jo March. Directed by Rebecca Yeager, with scenic design by Ashley Woods and music direction by Debbie Mielke.

“Assassins” (Feb. 6-16, 2025). Stephen Sondheim’s sometimes dark, sometimes funny look at assassins throughout American history. The cast will include Kristen Campbell, Caleb Clark, Amy Johnson and Nick Crawford. Directed by Michael Flowers with music direction by Jay Tumminello.

“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (April 3-13, 2025). David McMahon returns to direct Edward Albee’s classic drama about two couples exposing secrets – and lots of drama – during a boozy night. The cast includes Cliff Spencer, Melissa Bush Hallmark, Sara Burris and Steven Hatcher.

“Big River” (July 17-Aug. 3, 2025). The Tony Award-winning musical based on “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” Stacy Alley directs, with music supervision by Bobby Horton.


Young actors star in these productions. STARS stands for Students Take a Role at the Samford.

“Twelfth Night” (Oct. 24-27). Jessica Clark Boody directs Shakespeare’s comedy.

“Godspell Jr.” (March 13-16, 2025). Jenna Bellamy directs an all-female cast in Stephen Schwartz’s musical based on the Gospel of Matthew.

“Oklahoma!” (June 26-29, 2025). Reid Watson directs the youth edition of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s rousing musical.


The second year for the series sees it spreading out throughout the season instead of being contained to one month.

“Gladys Improv” (Sept. 6, plus Jan. 31 and April 25, 2025). A night of long-form improv from a talented trio.

“Day of the Dead” (Nov. 1). VST Executive Director Philip Mann is creating a collaboration including the work of poet Matt Layne and jam-band T.U.B. The Unknamed Band. It will feature the music of the Grateful Dead and Day of the Dead remembrances.

“It’s a Wonderful Life Live!” (Dec. 19-29). The classic holiday movie set in Bedford Falls comes to life as a radio show.

“What the Constitution Means to Me” (Feb. 6-16, 2025). Pat Flowers directs Kelsey Crawford in Heidi Schreck’s acclaimed comedy about the Constitution. It’s part memoir and part history lesson.

The Dill Pickers (Feb. 28-March 2, 2025). Norton Dill and his comedic and musical Dill Pickers perform.

Here Comes Sunshine (March 22, 2025). The exploration of the Grateful Dead returns after playing to a packed house in last year’s Community Series. Conceived by Matthew Layne and Philip Mann and T.U.B. The UnKnamed Band.

Bron-Yr-Aur: An Acoustic Tribute to Led Zeppelin (March 28, 2025). Conceived by Allen Barlow and Jon Campbell, those two are joined by Mark Lanter and Chris Kozak in a celebration of Led Zeppelin’s music.

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