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In[HEIR]itance Project

“Strengthening communities through storytelling.”

Virginia Arts Festival
May 5-7, 2022
Attucks Theatre, Norfolk

The In[HEIR]itance Project creates space for communities to navigate challenging civic conversations through collaborative theater projects inspired by inherited texts, traditions, cultures, customs, and beliefs.

Through collaborative artmaking, In[HEIR]itance Project investigates what we as “HEIR's” do with our shared and individual inheritances and how we can apply them to hard conversations in our communities.

Devised Theater: a collaborative piece of theater that is created by a group in response to a stimulus or narrative prompt leading to the creation of an original performance.

In[HEIR]itance Project artists will visit Hampton Roads multiple times September 2021 – May 2022. During these visits, their artists will meet with as many Hampton Roads residents as they can, by way of schools, cultural groups, religious congregations, civic organizations, and more.

The culminating project will reflect on the Biblical story of Exodus, as that narrative applies to the stories of Hampton Roads and its residents. What will the play be “about”? Only time will tell. 

The In[HEIR]itance Project will host many public events leading up to their performances, in which they involve YOU in creating the play. To get involved, please email cfoust@vafest.org

Values of In[HEIR]itance Project:

RESPONSIBILITY: We believe that the broken systems we have inherited will only be healed by collectively examining our shared beliefs, experiences, and biases. This is reflected both in what we make and how we make it. We focus our energies on breaking down barriers set by race, gender, sexuality, ability, class, religion, ethnicity and geography.

CONNECTION: We believe that relationships forged through our playmaking process have long-term positive impacts for our partners. Therefore, we foster a culture of community participation and collaboration in our work that creates unique opportunities for cross-community human-to-human connections.

ACCESS/OPENNESS: We believe that offering a variety of opportunities to participate in the artistic process ensures more authentic co-collaboration. We build bridges into our creative spaces to ensure a multiplicity of voices are included and activated.

EMERGENCE: We believe that our unique process allows our projects to come into being, or “emerge,” creating space for unexpected connections to appear between people, projects, and perspectives.


The In[HEIR]itance Project began in 2015 as an experimental playmaking project. From 2015-2020, The In[HEIR]itance Project created 12 original pieces of theater in communities spread over 8 states, engaging over five thousand process participants. 100% of the box office receipts, over $30,000 to date, goes to local artists and arts organizations to continue the civic conversations in their communities through their own artistic practice.

Our first endeavor paired stories from the book of Genesis with topical civic conversations through an open access artistic process, becoming The Genesis Plays: 5 plays in 5 American cities in 3 years. Our five pilot communities were Minneapolis, Charleston, Seattle, Austin, and Kansas City. Our next series exploring Exodus narratives has led to projects in NYC, Omaha, Cincinnati and Norfolk/Virginia Beach.