New Theater Company Brings “More Inclusive and Accessible American Theater” to Richmond | Entertainment


Both Shaw and Williams see The New Theater as filling a new space in Richmond theater and advancing the performing arts in new ways.

“Eyes were opened in many ways in 2020. Many changes were called for across American industries, and American theater was no different. We’ve seen hundreds of BIPOC theater creators sign a document saying we need to see meaningful change and growth for a more inclusive American theater,” Shaw said.

The New Theater plans to develop new plays and musicals, as well as create a play canon “that better reflects the entirety of the American experience,” Shaw said. “We also saw the possibilities of what a serious, focused devotion to emerging technologies could do to the performing arts.”

During COVID-19, the typical theater experience has fallen apart, Williams said. “Like a lot of restaurants, a lot of theaters didn’t survive. But you had artists coming out and trying new things. You had Zoom plays and Instagram verses; you had the opportunity to try different things. ‘reach an audience on these other platforms,’ she said.

The typical theatrical experience has become “a very static art form,” Williams said.

Young audiences don’t want to sit in a seat in a theater for two to three hours to see a traditional play, she said.


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