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VMI Theatre to Celebrate "50th Plus 2" Anniversary in April

LEXINGTON, Va., March 8, 2022—The coronavirus pandemic sidelined the VMI Theatre 50th Anniversary celebration in 2020, but the milestone celebration is now happening this spring.

Since 1970, VMI Theatre has been a continuing source of live stage entertainment and enlightenment for cadets, VMI faculty and staff, and community performers. It has survived all over VMI post in make-shift theaters in Scott Shipp Hall, Lejeune Hall, the Nichols Engineering Auditorium, Cameron Hall, Moody Hall, and finally, since 2009 in the Leslie J. Gillis Theater in Marshall Hall.

All VMI Theatre alumni and others who appreciate what the theatre has accomplished over the last 52 years are welcome to “come home” and celebrate with the current roster of VMI Theatre thespians.

The schedule for the celebration includes several performances of “Tom Jones” in Gillis Theater April 29 – May 1. This 18th-century "romp" of a play is based on the 1750 novel by British novelist Henry Fielding. It follows the high spirits and uproarious adventures, romances, and escapades of young Tom Jones and Sophia, the love of his life, from the country hills of Somersetshire to the streets of London when "the world was wicked, bawdy, and licentious—in short, a time like any other." A blended cast and crew of dedicated VMI cadets and VMI community performers will offer this hilarious comedy for the first time.

Showtimes will be 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, April 29 and 30, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 1. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for senior citizens and students. Cadets and children ages six and under are free. Reservations for these showings are not required and payment is cash or check at the door.

There will be a special reception on the evening of Saturday, April 30 at 6 p.m. for VMI Theatre alumni and friends in the Hall of Valor in Marshall Hall. Reservations are required to attend. To RSVP to the reception, contact Joellen Bland, at or 540-464-7389.

Mrs. Joellen Bland has served as VMI Theatre director since February 1982. Col. Michael “Mike” S. Harris served as faculty advisor since 1976 until passing away in September 2004. Many VMI Theatre alumni, assistant directors, faculty advisers, and area performers have kept the program going. All are encouraged to make plans to join the current VMI Theatre roster for the “50th Plus Two” celebration.

Maj. Michelle Ellwood
Communications & Marketing

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