By the Way, Meet Vera Stark

By the Way, Meet Vera Stark

October 7-15, 2022
Principal People: 

By Lynn Nottage
Directed by Alvin Mayes and Scot Reese

Event Attributes


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Program Notes: 

Join us in person at The Clarice! Please note that this performance will not be livestreamed.

Drawing loosely on the career of the Black television and film star Theresa Harris, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark follows the journey of an aspiring Black actress and her tangled relationship with the white Hollywood star Gloria Mitchell, who is desperate to keep hold of her own fading career. Set first in the 1930s, Vera—then employed as Gloria’s maid—is cast as an enslaved servant in a Southern epic starring . . . her own boss. Stark’s portrayal proves groundbreaking, and the play’s second act depicts film aficionados dissecting her controversial career some 70 years later. Part screwball comedy, part history lesson, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark is both hilarious and poignant as it tackles the paradoxes that face Black actors even today.   

This production by the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies recognizes the importance of comedy in our divided world and also the vital role of storytelling in reckoning with our shared history. Supported by the Maya Brin Institute for New Performance, this production combines traditional stage techniques with cutting-edge visual technologies and effects. 

By the Way, Meet Vera Stark was written by the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and MacArthur Genius Lynn Nottage. It is directed by Alvin Mayes and Scot Reese.

Health + Safety

Patrons attending University of Maryland arts events are no longer required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. We continue to encourage audiences to wear a mask and stay current with vaccinations and boosters. Please see our Health & Safety information page for information about what to expect during your visit.