Internationally acclaimed playwright/performer Sibyl Kempson will visit campus from April 1 through April 7 as part of activities surrounding the UVa-Wise Theater Department’s production of her play, Let Us Now Praise Susan Sontag, with performances set for March 28-30 and April 4-6 at 8 p.m.

On April 2, Kempson will read from and discuss several of her works, including her most recent play, Sasquatch Rituals, about a group of female Sasquatch hunters. On April 4, Kempson will lead a talkback following the performance of Let Us Now Praise Susan Sontag. Kempson will lead a writing workshop for interested students and community members on Wednesday Apr 3 at 4:45 p.m. and a research workshop on April 4 at 9:30 a.m. On Friday, April 5 at 11 a.m, the Nest will host an entrepreneurial brunch with Kempson, who recently started her own theater company.

Featuring a cast of 10 students and alumni and directed by Professor Michael Hunt, Let Us Now Praise Susan Sontag is a musical contemplation of the ethical pitfalls of two artists—a writer and a photographer—who come to visit a family of destitute sharecroppers and to represent their way of life to the outside world.

Sibyl Kempson’s plays have been presented in the United States, Germany, and Norway. Her work has received support from the Jerome Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the McKnight Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the McDowell Colony, among many others. She received a 2015 Bessie Award for Outstanding Production and the 2018 PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award for an American Playwright in Mid-career. She teaches experimental playwriting at Sarah Lawrence College.

Kempson is also a Sasquatch researcher, and is eager to learn more about Woodbooger sightings in the area.


March 28-April 6 at 8 p.m. Thurs-Sat – Let Us Now Praise Susan Sontag at Gilliam Center for the Arts.

April 2 at 7 p.m. – Sibyl Kempson reads from and discusses her plays in the Sandridge Science Lecture Hall.

April 3 at 4:45 p.m. – Sibyl Kempson leads writing workshop in Zehmer Hall 118.

April 4 at 9:30 a.m. – April 6 at 9:30 p.m. – Talkback with Sibyl Kempson following performance of Let Us Now Praise Susan Sontag.

April 5 at 11 a.m. – The Nest hosts entrepreneurial brunch with Sibyl Kempson.