Local Theatre Critics Are Raving About Rapture, Blister, Burn!

“Under the insightful eye and balanced guidance of director Carol Piersol, the well-chosen cast of five turns the politics and theories of feminist ideals into an academically grounded yet witty and relevant dialogue that adeptly avoids the predictable and the mundane…The 5th Wall Theatre’s production of “Rapture, Blister, Burn” is exhilarating, smart, and hilarious.” -Julinda Lewis, Richmond Times-Dispatch

In the latest smart, engaging, contemporary comedy produced by 5th Wall Theatre, playwright Gina Gionfriddo delves into the state of American feminism in the 21st century… As depressing as that conjecture sounds, “Rapture, Blister, Burn” is no downer…Director Carol Piersol has emphasized the winning interpersonal dynamics of her cast…” -David Timberline, Style Weekly

“Under the quiet, naturalist direction of Carol Piersol, the cast brings Ms. Gionfriddo’s characters to fully felt life without a lot of noise or distractions…A fine play expertly presented. Chalk one up for Fifth Wall Theatre.” -Fred Kaufman, GayRVA.com

“…the show has a lively pace and affable direction by Carol Piersol. The actors exhibit a comfortable, natural style that makes their interactions fun to watch…the production is nimbly acted and enjoyable.” -Jerry Williams, Sifter

Buy Tickets for Rapture, Blister, Burn Now!

Meisner-based Acting Classes

Sign-up today!

Carol Piersol headshotArtistic Director, Carol Piersol, will be teaching an 8-week session of Meisner-based acting classes.  Read Carol’s bio here.

When:  October 24 – December 12, 2016

Time:  Every Monday at 7:00 pm.

Fee:   $120 for returning students and $160 for new students. Class size is limited.

Sign up now!

For more info contact Carol at carol@5thwalltheatre.org or 804-359-2003

Our first show of  5th Wall Theatre’s 2016 – 2017 Season is a witty, unflinching look at gender politics.


Get your tickets by clicking on the link or poster below:


If you are already a 2016 – 2017 Season Subscriber and would like to book tickets for Rapture, Blister, Burn, contact us at boxoffice@5thwalltheatre.org or call us at 804-359-2003 and we will be happy to secure your reservations for you.

“…intensely smart, immensely funny…What’s exciting about [Gionfriddo’s] writing here is the multiplicity of the ideas it engages. Heady with sharp-witted dialogue about the
particularities of women’s experience.” – The New York Times

“…Gionfriddo manages to take academic feminism from
the theoretical to the personal.” – Ms. Magazine

“…Thoughtful, funny…One of the top ten plays of 2012.” – Entertainment Weekly




5th Wall FB Cover Photo

 2016 – 2017 Season

5th Wall Theatre, the award-winning professional theatre dedicated to breaking through boundaries, will open its third season this fall with a comedic examination of gender politics. “Rapture, Blister, Burn,” by Gina Gionfriddo, which was hailed as “one of the top 10 plays of 2012,” kicks off a three-show subscription season in September.

“We are excited to be presenting works by two outstanding female playwrights, as well as a hilarious environmental musical, and to be partnering with the Modlin Center to bring you native son Clay Chapman’s 20th Anniversary Pumpkin Pie Show,” said founder and Artistic Director, Carol Piersol.

In addition to its subscription series, 5th Wall Theatre will partner with The Mighty Pen Project and Richmond Triangle Players to produce seven evenings of M*A*S*H, a benefit for all three non-profit organizations.

The season schedule:

Buy tickets for 2016-17 Season Subscription


Rapture, Blister, Burn by Gina Gionfriddo
September 15 – October 8, 2016
After grad school, Catherine and Gwen chose polar opposite paths. Catherine built a career as a rock-star academic, while Gwen built a home with her husband and children. Decades later, unfulfilled in completely opposite ways, each woman covets the other’s life, commencing a dangerous game of musical chairs—the prize being Gwen’s husband. With searing insight and trademark wit, this comedy is an unflinching look at gender politics in the wake of 20th-century feminist ideals. “Thoughtful, funny…One of the top ten plays of 2012.” – Entertainment Weekly

Performances for Rapture, Blister, Burn are at HATTheatre, 1124 Westbriar Drive in RVA’s West End. Talkbacks will follow select performances. Tickets are $28 (Students – $15; group rates available).

Buy tickets for Rapture, Blister, Burn
Buy tickets for 2016-17 Season Subscription


LunaGaleLuna Gale by Rebecca Gilman
January 12 – February 4, 2017
Caroline, a veteran social worker, thinks she has a typical case on her hands when she meets Peter and Karlie, two teenage drug addicts accused of neglecting their baby. But when she places their infant daughter in the care of Karlie’s mother, Caroline sparks a family conflict that exposes a shadowy, secretive past—and forces her to make a risky decision with potentially disastrous consequences. Powerful and arresting, Luna Gale is a heartbreaking and unforgettable tale of love and betrayal.
“Smart and absorbing.” – The New York Times

Performances for Luna Gale are at RVA Event Space, 7 E. 3rd Street in RVA’s Manchester District. Talkbacks will follow select performances. Tickets are $28 (Students – $15; group rates available).

Buy tickets for Luna Gale
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The Pumpkin Pie Show: 20th Year Anniversary
by Clay McLeod Chapman

February 23 -24, 2017
Co-produced by 5th Wall Theatre and the Modlin Center for the Arts. Celebrating his second decade of spinning macabre yarns, author/performer Clay McLeod Chapman returns to his hometown with The Pumpkin Pie Show – a rigorous storytelling session that Time Out NY guarantees “will send shivers down your spine.” This special anniversary presentation will include a cross-section of personal favorites (and frights) from the last twenty years of haunting audiences across the globe. “[There is] a new generation of theater artists reared on a diet of vampires, zombies, and charming serial killers. Call this movement the Theater of Blood… At the forefront of this movement is Clay McLeod Chapman, whose ‘Pumpkin Pie Show’ channels the spirit of H.P. Lovecraft,” The New York Times.

Performances for The Pumpkin Pie Show at the Gottwald Playhouse, 600 E. Grace Street in RVA’s Downtown. Talkbacks will follow select performances. Tickets are $20 (5th Wall Season Subscribers – $16) and can be purchased through the Modlin Center at:

Buy tickets for 2016-17 Season Subscription


ToxicAvenger_1The Toxic Avenger
Book & lyrics by Joe DiPietro, Music & lyrics by David Bryan
July 7 – 30, 2017
Based on Lloyd Kaufman’s cult film, The Toxic Avenger, and winner of the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical, The Toxic Avenger is a charming love story and laugh-out-loud musical that has it all – an unlikely hero, his beautiful girlfriend, a corrupt New Jersey mayor and two guys who play… well, everyone else … bullies, mobsters, old ladies, and stiletto-wearing back-up singers. With book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro and music and lyrics by David Bryan, the show also features the most memorable and unbelievable duet you’ll ever see on any stage. It’s a toxic love story with an environmental twist! The Toxic Avenger will leave audiences laughing in the aisles as it rocks the house. Featuring a wailin’ rock score, this comical musical has something for everyone to enjoy.

Performances for Toxic Avenger are at The Basement, 300 E. Broad Street in RVA’s Downtown. Talkbacks will follow select performances. Tickets are $32 (Students – $15; group rates available).

Buy tickets for The Toxic Avenger
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Rapture, Blister Burn:





M*A*S*H Staged Reading:




2015 -2016 SEASON

We are truly thrilled and honored to be among such esteemed colleagues and friends, and with 16 nominations, including Best Musical for CARRIE the Musical and Best Play for THE HUMAN TERRAIN. Huge congratulations and thank you’s to all of the artists, designers, technicians, volunteers, and staff that have been a part of creating theatre beyond boundaries!



Carrie the Musical:



The Human Terrain:





The Lyons:








5th Wall Innaugural Season Announcements

BroadwayWorld.com’s Announcement of 5th Wall

Richmond Times-Dispatch’s Announcement of 5th Wall

STYLE Weekly’s Announcement of 5th Wall

GayRVA.com’s Announcement of 5th Wall


rtcc-logo-300x169We are truly thrilled and honored to be among such esteemed colleagues and friends, and with sixteen nominations, resulting in five wins including the Best Play award!

Huge congratulations and thank you’s to all of the artists, designers, technicians, volunteers, and staff that have been a part of creating theatre beyond boundaries!

Staged reading first done at 5th Wall [as Transition] debuts in New York Off Broadway starring Kathleen Turner | Would You Still Love Me If…  – ShowPlaybill – NYT Arts BeatTickets