#Charlottesville was originally conceived and written by Priyanka Shetty in 2018. Constructed from interviews with residents of Charlottesville, the play takes a personal approach to unwinding the events of August 11-12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. Shetty herself was an MFA Acting student at the nearby University of Virginia at the time of the events of Charlottesville, though she was far away on a summer break from her university. When she returned to Virginia that fall, she noticed a shift in mood and dynamics that came as the result of the racial violence that had occured only weeks before.
#Charlottesville premiered in 2019 at LiveArts in Charlottesville, Virginia. The venue is located on Water Street, very close to the site where the vehicle attack occured. This version of the piece included an ensemble of 7 actors of diverse ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds, who each embodied a community member constructed from interviews, as well as Shetty herself. This version of the piece went on to receive readings with Theatre51 in Washington, DC, among others.
Abbey Theatre of Dublin, Ohio, 2021
Reimagined as a one-woman show, this version of #Charlottesville works in concord with Shetty's other solo performances, The Elephant in the Room and The Wall. In this radical re-imagining of the piece, Shetty embodies residents of Charlottesville and herself as they piece together the events of August 11 and 12, 2017, and how it influenced their sense of community and safety.