Vanessa R. Butler has won an 27th Annual Connecticut Critics Circle Award, “Outstanding Actress—Play.” She won the award on June 27, 2017 for her lead role in “Queens for a Year,” Hartford Stage. The award is a celebration of the best in professional theater in the state of Connecticut.
I am proud to play a lead role in an arresting new play, Queens for a Year, from one of the writers of the TV series Army Wives. I play Molly Solinas, a young Marine Corps Officer, who unexpectedly returns to her family home in Virginia, bringing with her an even younger female Lance Corporal. Four generations of women who’ve served their country in the Marines clash during what at first appears to be a post-deployment vacation – but is revealed to be much more.
Queens for a Year, may bring to light prejudices and other problems, but it’s not anti-military. It incorporates really positive, meaningful things, aspects of solidarity when protecting and defending family. It’s about being initiated into this highly classified family and what happens when you’re in that family and somebody betrays you. It beautifully walks that line. It is dedicated to that service, to how you find justice.
I recently started teaching movement and dance at Housatonic Community College in Theater Arts. Since 2013, I have been an assistant adjunct professor of acting at Central Connecticut State University.
The YPI play, “A Bullet’s Conscience,” is about two sisters grappling with the loss of their brother to gun violence. The sisters fall on opposite sides of the gun control debate. The students address the larger conversation happening in the U.S.
Check out the WNPR article about the play. I thought was an absolutely brilliant, beautiful analogy about what’s going on in this country, it’s not us against them, it’s all of us together. Hannah Simms was also a co-facilitator of the project.