October 27, 2020 News & Features » Cover Story

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Hannah Miller, 29 

Director, Community Health and Wellness, Virginia Repertory Theatre

click to enlarge feat44_hannahmiller3.jpg

Scott Elmquist

The landmark marquee on West Broad Street is again touting live theater as Virginia Rep plans its 2020-21 mini season. But Miller is shepherding a range of programs aimed at children and teenagers.

For more than 30 years, “Hugs and Kisses,” seen by 2 million students, has been the state’s principal child abuse prevention and early intervention program. Miller and her associates currently are developing plays that address human trafficking, accessible theater programs for the blind and vision-impaired, and sensory-friendly programs for children on the autism spectrum.

“I believe that theater is the best way of learning about the world,” says the theater grad from the College of William & Mary who has a master’s degree in human development and psychology from Harvard University. “We are asking: ‘How can theater address social issues?’ It’s another tool for the theater. All of our new ideas and programs respond to science first and then we evaluate the outcomes. We live in a world that needs measurable and reasonable outcomes.”

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