The Lights Up Festival, produced by Princeton senior Sally Root ’22, is a celebration of theatrical arts and an opportunity to learn how to re-enter the theater space safely in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On October 9 at 3 p.m. (EDT), join a virtual conversation with playwright Virginia Grise (Your Healing is Killing Me). From panzas to prisons, from street theatre to large-scale multimedia performances, from princess to chafa – Virginia Grise writes plays that are set in bars without windows, barrio rooftops, and lesbian bedrooms.

virginia in blue jacket standing on building terrace

Playwright Virginia Grise

Her published work includes Your Healing is Killing Me, blu, The Panza Monologues co-written with Irma Mayorga, and an edited volume of Zapatista communiqués titled Conversations with Don Durito. Virginia is a recipient of the Yale Drama Award, Whiting Writers’ Award, the Princess Grace Award in Theatre Directing, and the Jerome Fellowship from the Playwrights Center. She is an alumna of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, the Women’s Project Theatre Lab and the NALAC Leadership Institute.

In addition to plays, Virginia has created an interdisciplinary body of work that includes multimedia performance, dance theater, performance installations, guerilla theater, site-specific interventions, and community gatherings. Virginia has taught writing for performance at the university level, as a public school teacher, in community centers, women’s prisons, and in the juvenile correction system. She holds an MFA in Writing for Performance from the California Institute of the Arts and is The Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence at Cara Mía Theatre in Dallas, Texas and a Matakyev Research Fellow at the Center for Imagination in the Borderlands at Arizona State University.


The conversation will take place via Zoom Webinar and is open to Princeton students, faculty and staff. Free, however registration is required. Register for the conversation

Festival Schedule

Thursday, October 7

8:00 PMReading of The Thanksgiving Play by Larissa FastHorse | Wallace Theater

Friday, October 8

6:00 PMConversation with Calvin Chin, Head of Counseling and Psychological Services at Princeton University | Wallace Theater

8:00 PMReading of Your Healing is Killing Me, a solo play by Virginia Grise performed by Associate Professor of Theater Brian Herrera | Wallace Theater (also livestreamed for public audiences)

Saturday, October 9

3:00 PM (EDT)Virtual Conversation with playwright Virginia Grise | via Zoom

7:00 PM Toast and Social Hour — if you do not have a ticket to the following Lights Up Cabaret, sign in will be required at this event. | Forum

8:00 PMLights Up Cabaret | Wallace Theater

Festival Details

All festival events are open to Princeton students, faculty and staff. Free tickets or advance registration required for some events.

Get directions to the Lewis Arts complex and find other venue information for the arts complex.

COVID-19 Guidance + Updates

Per Princeton University policy, all audiences attending indoor events are required to be fully vaccinated and to wear a mask. Visitors may attend outdoor events and are not required by current University policy to attest to COVID-19 vaccination or wear a face covering.


Visit our Venues and Studios section for accessibility information at our various locations. Attendees in need of access accommodations are invited to contact the Lewis Center at least two weeks in advance at

Program Information

To learn more about the cast and creative team for the festival events, review the Lights Up digital program »


Presented By

  • Program in Theater