Reston Community Players will put a wrap on their 50th season next month by staging the Noël Coward comedy “Private Lives.”
Coward’s 1930 play features a divorced couple who meet by chance while honeymooning with their new spouses. According to a press release from RCP:
“[The characters] reignite the old spark and impulsively elope. After days of being reunited, they again find their fiery romance alternating between passions of love and anger. Their aggrieved spouses appear, and a circle dance of affiliations ensues as the women first stick together, then break ranks, and new partnerships are formed.”
The show’s director, Adam Konowe, said the play is not as “flippant [or] even superficial” as it might appear at first glance.
“Look closer and appreciate how Coward skillfully embedded critiques in rapier-like dialogue,” he said.
The show’s cast includes Richard Isaacs as Elyot Chase, Rachel Hubbard as Amanda Prynne, Andy Gable as Victor Prynne, Caity Brown as Sibyl Chase, and Lisa Young as Louise. The creative team, headed by Konowe, also includes Suzanne Johnson, Laura Baughman, Mary Ann Hall, Eileen Mullee, Tel Monks, Michael O’Connor, William Chrapcynski, Maggie Modig, Doug Rolston, Scott Birkhead, Sara Birkhead, Bea Morse, Jerry Morse, Julie Cherundolo, Lilya Eberle and Mary Jo Ford.
Opening night for the production will be Friday, May 5 at 8 p.m. at CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road) at Reston Community Center. Evening performances will follow each Friday and Saturday through May 20; in addition, there will be a matinee show Sunday, May 14, at 2 p.m.
The Community Players’ 2016-17 season opened with “Gypsy,” which won five Washington Area Community Theatre Honors awards. RCP has also presented “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” and “Rock of Ages” this season.
RCP has announced its first two shows of the 2017-18 season will be “Aida” (Oct. 20-Nov. 11) and “Peter and the Star Catcher” (Jan. 19-Feb. 3).
For more information about “Private Lives” or to buy tickets, call 703-476-4500, ext. 3, or visit restonplayers.org.
Image courtesy Reston Community Players
“First Blooms” showcases acrylic and oil paintings from the artist, an expert in commercial color printing who has traveled the nation lecturing on colorimetry for Reston’s HunterLab.
Donahey’s paintings are in the realms of representational abstraction and realism. She is known for her “Awareness Donkey,” which was featured on Pennsylvania Avenue in D.C. and is now part of the permanent collection at American University.
According to a press release about the exhibit:
The self-explanatory title of Donahey’s new show is inspired by the spring landscape, and a goal to “give people a little sunshine,” born out of the news, the cold and the loss of cherry blossoms at the tidal basin. The season can be enjoyed throughout the year through the paintings in this show.
The “First Blooms” exhibit will be on display at Reston Art Gallery throughout the month of April, including during Founder’s Day festivities at Lake Anne Plaza on Saturday. The official opening reception for the show is Sunday from 2-4 p.m.
Image: “Pastoral” — courtesy Dorothy Donahey/Reston Art Gallery and Studios
A trio of documentary films on the tradition of public art in Reston will be screened Tuesday at CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road).
Public Art Reston will present the three short films, works of award-winning director Rebekah Wingert-Jabi, who will also attend the event to discuss them. The films — “Emerge: The Making of a Community Public Art Project,” “Fun, Beauty, Fantasy: Reston’s Public Art” and “A Bird in the Hand — Patrick Dougherty’s Sculptural Installation in Reston, VA” — explore the legacy of Reston’s public art and show how Public Art Reston works to advance it.
“Since Reston was established over 50 years ago, public art has played a central role in defining the unique character of our community,” said Wingert-Jabi, a Reston native. “As Public Art Reston celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2017, it is a particularly important time to have a discussion of what public art has meant to our community and how we would like to see it advanced here over the next 10 years.”
The films will be screened beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Public Art Reston’s presentation is in collaboration with Reston Community Center. The event is free.
Photos courtesy Public Art Reston
Reston Community Players’ performance of “Gypsy” took home five honors Sunday night at the annual Washington Area Community Theatre Honors (WATCH) awards ceremony.
In addition to the awards won by “Gypsy,” the Community Players were also recognized with an award for their performance of “Mary Poppins” to bring their total number of wins for the 2016 season to six.
The full list of awards won Sunday night by Reston Community Players:
- Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical: Jennifer Lambert (as Rose) in “Gypsy”
- Outstanding Lighting Design in a Musical: Ken and Patti Crowley, “Gypsy”
- Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical: Joshua Redford, “Gypsy”
- Outstanding Costume Design in a Musical: Kathy Dunlap, “Gypsy”
- Outstanding Hair Design in a Musical: Chris Dore, “Gypsy”
- Outstanding Special Effects: Greg Steele, Sara Birkhead and Rich Bird, “Mary Poppins”
The troupe was nominated 23 times, second-most among the 27 participating theater companies.
The next production by the Reston Community Players, “Rock of Ages,” will open Friday night at CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road).
The first, GRACE Art: Celebrating Creativity, will be on display March 3-11 and will showcase the work of local elementary school students. The second, Emerging Visions: Interactions, will be on display March 17-April 1 and will feature the work of high schoolers.
Celebrating Creativity will highlight projects from GRACE Art program. Nearly 40 area schools participate in this program, in which trained classroom volunteers deliver an interactive art history lesson with materials and visuals supplied by GRACE, followed by a related in-class art project. Schools whose students will have art displayed in the exhibit include Academy of Christian Education, Aldrin Elementary, Armstrong Elementary, Crossfield Elementary, Flint Hill Elementary, John Kerr Elementary and Willow Springs Elementary.
After viewing GRACE’s exhibition last fall, Shih Chieh Huang: Synthetic Transformations, students from three area high schools — Herndon, Oakton and South Lakes — were asked to explore different interpretations and aspects of interactions. They worked directly with the education director at GRACE, and the final selections from their work will be shown in the Emerging Visions exhibition.
Several free art activities will also be offered for families throughout the month, and gallery visitors will be able to participate in hands-on art activities related to the art shown in the exhibition.
Key dates throughout the month are as follows:
- GRACE Art: Celebrating Creativity opening reception and Family Day: Saturday, March 4, noon-4 p.m.
- Emerging Visions: Interactions opening reception: Saturday, March 18, 6-8 p.m.
- Studying Art Post Secondary School workshop, Saturday, March 25, 5-6:30pm
To register for the workshop, contact Stephanie Booth at [email protected] or 703-471-0952, ext. 118
The Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Alissa Buoni says her 5-year-old daughter is always starting sentences with “When I grow up.”
“It just got me thinking,” Buoni said. “There are some pros to being an adult, but [my daughter] should really enjoy being a kid.”
With that thought in mind, the 2002 South Lakes High School graduate penned her first children’s book, “Oh, The #Adulting You’ll Do.” The book reminds children, Buoni said, that there are a lot of responsibilities associated with the fun of being an adult.
“Trust me, you’ll get to a point where you can make those [grown-up] decisions for yourself, but there’s sort of a price for that,” she said. “It’s not meant to scare kids from adulthood either, because … obviously there’s things adults enjoy about being adults. But you can’t go backward in time, so enjoy the moment.”
Buoni said she used the hashtag in the book when describing “adulting” as a nod to the parents, because it’s a term that is often used on social media.
“I’m on Instagram, I’m on a lot of social media, and I see my friends being like, ‘Ugh, I have to #adult today,” she said. “It’s this dreaded thing, like I’m paying my car bill or I have to go do this and that — boo to #adulting. … It follows throughout the book, kids are going to get to this stuff too.”
Buoni worked in government contracting for several years and also received a master’s degree in school counseling. She is now a stay-at-home mom, with children ages 5, 2 and 1. She says she gets ideas for writing topics from them constantly.
“[Writing] became sort of an outlet at home,” she said. “They inspire me a lot with that day-to-day fun stuff.”
Published by Rocket Science Productions, the book came together quickly once the ball started rolling, Buoni said. Now she calls holding the finished product in her hands “surreal.”
“It was definitely a process, never having done this before,” she said. “It’s been fun, and I like seeing it come to life. But it’s a lot of work, obviously.”
Buoni’s first child, Kendrick, tragically passed away in 2009. The loss of her son to complications of Heterotaxy syndrome and congenital heart disease has inspired her donate a portion of sales to Children’s National Hospital. Buoni has written a book on the topic of loss in families, “Make a Wish for Me,” that is scheduled to be released in April.
“Oh, The #Adulting You’ll Do” features illustrations by Kosta Gregory, a Boston-based artist. The book is currently available for purchase on Buoni’s website as well as on Amazon and other sites. It can also be downloaded through iTunes.
Reston Community Players will bring rock ‘n’ roll to life next month, as “Rock of Ages” comes to the stage.
The show, a celebration of rock bands with big guitar solos and bigger hair, will hit Reston on March 10. It features songs from Styx, Whitesnake, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister and more favorites from the ’80s.
“It is a privilege to direct the very talented cast of singers, dancers and actors in ‘Rock of Ages,'” said Joshua Redford, director of the production. “This is a show unlike any other.”
The musical is the story of Drew and Sherrie, an aspiring rock star and an aspiring actress, who try to prevent developers from turning the Sunset Strip into a strip mall.
The cast of the Reston production consists of the following performers:
- Russell Silber (Drew)
- Claire O’Brien Jeffrey (Sherrie)
- Brett Harwood (Lonny)
- Joey Olson (Dennis Dupree)
- Ben Peter (Stacee Jaxx)
- Brent Stone (Hertz Klinemann)
- Rich Farella (Franz Klinemann)
- Bruni Herring (Justice)
- Evie Korovesis (Regina)
- Melrose Pyne (Ensemble)
- Kendall Mostafavi (Ensemble)
- Jenny Girardi (Ensemble)
- Chris Dore (Ensemble)
- Philip Smith-Cobbs (Ensemble)
- Erich DiCenzo (Ensemble)
The band includes Matt Jeffrey on keyboards, Christopher Willett on bass, Matt Robotham on drums, and Noah Dail and David Smigielski on guitars.
In addition to Redford, the creative team includes producer Jocelyn Steiner, stage manager Colleen Stock, music director Matt Jeffrey, choreographer Chris Dore, sound designer Seth Sacher, lighting designers Ian Claar and Sam Andrews, set designer Dan Widerski, costume designer Carol Steele, and hair and makeup designers Molly Hicks Larson and Kat Brais.
A number of these members of the Reston Community Players team were recently nominated for Washington Area Community Theater Honors awards for their work with the troupe in 2016.
“Rock of Ages” will be performed on the CenterStage at the Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road), March 10 through April 1. For showtimes, tickets and more information, call 703-476-4500 (ext. 3) or visit the Community Players online.
Reston Community Players is now in its 50th season. It is currently staging “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” through Saturday.
The top nine photos of the year were chosen from more than 7,000 submissions to the Audubon Photography Awards by about 1,700 photographers. The exhibit also includes three honorable-mention winners, for a total of 12 photos.
Criteria included technical quality, originality and artistic merit. The photos cover a range of bird species and geographic locations.
An open house for the exhibit is scheduled for 1-3 p.m. Sunday at the nature center, with the photos to be on display until Feb. 14.
Along with the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia and Walker Nature Center, Friends of Reston is also co-sponsoring the show. Light refreshments, short bird walks and hands-on bird activities will also be part of the open house.
For more information, call 703-476-9689 or email [email protected].
The troupe’s productions received 23 total nominations for the 2016 season, second-most among the 27 participating theater companies. Only the Little Theatre of Alexandria (26) received more.
Among the nominations are 17 for the Community Players’ performance of “Gypsy” last fall. The group also received five nominations for its performance of “Mary Poppins” (February-March) and one for its staging of “Master Class” (January).
Paul Tonden, artistic director, said the Community Players are humbled by and grateful for the recognition.
“We strive to offer our patrons high-quality productions, which would not be possible without so many talented volunteers,” Tonden said. “We consider ourselves lucky to be part of such a vibrant DC Metro-area theater community and congratulate all the nominees.”
The full list of RCP nominations is as follows:
- Outstanding Musical — “Gypsy”
- Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical — Jennifer Lambert (“Rose”), “Gypsy”
- Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical — Shaina Murphy (“Mary Poppins”), “Mary Poppins”
- Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play — Lisa Anne Bailey (“Mary Callas”), “Master Plan”
- Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical — Erich DiCenzo (“Tulsa”), “Gypsy”
- Outstanding Direction of a Musical — Paul Tonden, “Gypsy”
- Outstanding Music Direction — Mitch Bassman, “Gypsy”
- Outstanding Choreography — Andrea Heininge, “Gypsy”
- Outstanding Choreography — Andrea Heininge, “Mary Poppins”
- Outstanding Costume Design in a Musical — Kathy Dunlap, “Gypsy”
- Outstanding Costume Design in a Musical — Charlotte Marson and Judy Whelihan, “Mary Poppins”
- Outstanding Hair Design in a Musical — Chris Dore, “Gypsy”
- Outstanding Light Design in a Musical — Ken and Patti Crowley, “Gypsy”
- Outstanding Makeup Design in a Musical — Chris Dore, “Gypsy”
- Outstanding Properties in a Musical — MaryJo Ford, “Gypsy”
- Outstanding Set Construction in a Musical — Dan Widerski, “Gypsy”
- Outstanding Set Design in a Musical — Bart Healy, “Gypsy”
- Outstanding Set Decoration in a Musical — Jerry and Bea Morse, “Gypsy”
- Outstanding Set Painting in a Musical — Cathy Rieder, “Gypsy”
- Outstanding Special Effects — Greg Steele, Sara Birkhead and Rich Bird, “Mary Poppins”
- Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical — Joshua Redford, “Gypsy”
- Outstanding Cameo in a Musical — Jaclyn Young (“Electra”), “Gypsy”
- Outstanding Cameo in a Musical — Phillip Scott-Cobbs (“Neleus”), “Mary Poppins”
Last year, Reston Community Players took home four awards on 17 nominations.
The Community Players are currently presenting “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” through Feb. 4.
This year’s awards ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, March 5 at The Birchmere in Alexandria.
Local painters and poets have collaborated to help each other’s work come to life in an exhibit set to open this weekend at Reston Art Gallery & Studios.
“Springtime in Winter: An Ekphrastic Study in Art, Poetry and Music” will be on display starting Friday at the gallery (11400 Washington Plaza W., on Lake Anne). Pat Macintyre, the gallery’s director and an active painter, said artists and poets worked in close partnerships to create the linked pieces.
“As the poems were being written, we communicated mainly by email, but some people got together in person,” she said.
The Poetry Society of Virginia worked together with the artists at Reston Art Gallery to create the pieces. Mike Maggio, the group’s Northern Regional vice president, developed the concept.
“This is the first collaboration between PSV and RAGS,” he said in a news release. “We also have Herndon Middle School, Herndon High School and a music professor from George Mason involved, so this collaboration has grown quite a bit.”
Macintyre said music students from the schools will be performing during the exhibit’s opening reception, scheduled for 2-4 p.m. Sunday. Live readings by participating poets are also planned for the event.
Macintyre and poet Steve Bucher partnered for their work.
“The poets applied to join us, and they came in en masse,” Macintyre said. “I was honored [Bucher] picked me. His words are so powerful.”
After the exhibit closes at Reston Art Gallery on Feb. 18, it will move on to ArtSpace Herndon (Feb. 20-26) and Northern Virginia Community College in Sterling (March 25).
Poets featured in the exhibit are Don Carlson, Stanley Galloway, Claudia Gary, Cathy Hailey, Bennie Herron, Susana Notar and Jack Underhill, as well as Bucher. Artists are Gail Axtell-Erwin, Dorothy Donahey, Ronni Jolles, Joan Kelly, Maggie Stewart, Roberta Thole and Wayne Schiffelbein, along with Macintyre.
The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and from noon to 5 p.m. Sundays, or by appointment.
Most of us remember being young, making artwork out of nothing more than paper and scissors.
Now through February at Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE), though, you can see the works of artists who continue to take cutting paper very seriously — and do so with dazzling and awe-inspiring results.
“CUT” is the final exhibition in a series of three shows at GRACE that have showcased artwork made from materials more associated with domestic crafting. It follows 2014’s STITCH and 2015’s BEAD.
The exhibit, which opened last month, features of the work of six artists who are distinct in their uses of the medium: Ed Bisese, Maelle Doliveux, Bhavna Mehta, Beverly Ress, Leslie Shellow and Eric Standley.
“I think one of the things that’s really great about this idea is you’re taking this very specific, pretty simple beginning,” said Erica Harrison, GRACE associate curator. “Each [artist] is pulling from that tradition in a different way.”
Harrison said the works have three major themes: ecological concern, observations of everyday life and a “broader sense of spirituality.”
“I think there’s a little bit of ‘something else is out there,’ and they’re trying to reach that,” she said.
The exhibit contains a multi-faceted piece by Mehta that is suspended from paper “pipes” hanging from the gallery ceiling. Harrison said the work, entitled “GUSH,” tells the story of a community emerging from a five-year drought. Among its features are representations of water, leaves and flowers.
Another of the larger pieces is Standley’s “Daphne,” a 17-foot sculpture that incorporates intricately cut paper into the top of a fallen tree. Harrison said the piece, originally commissioned for the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, was inspired by the Greek mythological tale of Apollo and Daphne.
“Eric was really drawn to that story,” she said. “He wanted to give tribute to Daphne’s story.”
Other pieces include two cartoonish collages created specifically for the exhibit by Bisese; stop-motion illustrations by Doliveux; observations of water-based ecosystems by Shellow; and spiraling pieces by Ress that study life and its cycles.
The next exhibitions at GRACE will be in celebration of Youth Art Month. Works of area elementary school students will be displayed first, followed by a showcase of the work of area high schoolers.
Greater Reston Arts Center is located at 12001 Market St., Suite 103, in Reston Town Center. The gallery is typically open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The show opens Friday, Jan. 20 and runs through Saturday, Feb. 4. Performances are scheduled to take place on the CenterStage at the Reston Community Center at Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road).
The play, written by Christopher Durang, centers around Vanya and Sonia, middle-aged siblings who live happily together in rural Pennsylvania. But when their other sister, a B-list Hollywood star named Masha, shows up unexpectedly with her latest boyfriend, Spike, she tries to draw them into a kooky plan that inevitably upends their previously quiet life.
The modern comedy is based upon a 19th-century Russian play, “Uncle Vanya” by Anton Chekhov. In his play, Durang takes the classic tale and weaves it into a work of American pop culture that aims to bring laughter from audiences of all ages.
The cast of the Reston production includes Andrew JM Regiec as Vanya, Lee Slivka as Sonia, Joanne Maylone as Masha and Will MacLeod as Spike. The production is directed by Tel Monks, and it is produced by Bea and Jerry Morse.
Evening performances of “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” are set to take place Jan. 20, 21, 27 and 28, and Feb. 3 and 4, at 8 p.m. A matinee performance is scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 29 at 2 p.m. (more…)
A Nashville band led by what the International Bluegrass Music Association called the “premiere Monroe-style mandolinist of his generation” is set to take the stage at a Fairfax County Park next month.
Chris Henry and the Hardcore Grass are scheduled to perform at Herndon’s Frying Pan Farm Park (2739 West Ox Road) on Sunday, Jan. 15. The concert venue opens at 6 p.m., with the show starting at 7 p.m.
“These musicians will be drawing from the best years of traditional bluegrass as they deliver intense and compelling tune,” according to a description of the event on the county’s website.
Tickets are $18 online and $20 at the park the day of the concert.
Photo via Fairfax County
The gallery is scheduled to present “The Great Dismal Swamp,” the first D.C.-area solo exhibition from artist Radcliffe Bailey, starting April 21, 2017. The show is slated to run until July 8.
“At GRACE, Bailey will present a selection of newly commissioned mixed-media works exploring his family history in Virginia, as well as the history of the state’s Great Dismal Swamp,” reads a press release for the forthcoming exhibition. “The Great Dismal Swamp, a federally-designated national wildlife refuge in Southeastern Virginia, concealed and sheltered communities of slaves fleeing captivity on the Underground Railroad.”
Bailey’s work is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C.; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and many other galleries throughout the U.S.
Read more about the exhibition in a press release:
In the new exhibition, dubbed “Cut,” artists Ed Bisese, Maelle Doliveux, Bhavna Mehta, Beverly Ress, Leslie Shellow and Eric Standley will showcase art that explores “spirituality, modern life, and ecological concerns through a variety of delicate and precisely crafted cut paper.”
The exhibition will open with a special reception next week on Friday, Dec. 9, from 6-8 p.m.
“Cut” is the third show in a special trilogy of exhibitions hosted by GRACE featuring “labor-intensive, hand-manipulated contemporary artworks made from humble materials traditionally associated with domestic craft.” The first two exhibitions in the trilogy were displayed in 2014 and 2015. “Stitch,” which debuted in 2014, featured contemporary art crafted through needlework. “Bead,” which came to life in 2015, focused on works of art created with beads.
“Cut” is set to open just as GRACE’s new executive director and curator, Lily Seigel, takes office on Dec. 5. Seigel is taking over for previous director, Holly Koons McCullough, who left for a position at the Arlington Arts Center earlier this year.
Greater Reston Arts Center is located at Reston Town Center, at 12001 Market St., suite 103. The gallery is typically open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.