Tennessee Williams’ “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” will be gracing the Reston Community Center’s CenterStage from March 9 through 24.
The play, performed by the Reston Community Players, tells the story of Brick Pollitt, an alcoholic and former high school football player, and his wife Maggie. When the two join the rest of the Pollitt family for Big Daddy’s 65th birthday, a story of survival and family dysfunction emerges at the Southern plantation.
“Cat is one of my favorite stage productions, and it is an honor to bring these characters to life at Reston,” said Sharon Veselic, who directs the show, in a press release. “While the story takes place in the 1950s, many of the dynamics of the personalities portrayed on stage are still relevant today. It’s a true classic.”
The show is presented through an arrangement with Dramatists Play Service on behalf of the Sewanee: The University of the South.
Tickets are $23. To purchase, contact the box office at 703-476-4500 or go online. The play is recommended for ages 16 and older for adult themes and brief nudity.
From a pool of more than 350 nominees, GRACE was honored in the category of Bedrock Institutions, which recognizes organizations that have been around for more than 10 years and “have demonstrated a benefit to economic health and tourism in the local community.”
At the recent awards ceremony, attended by Governor Terry McAuliffe, GRACE was also recognized for its artistic excellence, its celebration of diversity, and its work toward helping to make Virginia a “cultural destination.”
GRACE was one of only four organizations statewide to be recognized in this category.
“This is an incredibly proud moment for GRACE. To be in such rare company is humbling,” said Executive Director and Curator Lily Siegel. “All of us here view this as a real legacy award — one that honors the many people, fantastic partners and generous sponsors who, over GRACE’s 40-plus years, have made this iconic community institution what it is today.”
VCA planned the 50 For 50 Inspiration Awards to celebrate the commission’s anniversary — 50 examples of programs, individuals and organizations critical to the arts in Virginia, for the commission’s 50th anniversary.
“We are indeed fortunate in Virginia to have an abundant and diverse roster of outstanding artists and organizations and their supporters spanning disciplines and decades,” said Margaret Vanderhye, the commission’s executive director.
Commissioner Jo Hodgin added, “These awardees carry the banner for countless arts workers and supporters who use the arts to build a strong Virginia. We believe the arts are essential for a creative 21st-century workforce, economically dynamic communities and a culture based on wellness and accessibility.”
“I am very pleased to be moving GRACE forward on its vision to elevate the arts in the area by showcasing local and regional artists alongside artists of national and international reputations. We will continue to contribute and grow our importance and relevance in the Commonwealth and D.C. Metropolitan region,” Siegel said.
GRACE was founded in 1974. From its current headquarters at Reston Town Center, the organization hosts exhibitions, educational programming and special events year-round, including the annual Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival.
Currently, an exhibition of the photography of Sue Wrbican, entitled “Well Past the Echo,” is on display at GRACE through Nov. 18.
GRACE is located at Reston Town Center at 12001 Market St., suite 103. Visit the organization online.
Image: (Left to right) Governor Terry McAuliffe, GRACE Board Chair Robert Goudie, VCA Executive Director Margaret Vanderhye, and GRACE Executive Director and Curator Lily Siegel. Photo credit: Michaele White
The nonprofit organization, which aims to celebrate the fine art through starting a dialogue about public works and bringing more of them into existence throughout Reston, got its roots in 2007 as the Initiative For Public Art – Reston. As the group turns 10 years old, representatives say they are experiencing a rebirth of sorts, including changing the name to Public Art Reston.
The group has helped introduce many public works of art throughout the Reston community over the past 10 years, including sculptures, statues and other works, as well as hosted many art-inspired events that engage people of all ages and encourage them to create their own works of art.
“This year’s community’s events like ChalkFest at Reston Town Center and the Annual Reception will celebrate this milestone year and the impact that public art has made on the Reston community, and the future of public art in Reston,” representatives say.
The organization is currently hosting an exhibit about the legacy of public art in Reston, entitled “Reston: The Art of Community Exhibition,” through Nov. 26 at the Reston Historic Trust and Museum, 1639 Washington Plaza.
The birthday party this Thursday will take place from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Aperture, 11410 Reston Station Blvd. The cost is $25 per person and includes light food and drinks. A string quartet from South Lakes High School will perform, as well as a DJ. A public art activity will be available for participants to take part in, as well as raffles and a silent auction. Tickets can be purchased online. Donations to the organization can also be made through Public Art Reston’s website.
Image: Convergence sculpture at Aperture apartments, sponsored by Public Art Reston / Credit: Reston Now.
Image: ChalkFest event hosted by Public Art Reston / Credit: Reston Now.
A new Public Art Reston freestanding exhibition, developed in collaboration with the Reston Historic Trust and Museum, celebrates the community’s wide collection of outdoor sculptures and other public artworks.
“Reston: The Art of Community” opened at the museum (1639 Washington Plaza N.) on Saturday in conjunction with the 16th annual Reston Home Tour and in celebration of Public Art Reston’s 10th anniversary. It will remain on display through Sunday, Nov. 26. The museum is open Tuesday-Sunday, and is free to enter.
A reception to celebrate the exhibit is scheduled for 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26. The reception will be followed by free screenings of Peabody Award-winning director Rebekah Wingert Jabi’s “Fun, Beauty, Fantasy: Reston’s Public Art” and “A Bird in the Hand — Patrick Dougherty’s Sculptural Installation in Reston, VA” at the Jo Ann Rose Gallery of Reston Community Center Lake Anne (1609 Washington Plaza N.). A question-and-answer session will follow.
Reservations are encouraged for the exhibition reception and film screening. To RSVP, contact the Reston Historic Trust at 703-709-7700 or [email protected].
The programs are supported in part by the Reston Community Center. All proceeds benefit the Reston Historic Trust and Museum, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the past, informing the present, and influencing the future of Reston through its educational programming, archives and exhibitions.
Images courtesy Reston Historic Trust and Museum
“A Bird in the Hand,” a nest-like sculpture made from tree saplings in Reston Town Square Park, will get a celebratory send-off on Saturday ahead of its removal next week.
The 14-foot-high sculpture, which rests across from the Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St. #103), was created by artist Patrick Dougherty in 2015 using ash, hickory, red maple, oak and willow saplings.
The center will celebrate the art piece’s impact in creating an immersive, magical experience since its installation, according to a release by the center:
“The work’s popularity with adults and children has been manifested in thousands of games of tag and hide and seek played within its woody realm. This project was a communal, participatory experience both through its funding and installation. Sculptor Dougherty spent weeks on-site constructing the sculpture in tandem with a team of community volunteers who contributed enormously to the creation process.”
The celebration is free and will include projects involving sticks and nests, and dance performances sponsored by the Reston Community Center. Artists from Gin Dance Company and GroundShare Arts Alliance will perform dances connected to the sculpture and a documentary film about the sculpture by director Rebekah Wingert-Jabi will play all day in the GRACE gallery, according to the release.
The installation must be removed because it was created from harvest samplings, which typically last for roughly two years, said Erica Harrison, GRACE’s associate curator and festival director. Preliminary discussions are underway to determine what will replace the sculpture in the spring of next year, she said.
The center hopes to bring a new installation that culminates its exhibition of artist Sue Wrbican’s work. Her art, which examines the relationship between time and space, is on display at GRACE through Nov. 18.
Early sponsorships for the future art installation have been secured from the Reston Town Center Association and the Reston Community Center, Harrison said. Final project approval is pending.
The show, winner of four Tony Awards, will be performed Oct. 20 to Nov. 11 at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road).
According to information provided by Reston Community Players about the show:
This musical is popular and special because its story combines a tragedy of love and intriguing politics. Although set in Egypt centuries ago, theatergoers will experience the tension created by the forbidden love between a Nubian princess and an Egyptian soldier betrothed to the Pharaoh’s daughter. Sir Elton John, one of the most successful music artists in the modern era, composed Aida’s stirring music and the amazing Sir Tim Rice, who made his reputation writing hits like Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita, wrote the lyrics. To the delight of audiences, they combined their talents to create Aida, Disney Theatrical Productions’ first Broadway musical for grown-ups.
The show will be performed Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m., with 2 p.m. matinees on Sundays. No show is scheduled Sunday, Oct. 22. Tickets are available from the Reston Community Players website.
For more information, call 703-476-4500, ext. 3.
In its 51st season, Reston Community Players is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that has been producing high quality theatrical productions since 1966. RCP is partially funded by grants from Fairfax County, in cooperation with the Arts Council of Fairfax County.
Quetzal is the collaborative project of Quetzal Flores (guitar), Martha González (lead vocals, percussion), Tylana Enomoto (violin), Juan Pérez (bass), Peter Jacobson (cello), and Alberto Lopez (percussion). The musical ensemble is influenced by an East L.A. rock soundscape composed of Mexican ranchera, cumbia, salsa, rock, R&B, folk and fusions of international musics, and also one whose political vision is based in social activism, feminism and the belief that there is radical potential in expressive culture. During the past two decades, the musical force of Quetzal has created a unique cultural platform that has sounded against conditions of oppression and marginalization. On the 20th anniversary of their first flight, Quetzal introduces us to another sphere of being, one that challenges us to reimagine human life in relation to the other forms of life that we are so often connected to and through.
Tickets for the show, scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday, are $20 for Reston residents and $30 for non-residents. The show will take place at CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road).
The show is also in celebration of Hispanic American Heritage Month, according to information provided by RCC.
The full 2017-18 Professional Touring Artist Series runs through June 2.
“This series brings you musicians from Guinea and Ukraine, bands from Los Angeles and Chicago, the political climate of American’s National Parks and the climate change of Jurassic Park, not to mention a secret octopus,” said Paul Douglas Michnewicz, RCC’s director of arts and events. “The arts are a signature element of what makes Reston such a great place to be. We invite you to share these indelible experiences and see why art and community intertwine so beautifully in Reston.”
Reston’s newest piece of public art was unveiled Thursday evening in front of one of its newest luxury-living facilities.
“Convergence,” a bronze and stainless steel work that shows a human figure emerging from the lens of a camera, was debuted in front of a cheering crowd at Aperture (11410 Reston Station Blvd.). The 11-foot-tall bronze sculpture, displayed at the intersection of Reston Station Boulevard and Metro Center Drive, was created by Reston-native artist Zachary Oxman. Oxman was also the sculptor of Lake Anne Plaza’s “Untold Stories” (aka “Bronze Bob”) and has had his work commissioned by DC officials and presented as diplomatic gifts.
“This opportunity is very unique and very special to me, because I do have such a strong connection to Reston,” Oxman said. “Public art has a unique way of not only adding visually to a community, but it also offers the opportunity to share stories about life and to inspire personal thought and reflection for those who experience the art.”
Oxman said “Convergence” tells a story about the “imperceptible and fragile point that exists between having an idea and actually pushing it forward and becoming a reality,” to which he drew parallels to Bob Simon’s vision for the community of Reston.
“Convergence” also keeps with the theme of photography that spawned Aperture’s name, said Chuck Veatch, president of the Charles A. Veatch Company.
“The pure scale and power of the work and its obvious — at least to me — depiction of the creative process and the art of photography … I was fascinated,” Veatch said of first seeing the piece at Oxman’s studio. “It needed a place of prominence.”
In addition to his commercial real-estate work, Veatch is chairman of the board and contributing editor for Nature’s Best Photography magazine.
Bozzuto’s new seven-story building a stone’s throw from the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station is slated for an official grand-opening in the spring, representatives said during Thursday’s art dedication. The apartments are now leasing.
For more photos from the event, visit Chip McCrea Photography.
The Tony Award-winning musical “Assassins” is coming to NextStop Theatre Company (269 Sunset Park Drive) next month.
The darkly comedic show, by Stephen Sondheim, will open Oct. 19 at the theater. It depicts presidential assassins throughout American history. According to information provided by NextStop, the show “has gained relevance of late” as “the show’s themes of anger over the unfulfilled promise of the American dream mirror a deeply divided country.”
“We started talking about producing this show before [President Donald] Trump was elected, but it was already clear that the political divisions in our country are very real and run very deep,” said Evan Hoffmann, producing artistic director, in a press release. “The show is even more relevant now that we see anger and resentment boiling over that was simmering beneath the surface.”
NextStop says audiences will get “a taste of several genres of music” along with the “non-traditional history lesson.” According to NextStop, it is part of their 2017-18 series to “build the bonds of community.” The theater is currently performing “Disgraced,” a play about Muslim assimilation and identity, through Oct. 1.
The cast of “Assassins” will include Andrew Adelsberger (as Charles Guiteau), Mikey Cafarelli (as John Hinckley Jr.), Brice Guerriere (as Giuseppe Zangara), Bobby Libby (as John Wilkes Booth), Katie McManus (as Sara Jane Moore), Mackenzie Newbury (as The Proprietor), John Sygar (as The Balladeer/Lee Harvey Oswald), Daniel Westbrook (as Leon Czolgosz), Jaclyn Young (as Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme) and Alex Zavistovich (as Samuel Byck). Megan Adrielle, Madeline Cuddihy, Jason Hentrich and Colton Needles are also members of the ensemble. The production is directed by D.C. artist Jay D. Brock.
The creative team also includes Bryan Lilley (music director), Christie Graham (assistant director), J.D. Madsen (set designer), Kristina Martin (costume designer), Catherine Girardi (lighting designer), Laura Moody, (stage manager), Jade Brooks-Bartlett (props coordinator/assistant stage manager), Marilyn Lopes (costume apprentice), Quoc Tran (assistant stage manager/sound mixer/fight choreographer) and Jonathan Abolins (master electrician).
Performances of “Assassins” will be Thursdays through Sundays, Oct. 19-Nov. 12. General admission tickets start at $20, and may increase to $60 depending on performance popularity. Tickets are available online at www.nextstoptheatre.org or by calling 866-811-4111.
“Assassins” is one of a pair of shows planned at NextStop about the office of the presidency. In January, “45 Plays for 45 Presidents” will open, and NextStop says it will “provide a lighthearted counterpoint” to “Assassins.”
Photos courtesy Lock & Company
ChalkFest took place this weekend on Market Street at Reston Town Center, and here are winners:
1st Place: Leah Culbert
2nd Place: Charity Rissler
3rd Place: Sonja and Mona Hakala
Families and Kids
1st Place: Payton So
2nd Place: Omer Aru
3rd Place: Michelle Cliff
Winners were judged based on criteria including originality, craftsmanship, composition, use of space, presentation and degree of difficulty.
In addition to the judged results, the audience was tasked with voting for their favorite pieces of art. Visitors’ favorites were:
Prizes for winning designs ranged from $40 to $1,000.
ChalkFest at Reston Town Center is presented annually by Public Art Reston.
Images via Public Art Reston on Facebook.
NextStop Theatre Company (269 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon) is hoping to spark open dialogue about Muslim assimilation and identity in America with the Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Disgraced,” which opens Thursday.
According to a press release from NextStop, several recent incidents have made this an issue of great relevance locally:
Not only did a viral video of an anti-Islam encounter in a Reston grocery store recently sweep the internet, with more than 3 million viewers watching the shocking incident, but the family of a recently murdered [Reston] teen believes their daughter was targeted because of her religion. Additionally, incidents of vandalism have also shaken residents recently, with the Northern Virginia Jewish Community Center being targeted and graffiti found on a highway wall of Baron Cameron Drive near Fairfax County Parkway espousing hate messages.
In the play, “Amir” (portrayed by Jesse Bhamrah) is a Pakistani-American who has hidden his Muslim background as he finds success as a Manhattan corporate lawyer. He struggles with his identity and America’s complex attitudes about Muslims and Islam throughout the play.
“This is an opportunity to have conversations with people about identity and open up and explore who you are,” said Thembi Duncan, the play’s director, in the release. “That doesn’t necessarily sound pretty in marketing language, but you’re learning more about yourself by seeing these other people … and the only way that we move forward as a society is by making human connections across lines of difference.”
In addition to Bhamrah, the cast includes other professional actors from the DC area including Nahm Darr, Jordan Friend, Chaela Phillips and Jenna Rossman. The production team includes Jack Golden, set designer; Kristina Martin, costume designer; Jonathan Alexander, lighting designer; Kevin Alexander, sound designer; Keta Newborn, stage manager; Jessica Dubish, assistant director; Cheyanne Christopher, assistant stage manager; Marilyn Lopes, costume design apprentice; Jonathan Abolins, master electrician; and Kristin Pilgrim, fight choreographer.
Performances will be each Thursday through Sunday, through Oct. 1, with general admission tickets ranging from $17.50 to $55. The show contains adult language and situations that may not be appropriate for all audiences.
The next exhibition at Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) will feature the work for D.C.-based artist Sue Wrbican.
“Sue Wrbican: Well Past the Echo” will be on view at the gallery Sept. 9 through Nov. 18. According to a press release from GRACE:
This first comprehensive exhibition of Wrbican’s work will bring together her most recent photographic series inspired by the landscape paintings of American Surrealist Kay Sage (1898-1963) — The Eventual Outcome of an Instant and Biography of Catastrophe — both dealing with ideas of epic journeys, one personal and the other representing impossible connections through time, place and dimension. The exhibition will also feature a site-specific installation and sculptural elements. Over the years, Wrbican has had many instances of encounter with Sage, a one-time student of painting at the Corcoran School of Art. By building three-dimensional models of Sage’s painted structures, Wrbican not only actualizes the hallucinatory images from Sage’s two-dimensional renderings but makes them relevant for the contemporary viewer in an ever-changing landscape.
Wrbican is an associate professor and director of photography at the School of Art at George Mason University. Her education includes an MFA in photography from the Rhode Island School of Design, and BA in English writing with a concentration in poetry from the University of Pittsburgh.
A free public reception to celebrate the show’s opening is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 9 from 5-7 p.m. at GRACE. Further free public programming related to the exhibition will include:
- Creative Responses (Thursdays, Sept. 28 and Oct. 26, 6-7 p.m.): Hear a creative professional respond to the work on view in the gallery. The short presentation will be followed by open conversation. Presenters may include poets, dancers, writers, musicians, visual artists and more. The Oct. 26 response will be held in conjunction with the Now Be Here project.
- Conversation and Book Release with Sue Wrbican and Lily Siegel (Saturday, Nov. 4, 3 p.m.): Enjoy the release of Wrbican’s book, “Biography of Catastrophe and the Eventual Outcome of an Instant,” and a conversation with Wrbican and gallery curator Lily Siegel. The book’s cover is crafted with material from one of the sails in the narrative. Varied covers featuring a handwritten embroidered title and binding by the author make each book unique in an edition of 50.
Images courtesy Sue Wrbican/Greater Reston Arts Center
The first show of NextStop Theatre Company’s season, “A Grand Night for Singing,” recently opened.
The musical revue, based on the music from Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, takes both the least known and the most popular hits from the playwright duo and gives them new meaning. Rodgers and Hammerstein were the minds behind popular musicals like “The Sound of Music” and “The King and I.”
The show is one of two shows chosen by Evan Hoffmann, producing artist director, to show the “power of catharsis” in theater.
“This season debut is such a fun evening of theatre with remarkably talented singers,” Hoffmann said in a press release. “It fills the theatre space with joy–both from the music and from our patrons. In our ‘Point and Counterpoint’ season, it’s a great match in our ‘catharsis pair’ to the play ‘Disgraced,’ which comes next in September.”
The company has converted their warehouse performance space into a “club-like environment” that opens the setup to be explored and even features a bar on stage.
Led by director Michael J. Bobbitt, the cast and crew include Matthew Hirsh, Karen Vincent, Katherine Riddle, Sarah Anne Sillers and Marquise White. The production team includes Elisa Rosman, Bobby Libby, Jason Arnold, Reid May, Laura Moody and Jessica Dubish.
The theater is located at 269 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon. The show runs until Aug. 20, with performances on Wednesdays through Sundays. Ticket prices change with performance popularity, ranging from $17.50 to $55. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling 866-811-4111.
Pictures courtesy Lock and Company
There will be an all-around focus on activism and civil rights during Reston Community Center’s 2017-18 Professional Touring Artist Series at the CenterStage.
As part of that focus, Tamika D. Mallory will speak on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 15, 2018) as part of Reston’s Dr. King Birthday Celebration. Mallory was national co-chair of the Women’s March in January, which saw hundreds of thousands protesting in DC and upward of 5 million participating worldwide.
According to her profile on the Women’s March website:
Tamika D. Mallory is nationally recognized as a fiery and outspoken champion for social justice who has worked closely with the Obama Administration as an advocate for civil rights issues, equal rights for women, health care, gun violence, and police misconduct. Tamika has been publicly applauded as “a leader of tomorrow” by Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama, Valerie B. Jarrett, and was selected to serve on the transition committee of New York City Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio.
Mallory is also considered a “leading figure in the grassroots, community-based effort to stop gun violence,” according to the website. She has been in the news recently for her statements against the National Rifle Association.
Mallory is just one of the speakers slated for the coming season of the CenterStage series. Another is Terry Tempest Williams, who will speak on environmentalism on Saturday, Dec. 2. According to her website, Williams is “a writer who speaks and speaks out eloquently on behalf of an ethical stance toward life. A naturalist and fierce advocate for freedom of speech, she has consistently shown us how environmental issues are social issues that ultimately become matters of justice.”
Paul Douglas Michnewicz, RCC’s director of arts and events, says there will be something for everyone during the 2017-18 season.
“Deeply personal and highly engaging, the Professional Touring Artist Season at the Reston Community Center will activate your spirit and motivate your soul,” he said.
The activism won’t just come through speakers either. Chicano rock band Quetzal, who will kick off the series Oct. 1, is described as using music “as a form of politically engaged community-building.”
The full CenterStage season lineup is listed below. Tickets will go on sale for Reston residents Aug. 1, and for non-Reston residents Aug. 8.
For more information about any of the performances, visit the Reston Community Center website or call 703-476-4500.
Dr. Tuliza Fleming, curator of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, will visit Reston this weekend for a discussion with artist Radcliffe Bailey.
Bailey is an Atlanta-based mixed media artist whose work is currently on view at both the museum and the Greater Reston Arts Center, where his exhibit “The Great Dismal Swamp” will be through Aug. 18. According to GRACE, Bailey’s work “layers imagery, culturally resonant materials and text to explore themes of ancestry, race and memory.”
The National Museum of African American History and Culture opened to the public last September and was visited by 1 million people within its first few months. It features exhibits about African-American struggles, triumphs, activism, entertainment and much more.
The free event will take place at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road). The formal discussion will be followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience.
RSVP is required and can be made by emailing William Parker at [email protected].
Image via Wikimedia user Fuzheado