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Matthew Aldwin Mcgee stars as Dredgie McGee in Under the Sea, which will be performed June 2-26, 2022 as part of 1st Stage Theatre’s upcoming season (photo by Stephanie Richardson)

1st Stage Theatre in Tysons has unveiled its 2021-2022 season lineup.

1st Stage is reopening its doors to patrons in August for the first time since the venue at 1524 Spring Hill Road closed in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re thrilled to finally be bringing people back together,” 1st Stage Artistic Director Alex Levy said in a statement. “One of the things that I think we felt so strongly over the last year and a half is not only how crucial of a role the arts plays in our lives but specifically how important live theater is. We’ve missed coming together to share in stories and be in communion with our friends and neighbors.”

The theater will kick off the season with a reimagined version of the Logan Festival of Solo Performances, which will take place outdoors at Boro Park (8350 Broad Street) with lawn seating available for up to 100 people per performance.

Last month, The Boro played host to 1st Stage’s first in-person event in more than a year, a fundraiser that the theater said drew almost 1,000 people and raised $87,000.

“The festival will activate the new space and provide programming for residents and partnerships between local restaurants and 1st Stage, allowing our 1st Stage family to come together in person and to celebrate the return of live theatre,” the theater said in a press release.

1st Stage will resume indoor performances once the Logan Festival wraps up.

Levy says 1st Stage decided to start with the outdoor festival before returning inside as a precaution due to the continued threat of COVID-19. The theater will have “increased” safety measures and keep monitoring the community health situation.

“We are in continued conversation and assessment to make sure that we are providing the safest atmosphere possible for our audiences and artists,” Levy said.

The 2021-2022 season shows are:

More information on showtimes and tickets can be found on the 1st Stage Theatre website.

Photo by Stephanie Richardson

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve searched the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean, and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Monday (Mar. 22)

  • Cherry Blossoms at The Boro — The cherry blossom installation is opening at The Boro (8350 Broad St). The vignettes will be up from Mar. 22 through Apr. 18. Sit and enjoy the spring weather, and snap a picture to join their social media campaign and a chance to win a gift card.

Wednesday (Mar. 24)

  • (The) Unruly Theatre Project’s Virtual Improv Show (Online) — 7 p.m. — The McLean Community Center’s teen improv group is putting on its latest virtual performance. Registration is open up to two hours before the show. The Zoom link and password will be emailed to those who register. For more information, contact [email protected].
  • Conversation with Tyler Cowen (Online) — 7-8 p.m. — The Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library hosts a virtual talk with economist Tyler Cowen, who will discuss “the insane stock market, future of jobs, arts going global, favorite books, local ethnic food and more.” Register in advance to receive a Zoom link to the event.
  • Mystery Book Club (Online) — 7-8 p.m. — The Mary Riley Styles Public Library’s monthly mystery book club is meeting to discuss “Mystery in the Channel” by Freeman Wills Crofts. To get the Zoom link for this event email [email protected]
  • Student Town Hall (Online) — 6:30-7:30 p.m. — Fairfax County School Board member Melanie Meren is hosting a town hall for students to ask her questions. Meren represents the Hunter Mill District, but the Q & A is open to all FCPS students. The theme of the town hall is “What can FCPS do to help you during these times?” Students are required to register ahead of the event to receive the Zoom link, and questions can be submitted through the registration form.

Thursday (Mar. 25)

  • Ask Chair McKay (Online) — 10-11 a.m. — Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay will answer questions about everything from the COVID-19 vaccine rollout to the county budget and Metro during a Twitter town hall. Questions can be submitted by using the hashtag #askChairMcKay.
  • Falls Church Writers Group (Online) — 7-8 p.m. — This online group is for writers to share their work and receive constructive criticism. For more information or to request the Zoom link, email Pete Sullivan at [email protected]

Friday (Mar. 26)

  • Family Fun Trivia Night (Online) — 7-9 p.m. — The McLean Community Center is hosting a family-friendly, virtual trivia night. Registration is required, and the price is $5 per team. There will be prizes for the winning teams.
  • Vienna Theatre Company Production: Dear Elizabeth (Online) — 7:30 p.m. — Dear Elizabeth is the story of the famed correspondence between two of the 20th century’s top poets, Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell. Live, virtual performances will also be available to view on Saturday (March 27) and April 2 and 3, with matinees at 2 p.m. on Sunday (March 28) and April 3.  Tickets are on sale now for $15. Questions call Lily Widman at 703-255-5738 or email [email protected]
  • Mayor’s Walk — 9:30 a.m. at Vienna Town Hall (127 Center St S) — Meet Vienna Mayor Linda Colbert in front of Town Hall and take a walk through town. This is an opportunity to chat with Mayor Colbert or voice questions and concerns.

Saturday (Mar. 27)

  • Doggie Playdate at The Boro — 11 a.m.-noon at The Boro Park (8350 Broad Street) — A pop-up springtime doggie playdate is happening at The Boro Park. Register for your pet to receive a floral bandana, doggie biscuits, and cherry blossom treats. If there is rain, the make-up day is March 28.

Photo via The Boro/Twitter

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Tysons theater 1st Stage is continuing its earlier shift towards online classes with a new series of acting courses aimed to help introduce adults or children to acting or continue their education.

Each course consists of six classes with prices starting at $100 per course.

Classes are taught over Zoom sessions. The deadline for registration is Monday, Sept. 21.

Classes for adults include:

  • Playwriting (Tuesdays, Sept. 29-Nov. 3 from 4-6 p.m.) — The class will introduce students to playwriting concepts like idea generation, dramatic action, character and dialogue development.
  • Beginning Acting (Thursdays, Oct. 1-Nov. 5 from 6-7 p.m.) — The class will introduce students to developing believable characters within the play text and teach acting techniques.
  • A Director Prepares (Tuesdays, Sept. 29-Nov. 3 from 1-2 p.m.) — The class will introduce students to direction, particularly on the production, preparation, and conceptualization aspects. The class will also touch on casting and working with designers and actors.
  • Beginning Voice Training (Fridays, Oct. 2-Nov. 6 from 1-3 p.m.) — The class introduces students to healthy singing techniques, including warm-ups and cool downs, vocal exercises, and simple songs.
  • Play Reading and Discussion (Fridays, Oct. 2-Nov. 6 from 7-8 p.m.) — The class will involve reading and discussing plays, as well as discussing analytic techniques.
  • Introduction to Improvisation (Wednesdays, Sept. 30-Nov. 4) — The class is an introduction to the basics of improvisation, like “yes, and…” as well as other foundational improv techniques.
  • Intermediate Improvisation (Sundays, Oct. 4-Nov. 8 from 1-2 p.m.) — Students will build on more advanced improv skills and concepts from the earlier Intro to Improv class, with a focus on creating characters and scenes quickly, bold choices, and working together to form a scene.

Five courses are available for grades 1st through 12th.

Classes include:

  • Drama Games (1st-2nd Grade, Mondays, Sept. 28-Nov. 2 from 4-4:45 p.m.) — The course introduces children to basic acting skills with games, activities and exercises.
  • Introduction to Improvisation (3rd-6th Grade, Wednesdays, Sept. 30-Nov. 4 from 4-4:45 p.m.) — This class will cover the basics of improv concepts and building on natural instincts.
  • Beginning Improv (Middle School, Thursdays, Oct. 1-Nov. 5  from 4-4:45 p.m.) — Similar to Introduction to Improvisation, Beginning Improv will focus on teaching improv concepts.
  • Building Your Book (High School, Fridays, Oct. 2-Nov. 6 from 4 p.m.-6 p.m.) — This intermediate class aims to help advanced singers through warmups, cooldowns and exercises. The class is geared towards polishing songs with vocal, musical, and dramatic performances.
  • Play Reading And Discussion (High School, Saturdays, Oct. 3-Nov. 7, 12 p.m.-1 p.m.) — The class will focus on reading and discussing plays with classic and modern analyzing techniques.
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Two Tysons-area theaters are recent recipients of the 36th annual Helen Hayes Awards.

Tysons-based 1st Stage Theatre and Falls Church-based Creative Cauldron were both nominated in several categories earlier this year. In total, 1st Stage Theatre has 18 nominations, while Creative Cauldron has nine this year.

While the awards show is slated for later this month, recent announcements revealed that the theaters have won some awards.

Award announcements began Aug. 31 and will continue until Sept. 11. So far, 1st Stage has won “Outstanding Lighting Design (Hayes)” for “The Brothers Size” and Creative Cauldron has nabbed the “Outstanding Lead Performers in a Musical (Helen)” award for Nora Palka in “On Air.”

Each year, Theatre Washington presents awards to over 90 theatres and artists around the D.C. area in honor of Helen Hayes, who is known as the “First Lady of American Theatre,” according to Theatre Washington. The year-long nomination process for the Helen Hayes Awards includes 40 judges attending around 200 productions.

An in-person Helen Hayes Awards Ceremony was supposed to be May 18th, but due to COVID-19, it was moved to a virtual ceremony. This year’s virtual ceremony will be held on Friday (Sept. 25).

People will have to wait to see if the two local theaters have more of their nominations turned into awards.

Photo via Rob Laughter/Unsplash

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