Tysons, VA

Construction on planned renovations is now underway at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts.

Funded by donors to the park, the renovation project primarily involves replacing temporary tents that covered the Associates and Terrace decks, OVATIONS restaurant, and private Encore Circle Lounge at the Filene Center with permanent pavilions.

While they will retain the open-air feeling that has become so iconic to Wolf Trap, the new wooden pavilions will have better protection from the elements, Wolf Trap Director of Communications Erick Hoffman says.

Constructed out of Douglas fir, the new structures were designed by the architecture firm Gensler to match the style of the Filene Center, a 7,000-seat outdoor ampitheater that hosts the park’s main summer programming.

Hoffman notes that, compared to the existing vinyl and aluminum tents, the wooden pavilions will be more compatible with the surrounding natural environment. They will also allow for more year-round use by patrons, whereas the tents could only be used on a seasonal basis.

“The new Pavilions will allow for greater use throughout the year in a more inviting and appropriate design environment,” Hoffman said. “Users of the deck will have enhanced protection from the elements and enjoy an architectural vocabulary befitting the unique character of America’s only National Park for the Performing Arts.”

Recently, programs at Wolf Trap have been online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the pandemic has not affected the renovation timeline, according to Hoffman, who says the $3.5 million project is on track to be completed by late spring.

While construction will not interfere with any performances once in-person events are allowed again, Wolf Trap has closed some parts of the park to visitors, including all decks, Barn Road, and select parking areas. The closures took effect on Dec. 14 and will remain in place until further notice.

The Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts announced on Dec. 8 that it will not hold spring performances at The Barns this year “due to continued concerns stemming from the pandemic and subsequent guidance from state and local officials.”

“The Foundation is enormously thankful for the continued generosity and support of its donors, patrons, and community as we navigate these challenging times,” Wolf Trap said in a press release. “When it is safe to do so, we look forward to gathering in person again in celebration of the performing arts.”

While it will likely look different from past seasons, hope that there will be live summer performances remains, especially since this year marks the Filene Center’s 50th anniversary.

Gov. Ralph Northam announced yesterday that, starting Monday (Mar. 1), outdoor entertainment venues will be permitted to operate at 30% capacity or with up to 1,000 individuals, whichever is lower. The cap on the number of attendees could be lifted in April if COVID-19 cases in the state continue to decline.

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An Arlington resident who had been missing for several days was found dead yesterday (Wednesday) in Vienna near Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, Fairfax County police confirmed to Tysons Reporter this morning.

Oscar Flores, 27, had been missing since Feb. 13. The Arlington County Police Department put out a call for public assistance in a search on Tuesday (Feb. 16), reporting that he had last been seen around 8 p.m. on Saturday in the area of the Dulles Toll Road and Wolf Trap.

“Police and family are concerned for his health and welfare,” the ACPD said.

Arlington County police reported yesterday that Flores had been found deceased in Fairfax County.

The Fairfax County Police Department told Tysons Reporter in a statement that, around 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Arlington police had requested one of its helicopters to assist in searching for Flores in the area surrounding the Dulles Toll Road.

The searchers located Flores “in an area off the roadway near Trap Road,” and he was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the FCPD.

FCPD Major Crimes Bureau detectives then responded to assume the death investigation.

“Preliminarily, they do not suspect foul play,” the FCPD said.

An autopsy to determine the cause of death is currently being conducted by Fairfax County’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, but the FCPD says that any information pertaining to the missing person’s investigation should be directed to Arlington County.

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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 (Jan. 11)

  • Introduction to Zentangle (Online) — 6:30-9 p.m. — Falls Church Arts is offering lessons on Zentangle, a drawing technique intended to inspire creativity and encourage mindfulness. This is the first of four classes that will take place every Monday until Feb. 1. The program costs $120 for all four classes. Sign up through the nonprofit.

Tuesday (Jan. 12)

  • On Deck with Mercury — 6-8 p.m. at the Vienna Community Center (120 Cherry St. SE) — Vienna Town Manager Mercury Payton will discuss the town’s 2021 legislative agenda with Town Attorney Steve Briglia for his monthly community forum. In-person attendance is limited to support social distancing, but the meeting will be available live on Zoom. It will also be rebroadcast on the town’s cable access channel, and a recording will be uploaded to YouTube.
  • Great Books Discussion (Online) — 7-8 p.m. — The latest session of the Mary Riley Styles Public Library’s Great Books Discussion, which focuses on literary classics, will center on “The Plague” by Albert Camus. Contact Marshall Webster at [email protected] for the Zoom link.

Wednesday (Jan. 13)

  • Code Create Vienna (Online) — 5:30 p.m. — The Town of Vienna is holding a virtual public meeting for residents to provide input on proposed changes to the town’s residential zoning standards. Staff will review the proposals, present a visual preference survey, and take questions. The meeting will take place on Zoom.
  • MLK Day Virtual Book Discussion (Online) — 7 p.m. — Staff at the Alden Theatre will host a talk about Raymond Arsenault’s history book “The Sound of Freedom: Marian Anderson, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Concert That Awakened America.” This is part of the McLean Community Center’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations. Registration is required and ends at 5 p.m. on Jan. 12.
  • Mystery Book Discussion (Online) — 7-8 p.m. — The Mary Riley Styles Public Library’s mystery book group will talk about “Fer-de-Lance” by Rex Stout. Email [email protected] to sign up for the Zoom discussion.

Thursday (Jan. 14)

  • MLK Day Podcast Discussion Group (Online) — 7 p.m. — As part of its MLK Day celebration, the McLean Community Center kicks off a month of discussions on “Seeing White,” the second season of the Center for Documentary Studies’ “Scene on Radio” podcast series. The series examines the historical origins of whiteness and racism in America. Registration is required and closes at 5 p.m. the day before each Thursday night session.
  • Thursday Evening Book Group (Online) — 7-8 p.m. — The Mary Riley Styles Public Library’s Thursday Evening Book Group will discuss “My Brilliant Friend” by Elena Ferrante. Light refreshments will be served. Email Marshall Webster at [email protected] for a Zoom invite.

Friday (Jan. 15)

  • New Year, New You Virtual 5K (Online) — The McLean-based Junior League of Northern Virginia is hosting a virtual 5K run that will kick off today with a stretching activity. Participants can take part from any location from Jan. 15-18. Register through the organization’s website.
  • Mayor’s Walk — 9:30 a.m. at Vienna Town Hall (127 Center St.) — Vienna Mayor Linda Colbert will meet attendees in front of town hall to take a stroll through town while chatting and answering questions from the community.

Sunday (Jan. 17)

  • Front Row Series: David Shifrin (Online) — 3 p.m. — Clarinet player David Shifrin will play pieces by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Luigi Bassi, and Duke Ellington in the latest installment of the Chamber Music Society’s “Front Row” concert series. The performance will be followed by a Q&A, all of which will be streamed by the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts until midnight on Jan. 24.
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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 (Nov. 23)

  • Monday Game Challenge (Online) — 3:30-6:30 p.m. — During this event hosted by the McLean Community Center, participants will play Call of Duty: Warzone. To register, use this link.

Tuesday (Nov. 24)

  • #WhereIsSanta Scavenger Hunt — 12 p.m. in Vienna — The Town of Vienna launches a weekly scavenger hunt today. Clues to Santa’s location will be posted to the Town’s Facebook page at noon every Tuesday until Dec. 22. Participants will be entered into a drawing for a $50 Amazon gift card if they take a photo with Santa and share it on social media, tagging @TownofViennaVa and #WhereisSanta.

Wednesday (Nov. 25)

  • Thanksgiving Wine Tasting — 12-4 p.m. at The Wine Outlet of McLean (6727 Curran St.) — Taste Thanksgiving wines while supporting the Rotary Club of Tysons Corner, the website said. The cost is $15 per person. Each 30-minute session is limited to 10 people. To register for one of the 30-minute time slots, use this link.

Friday (Nov. 27)

  • Mary Chapin Carpenter: One Night Lonely (Online) — 8-11 p.m. — Wolf Trap will stream a recording of the singer performing solo with no audience at the Filene Center. You can buy tickets, which start at $20, through Wolf Trap’s website.
  • The Grinch’s Grotto — 12-8 p.m. at Tysons Corner Center — Starting today through Dec. 31, families can reserve private meet-and-greet sessions with the Grinch at Tysons Corner Center. Tickets cost $50 for general admission or $200 for the VIP experience. One ticket covers admission for up to five people, and visitors are asked to arrive 15 minutes ahead of their scheduled time due to COVID-19 guidelines.

Saturday (Nov. 28)

  • Christmas Tree Sales — 10 a.m.-7 p.m. on weekends, 4-8 p.m. on weekdays at the corner of Maple Avenue and Branch Road — The Optimist Club of Greater Vienna will start selling Christmas trees, wreaths, tree stands, and roping this weekend. Sales fund awards, scholarships, and other honors for local students.

Photo via Wine Outlet/Facebook

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Drive-in movies have come back into fashion with coronavirus making traditional theaters unsafe. Now, Wolf Trap National Park is hosting a drive-in movie night on Friday to help support some local parent-teacher groups.

Wolf Trap will be showing Trolls 2 at on Friday, Nov. 13. Tickets are $20 per car with proof of purchase emailed.

The event is co-sponsored by the Terraset PTO and Buzz Aldrin PTA.

The lot is scheduled to open at 5:30 p.m. and access closes at 6:15 p.m. The movie scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m.

The movie will be screened in the East Parking Lot of the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts.

Food will also be available from three food trucks during the movie:

  • Dangerous Dawn’s Diner (Cheesesteaks, Grilled Cheese and Tator Tots)
  • Red’s BBQ (BBQ Foods)
  • Lattimore’s Funnel Cake Truck (Funnel Cake and Fried Oreos)

Photo via Wolf Trap/Facebook

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Despite canceling in-person shows, Wolf Trap found a way to put their costume-making skills to work this summer by making and donating masks to the Vienna community. 

When Gov. Ralph Northam announced the stay-at-home order through June 10, Wolf Trap’s Opera Costume Department realized shows wouldn’t be happening and decided to find another way to employ some of their artisans. 

Initially, Wolf Trap just planned to make masks for its foundation board and staff, as well as artists from its opera residency. But they also knew they wanted to help the community, so they worked with the Vienna Business Association to provide masks to restaurants, according to Lee Anne Myslewski, the vice president for Opera and Classical Programming at Wolf Trap. 

“We determined that partnering with the VBA would get them to organizations and individuals that needed them,” said Myslewski. 

Of the 1,000 masks made by the company, 130 went to the VBA, according to Peggy James, the VBA’s executive director.

The masks are made from three-ply pre-shrunk cotton, and some mask material comes from unused off-cuts from previous shows, according to a newsletter from the VBA. They have large and medium masks to give out to Vienna businesses. 

“I really appreciate that they are big supporters of the Vienna community,” said James. “We are very appreciative of their membership and their generosity.” 

In addition to restaurants, masks were also given to nonprofits, teachers and other businesses around Vienna, according to James. 

While the mask donation was a hit, Wolf Trap says that it was just a one-time thing, and hopefully, they can resume performances soon. “We hope to be able to make opera sets and costumes again next summer,” said Myslewski.

Wolf Trap is still offering virtual concerts for both adults and children on their website.

Photos courtesy of Peggy James

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The Barns at Wolf Trap won’t have live performance this fall, including Chamber Music at The Barns, due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Wolf Trap said in the announcement on Monday that the Wolf Trap Foundation is “enormously thankful” for the support from the community, donors and patrons, and they look forward to gathering together in the future when it is safe to do so. 

Ticket holders for events that were rescheduled for fall 2020 will be contacted directly via email with more information on individual shows, according to the press release. 

Despite not holding live performances, Wolf Trap has presented a series of digital projects to continue their arts and education mission. People interested can visit Wolf Trap Sessions for their collection of online performances.

Their digital artistic content includes Park Pop-Up featuring performances by local artists, UNTRAPPED Online featuring newly recorded and re-released performances by the Wolf Trap Opera and Field Trip Fridays geared toward kids and their arts education. 

They also recently launched the Music Moves Us fund to support the foundation’s projects to further community initiatives and promote next-generation artists.

Photo via Wolf Trap/Facebook

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More drive-in movies are coming to the Tysons area. Wolf Trap now lists several drive-ins in August on its website.

“Bring out the popcorn! We’re transforming the parking lot at Wolf Trap National Park into a drive-in movie theater and bringing family-friendly summer fun to the community,” according to Wolf Trap’s website.

Here’s the line-up listed on the website:

Tickets went on sale today at 10 a.m. The price per car is $40.

People can also buy the “Movie Pack for Two,” which includes two boxes of popcorn, a pack of M&Ms and two bottles of water for $20, or the “Wolfie Kids Pack,” which includes a plush animal, two chocolate chip cookies, themed coloring pages and crayons for $15.

The gates will open at 7 p.m. ahead of the 8:30 p.m. screening for each event.

According to the event guidelines, no walk-ins or bikes will be allowed, and movie-goers must stay in their vehicles unless using the restrooms. People can bring their food if they want, but pets are not allowed.

“Sound for all movies will be broadcast to your car’s FM radio, please be aware of how to use the Accessory mode in your vehicle or bring a portable radio,” according to the guidelines.

Photo by Denise Jans on Unsplash

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A power outage is impacting hundreds of Dominion Energy customers between Wolf Trap and Leesburg Pike.

Dominion’s power outage map says that 575 customers are affected by the outage, which spans from the McLean Bible Church down past the Dulles Toll Road. Dominion expects power to be returned sometime between 7-10 p.m.

Fairfax County put out a traffic advisory around 3:40 p.m. warning people to expect delays at Leesburg Pike and Trap Road. Police tweeted that Leesburg Pike is currently closed in both directions.

Downed lines from a broken pole are behind the road closure and power outage.

Map via Dominion Energy

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The show(s) won’t go on at Wolf Trap this summer.

The performing arts center recently announced the cancellation of its 2020 summer season. Concerns about spreading COVID-19 prompted the decision, Wolf Trap Foundation’s President and CEO Arvind Manocha said in a press release.

“For the first time in nearly 50 years, the Filene Center and Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods at Wolf Trap National Park and The Barns at Wolf Trap will not host live performances from May through September,” Manocha said.

Wolf Trap has a list of performances originally scheduled from late May to mid-September that shows whether the show has been canceled or rescheduled.

The summer concert line-up included Pitbull, John Legend and Train among the list of performers.

“The continued health and well-being of the Wolf Trap community of patrons, artists, and staff are of paramount importance to us,” Manocha said. “Concern for the welfare of all makes summer gatherings for performances unfeasible.”

The Wolf Trap Foundation created the Music Moves Us Fund to collect donations for education and community initiatives, along with helping the foundation’s operations and promotion of new artists.

People with tickets for summer shows can donate all or part of their tickets to the fund, exchange them for Wolf Trap gift cards or get refunds, according to the press release.

While in-person shows are canceled, Wolf Trap is pursuing digital opportunities this summer for patrons and artists.

More from the press release:

The foundation will be developing and distributing new content this summer from the Barns and the National Park, bringing music from its iconic locations to audiences and reminding all of the grandeur of its performance spaces.

Wolf Trap Opera’s 2020 residency program has been refashioned to continue to provide training and digital performance opportunities for the very best emerging talent in the field; more information about the re-tooled program can be found here.

Wolf Trap’s education programs also continue to be a valued resource for teachers, parents, caregivers, and children in the DC metro area and throughout the country by providing a variety of services through digital and virtual platforms.

Photo via Wolf Trap/Facebook

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