It’s the fourth Friday, but . . .
. . . it’s also the day after Thanksgiving, and the entire staff will be waiting in line for early bird specials at Tractor Supply, so our usual Fourth (Estate) Friday coffee and conversation hour is hereby cancelled for November. (And in December, we’ll be meeting on the third Friday, Dec. 16, at a location to be announced in this very space in the Dec. 15 newspaper.) Happy Thanksgiving to all!
On parade day, a Consort of Viols
After the Christmas at Little Washington parade on Sunday, Dec. 4 — and after some hot chocolate, tea or coffee in the theater lobby — come hear the Smithsonian Consort of Viols’s performance of English chamber music from the time of Elizabeth I at the Little Washington Theatre at 3 p.m.
The Consort is composed of Smithsonian Chamber Music Society artistic director Kenneth Slowik, Rebekah Ahrendt, Catherine Slowik and Arnie Tanimoto — Kenneth Slowik being the architect of the theater’s Smithsonian at Little Washington series and an outstanding cellist, viol player, pianist and conductor. He is also curator of the musical instrument collection at the National Museum of American History, and a greatly appreciated feature of all the Smithsonian at Little Washington series concerts is the commentary Slowik provides throughout the program. Tickets ($25, $10 ages 17 and younger) available at littlewashingtontheatre.com or 540-675-1253.
‘Bouncin’ ’ is born
George Mason University’s theater department presents a staged concert reading of “Bouncin’ ” — a new Kid Pan Alley family musical, 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3 in the TheatreSpace at GMU’s Center for the Arts on their Fairfax campus. Rappahannock songwriter and Kid Pan Alley founder Paul Reisler wrote the book and the music for the musical, which features some of the amazing songs he’s written with children across the country in Kid Pan Alley programs.
It’s a story of a friendship that loses its way. As they are pulled apart in crisis by illness, distance and ego, a stunning revelation about their pasts binds them together not only as friends, but as family.
Through Kid Pan Alley, Reisler has written more than 2,500 songs with close to 40,000 children across the country from Virginia to Hawaii. The songs reflect a sophisticated and powerful viewpoint, the world as seen through the eyes of the children. The songs have been recorded by artists including Amy Grant, Sissy Spacek, Delbert McClinton, Cracker, Kix Brooks, Nashville Chamber Orchestra and Suzy Bogguss.
“There is a Kid Pan Alley song about just about everything,” said Reisler. “I realized that among all those sparkling gems, there were enough stories to create a basketful of musicals.”
Reisler is no stranger to the theater. He wrote music and performed with his late wife, Obie Award-winning playwright, actress and director Julie Portman, for 20 years. “Her inspiration and this enormous body of work pulls me back into the magic of the theater,” Reisler said.
In his past life, he was the leader of the band Trapezoid for 25 years and currently he currently leads both Paul Reisler & A Thousand Questions featuring Howard Levy as well as Three Good Reasons.
The production team for “Bouncin’ ” includes director Ken Elston, dramaturg James Magruder and Cheryl Toth and Paul Reisler directing the music.
George Mason has been workshopping “Bouncin’ ” this fall in preparation for a fully staged production next year. The concert reading Dec. 3 is a sneak preview of this exciting new project. For information on the performance visit bit.ly/b-gmu16. For more about Kid Pan Alley, visit kidpanalley.org.
PATH connects volunteers with needs
The PATH Volunteer Center, an effort funded by the Fauquier County-based PATH Foundation, is working to expand volunteerism for nonprofits serving Fauquier, Rappahannock and Culpeper counties. The center is launching an online software platform that matches volunteers with nonprofit needs at letsvolunteer.org.
By creating a venue that both allows individuals to see the many ways they can make a difference and agencies to promote their needs, the PATH Volunteer Center has increased the potential for volunteerism and involvement in the community. Over the past several weeks, nonprofits in the area began posting their volunteer needs online in hopes of increasing the opportunities for community members to get involved.
Lynn Lauritzen, manager of the PATH Volunteer Center, says the online service makes it easy for volunteers to find opportunities that match their interests and available time, “By registering as a user at letsvolunteer.org, community members wishing to volunteer can take the time to find where they are best suited to help groups in our area. The site can be used to find volunteer opportunities for students as well. We currently have 30 nonprofits registered on the volunteer center platform with nearly 50 volunteer opportunities posted, and we are excited to grow that number.”
Opportunities currently listed online include Family Selection Committee Member with Habitat for Humanity, Homework Tutor for Boys and Girls Club of Fauquier, Digital Photo Archivist at Rapp at Home and Bookstore Volunteer at Culpeper County Library just to name a few. Interested community members can visit letsvolunteer.org and register to respond to these needs along with many more. Volunteer opportunity listings will include both ongoing needs for nonprofits as well as one-time event requests, including occasional PATH Foundation events.
Says Christy Connolly, PATH Foundation president and CEO: “Our board strongly believes in the importance of community involvement. Launching the PATH Volunteer Center is an important piece to strengthen our area nonprofits. Signing up is simple, and volunteering your time can make a difference in someone’s life.”
Park extends fire restrictions
Due to exceptionally dry conditions, Shenandoah National Park extended fire restrictions to the entire area of the park this Monday (Nov. 21). Because of the potential for extreme fire behavior, the restrictions will be in effect until the park receives sufficient precipitation to lift fire restrictions.
Building, attending, maintaining or using an open fire anywhere within the boundaries of Shenandoah National Park is prohibited. The ban includes all wood, charcoal, coal or other solid-fuel open air fires, and fires in grates, grills, rings or pits in campgrounds, picnic areas, shelters and huts.
The use of pressurized gas-fuel camp stoves and backpacking stoves will be allowed in Dundo Picnic Grounds and in the backcountry. However, the use of liquid-fuel or wood-fuel portable stoves is prohibited. Smoking will be permitted only inside vehicles and at established paved or gravel parking areas. Smoking will be prohibited on all trails.
Shenandoah National Park, the Skyline Drive and other facilities and services remain open as scheduled. For more information, visit nps.gov/shen or call 540-999-3500, ext. 3397.