The Rapp: 4th Friday, 1000 Faces, no ordinary persons

Tomorrow: Fourth (Estate) Friday

Fourth (Estate) Friday, our monthly invitation to readers to join us for coffee, constructive criticism and story ideas, is 9 a.m. tomorrow (Friday, Oct. 23) at Country Cafe on Main Street in Washington. Rappahannock News staffers will be there to buy your coffee and hear your thoughts. Questions? Email or call us at 540-675-3338.

Saturday: 1000 Faces, hundreds of costumes

1000 Faces Mask Theatre performs at last year's October festivities at Stone Hill.
1000 Faces Mask Theatre performs at last year’s October festivities at Stone Hill. Geoffrey Archer

Is your costume ready? The annual end-of-October spectacle at Stone Hill, the home of John Henry and Ann Crittenden, on Springwish Lane (off Crest Hill Road, not quite three miles east of Flint Hill), is this Saturday (Oct. 24), and your alter ego will be competing with, or at least complementing, the remarkable masks and costumes of Peggy Schadler’s 1000 Faces Mask Theatre troupe — whose 5:30 p.m. performance of Schadler’s “Cassandra Ignored Again” in Henry’s giant-stone amphitheatre is the event’s centerpiece. The 1000 Faces performance is funded in part with a Claudia Mitchell Arts Fund grant from the Rappahannock Association for Arts and Community (RAAC).

The Stone Hill event begins at 3 p.m, with a welcome by the City of Alexandria Pipes & Drums, and traditional Irish session music in the amphitheatre starting at 3:30 p.m. Astrologer, radio host and (as Henry calls her) Celtic rapper Caroline Casey goes on at 5 p.m., just before the 1000 Faces performance. After the show, the bagpipers and drummers lead a torch-lit procession to the Circle of the Standing Stones, Rappahannock’s own Stonehenge, where a bonfire will be lit.

Your $10 donation supports 1000 Faces Mask Theatre. For your own personal support, feel free to bring along folding chairs, blankets and a picnic.

If you have questions, email Henry at For more about 1000 Faces, visit

And more, next weekend in town

Next Saturday — Halloween, Oct. 31 — residences and businesses of the town of Washington will be open late, and suitably done up, for the traditional swarm of chaperoned young trick-or-treaters from around the town and county. For both grownups and kids, there’s decorations and refreshments at Trinity Episcopal Church’s parish hall and gardens from 6 to 10 p.m. and there’s also a bonfire organized by Ragged Mountain Resource Center’s Hunt Harris, in the meadow near Avon Hall pond, behind the courthouse. It’ll be lighted at dusk. For more information, call the town hall at 540-675-3128.

A entry from the Inn at Little Washington's employee pumpkin-carving contest last fall — which chef Patrick O'Connell's decided to open to all this Halloween.
A entry from the Inn at Little Washington’s employee pumpkin-carving contest last fall — which chef Patrick O’Connell’s decided to open to all this Halloween. Courtesy photo

The Inn at Little Washington, meanwhile, has decided this year to open its longstanding annual employees’ pumpkin-carving contest to the artists of Rappahannock and beyond. For the first time, anyone with a gourd and a good eye can enter their pumpkin — for a shot at a grand prize of dinner for two at the famed Inn. The contest guidelines: Pumpkins must be carved, not painted (meaning they can be lit from within); they have to fit on a 24-by-24-inch base; and they need to be delivered to the Inn’s Parsonage courtyard between 9:30 a.m. and noon on Friday, Oct. 30.

The Halloween works of art will be judged that afternoon, and will be on display throughout the holiday weekend. For more information, call the Inn’s Rachel Hayden at 540-675-3800.

‘No ordinary person’ at RAAC Theatre

"No Ordinary Person" storytellers (from left) Paul McGeough, Jane Coon and Paul Reisler appear Oct. 23-24 at RAAC Theatre.
“No Ordinary Person” storytellers (from left) Paul McGeough, Jane Coon and Paul Reisler appear Oct. 23-24 at RAAC Theatre. By Kate Geraghty (far left) and E. Raymond Boc

Friday night’s performance of “No Ordinary Person” at RAAC Community Theatre is sold out but seats are still available for Saturday’s performance (Oct. 24). (For those attending the Halloween event at Stone Hill, there’s plenty of time to make the 8 p.m. performance — and you’re welcome to come in costume.)

This year’s 17th annual storytelling show features three of Rappahannock neighbors: Paul McGeough, an Irish Australian journalist and senior foreign correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald, specializing in Middle Eastern affairs; musician and composer Paul Reisler, founder and artistic director of Kid Pan Alley; and former Ambassador Jane Coon.

All three stories will take us to far-flung locales (from South India, to war-torn regions in the Middle East, to the remote wilds of the Yukon Territory), touching places of love and fear and discovery in the heart.

Paul Reisler’s late wife, Julie Portman, is well known in Rappahannock as the founder of Ki Theatre, and the person whose Life Stories Workshops gave rise to “No Ordinary Person.” In his story, Reisler will share his own unique perspective on Julie’s spirit, her drive, her unusual path and her gift for creating community. As a former ambassador and State Department professional, Coon has traveled extensively but in this story she is greeted with no red carpets and no diplomatic niceties — just the raw power of the wilderness. McGeough was born in Ireland during “The Troubles,” moving with his family to Australia at age 11, and eventually choosing a career that has exposed him to extreme violence in many contexts.  McGeough’s  story will consider the impact of that violence on the people he has met and on himself.

“No Ordinary Person” is directed by Joyce Abell and Sallie Morgan. Tickets ($15) available via, or call 800-695-6075. (Patrons who elect to pay at the door need to arrive no later than 10 minutes before the performance as seats will not be held after that time.)

Fundraising and bargains at Middle Street

This work by Rosabel Goodman-Everard is part of Middle Street's current show.
This work by Rosabel Goodman-Everard is part of Middle Street’s current show.

Sperryville’s Middle Street Gallery puts on its first-ever fundraising exhibition tomorrow (Friday, Oct. 23) through Dec. 27. Just in time for holiday shopping, one room of the gallery will be devoted to small (8 by 10 inches) and affordable ($100 or less) works of art. Member artists are donating these works to the gallery, so that it may devote 100 percent of the proceeds to its community arts activities.

Also beginning tomorrow and running through Nov. 29, the gallery will show members’ larger works in adjacent rooms. A wide variety of paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures and multimedia works will be on exhibit and for sale. These range from photographic still lifes from Vietnam by Susan Raines, watercolors from along the Appalachian Trail — orange mushrooms on a log, a leaf caught in a hollow of a log, spring-blooming hepatica, and a spiderweb with morning dew — by Phyllis Northup, and abstract paintings of Virginia fields by Barbara Heile. “I could smell the field grasses as I painted them,” Heile says. “And they have been beautifully framed by local craftsman Richard Price.”

Continuing with the theme of natural elements, Kathleen Willingham will offer a plein air pastel painted this summer in the Adirondacks. “It was important to me to try to capture the mood of a pond that was filled with light, quiet water, reflections and the mood of the afternoon,” she says.

Painter Barbara Heile is among the contributors to Middle Street's fundraising art exhibit.
Painter Barbara Heile is among the contributors to Middle Street’s fundraising art exhibit.

Rosabel Goodman-Everard combines manmade and natural elements in her multimedia works tof goauche, ink, torn paper, vellum and other materials. Meanwhile, Wayne Paige will show pen-and-ink drawings in “themes of conflict, dreams and humor.” The Digital Era has made his techniques almost obsolete, but he persists in the traditional ways, he says. “I  hear the digital clarion call, however I hesitate to answer.”

Photographer Carl Zitzmann will show a close-up of a pink and white blossom from an ancient apple tree. “The tree was planted by the current landowner’s grandmother and, since it is of unknown heritage, the tree has become known as, simply, Newton’s Apple,” Zitzmann says. Photographer Gary Anthes offers two large shots of the same place on a sand dune in Death Valley, a purple one before sunrise and a gold one just after the sun lights it up.

Middle Street is open 11 to 5 Friday-Sunday at 3 River Lane, next to River District Arts. Call 540-987-9330 or visit for more.

But it isn’t even Halloween yet

SantaClaus179Plans for Christmas in Little Washington are well underway. (It not only takes a whole county but a whole lot of time.) Last year’s day was a tremendous success with more than 40 entries in the parade, with some longtime favorites, including the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, the RAAC float featuring the holiday play cast and numerous wonderful vintage cars, plus some new instant favorites like the Rappahannock Hunt. The parade ended with the always crowd-pleasing appearance of Santa Claus, who’s promised to be there again this year.

Christmas in Little Washington is Sunday, Dec. 6. The Artisan’s Market will be open from 10 to 4 and the parade steps off at 1:30 p.m.

If you wish to be participate in the Artisan’s Market or march in the parade, see the contact information below.

The event again benefits the Rappahannock Food Pantry and continues with the theme, “Christmas Is a Time of Giving.” Other nonprofit organizations from the county will also have information tables at the event, and a number of county restaurants and stands will be offering more substantial fare.

Santa will be greeting children and receiving wishes immediately following the parade. He tells us that he has a special gift for each child.  

If you need more information, call Judy DeSarno at 540-675-9913; for a parade application, contact Thom Pellikaan at or 540-987-8447. Artisans should contact Kim Nelson at or 540-675-3076. If your nonprofit would like a table, call Alice Anderson at 540-675-1758.

Finally, DeSarno says, it is never too early to begin praying for good weather.

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