The Rapp for March 3

“The Odd Couple” cast rehearses at RAAC Community Theatre. From left: Bob Hurley, Scott McMurtray, John Lesinski (standing), Bob Stockmaster, Larry Finkel, and Andy Platt.
“The Odd Couple” cast rehearses at RAAC Community Theatre. From left: Bob Hurley, Scott McMurtray, John Lesinski (standing), Bob Stockmaster, Larry Finkel, and Andy Platt.

“The Odd Couple” at RAAC Community Theatre

“The Odd Couple” is one of Neil Simon’s funniest and most loved plays. Running on Broadway for 964 performances, it’s spawned countless productions around the world, as well as film and TV adaptations. Simon even wrote a female version of the play.

For three performances, April 1, 2, and 3, the RAAC Community Theatre will be home to neatnik Felix Ungar and the slovenly Oscar Madison. The hilarious play revolves around the conflict when these two best friends share an apartment after their marriages break up. Felix and Oscar’s natural differences are aided and abetted by their trash-talking poker buddies and the giggly, lascivious Pigeon sisters from upstairs. But, despite the laugh-a-minute misunderstandings and bickering, the play is an examination of the transformative power of friendship.

The cast features John Lesinski as Felix; Bob Hurley as Oscar; Petrina Huston and Deverell Pederson as the Pigeon sisters; and Andy Platt, Scott McMurtray, and Fauquier County residents Larry Finkel and Bob Stockmaster as the poker buddies. Patty Hardee directs.

After the RAAC run closes, the production moves to the Fauquier Community Theatre in Vint Hill for performances on April 8, 9, and 10. RAAC and FCT have agreed to exchange productions from time to time to bring each other’s audiences a variety of shows.

“For some time, we have been interested in partnering with other regional theatres,” says RAAC Theatre Artistic Director Peter Hornbostel. “So we were pleased when the Fauquier Community Theatre was eager to stage our production of ‘The Odd Couple,’”

  • At RAAC Community Theatre, 310 Gay St., Washington. Friday, April 1at 8 p.m.; Saturday, April 2 at 8 p.m.; and Sunday, April 3 at 3 p.m. $15. At Fauquier Community Theatre, 4225 Aiken Dr., Warrenton. Friday, April 8 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, April 9 at 8 p.m.; and Sunday April 10 at 2 p.m. $16.

For reservations at either venue, go to Those without internet call 1-800-695-6075 (RAAC) or 540-349-8760 (FCT).

— Patty Hardee

Film acting seminar at the Forge Studios

w-therapp-forgeAs part of its philosophy of Together Filmmaking, the Forge Studios at the Washington School is offering an acting seminar on Saturday, March 26. Led by Forge co-founder Ron Newcomb and professional actor Ken Arnold, the seminar is designed for both new and experienced actors who want to learn the basics of acting in film.

“We hope to have some opportunities this year in 2016 and want actors to be ready to go so they can join us on set,” says Newcomb. A seasoned director, as well as an actor, Newcomb considers himself an “actor’s director” because he understands what actors need.”

He and Arnold have an ambitious agenda for the seminar. “We’ll go over areas, such as marketing yourself through your resume and headshot; preparing for an audition; understanding the pre-production process, what it’s like to be on set, and how to prepare,” says Newcomb, “as well as touching on acting techniques and insights into the local market.”

“After the seminar, participants are welcome to stick around and network,” says Newcomb. “Everyone who wants to stay will be asked to pitch in $5 and join in some great local pizza.”

The Forge Studios opened last year and already have several independent productions completed or underway. At least for now, they specialize in science fiction and fantasy. Their first production, The Rangers, featured local actors Howard Coon, Brendan Martyn, and others.

Newcomb began acting in 1991 and has done theater, film and industrials. He has written and directed award-winning short and feature-length independent films; founded the Fellowship of Christian Filmmakers, a network of over 500 Christian filmmakers and film enthusiasts; and organized and co-leads the District, Maryland, and Virginia (DMV) Producers Association.

Arnold has been acting professionally since 1997. He has been in hundreds of theatre, film and television productions, including Men in Black 3, Revolution, VEEP, Blue Bloods, and Law and Order.

Acting seminar at The Forge Studios. March 26, noon to 5:00 pm, optional networking session to follow. $75, $50 for Rappahannock Residents. 567 Mt. Salem Ave., Suite 2, Washington, VA. To register, go to!acting-seminar/c23xe. Rappahannock residents, register at!acting-seminar-discount/c18ty. Registration closes March 24. For more information about Forge, call (540) 227-5118 or visit

— Patty Hardee

By Janet Bachman
Helen White and Wayne Henderson perform traditional Appalachian music at Castleton Theatre on March 20. By Janet Bachman/National Park Service Blue Ridge Music Center

Appalachian music coming to Castleton

Castleton in Performance will present Traditional Appalachian Music by Wayne Henderson and Helen White on Sunday, March 20, at 4 p.m.

Having played the guitar across Europe and Asia, for President Bill Clinton at the White House, and for Queen Elizabeth II during her 2007 visit to Richmond, Henderson’s bluegrass genre and distinct fingerpicking style have won him loyal fans around the world. Famous Henderson devotees, like Doc Watson, Eric Clapton and Brad Paisley, line up for a chance to own one of his hand-crafted mandolins or guitars.

White, a singer, fiddler, guitarist, and tunesmith, has toured with Henderson in the United States and Europe.

  • Tickets for the concert range from $20 to $40 and the performance will be held in the Theatre House (664 Castleton View Road, Castleton), an intimate, state-of-the-art 140-seat proscenium theatre. There will be one intermission. Call the box office at 866.974.0767 or visit to purchase tickets.

Rapp at Home, VT partner on strength training for seniors

Would you like to be part of a research study on the effects of strength training on older adults? If so, Virginia Cooperative Extension at Virginia Tech, in partnership with Rapp at Home, is offering an 8-week program that has the potential to improve your health.

The Lifelong Improvements through Fitness Together (LIFT) program will guide participants in the use of light weights to build strength and promote balance and flexibility. The goal of the program is to help improve functional fitness as a way to enhance independent living for older adults.

“We also hope LIFT will offer a means for people who may be isolated to socialize with others,” says Ken Gray, Rapp at Home planning coordinator. Rapp at Home is a new nonprofit neighbor-to-neighbor support organization created to help residents stay connected to their community as they age.

Rapp at Home will purchase the set of weights and a trained instructor will lead the strength training sessions two times a week (Mondays and Wednesdays) from April 4 through May 25. The entire program costs $5, but the fee will be waived for Rapp at Home members.

“As LIFT is being offered as a research project,” says Extension Agent Becky Sheffield, “participants will be asked to complete study surveys and fitness assessments at the beginning and end of the program. These assessments offer a great opportunity for participants to see the effects of the strength training.”

Sheffield encourages folks who are not very active to attend the training. “The exercises and stretches are low-impact and can be modified for a person’s fitness or ability level,” she says.

When they register, participants will receive a packet of information with everything they need to know, including whether and how to communicate with their physicians before starting the program.

“We want this to be a fun activity that yields both social and physical benefits,” says Sheffield.

  • LIFT strength training for seniors. April 4 to May 25 (Monday and Wednesday), 10:00 am to 11:00 am. Washington School, 603 Mt. Salem Ave., Washington. The deadline to register is March 14, and class size limited to 15. To register, contact the Rappahannock Extension Office at 540-675-3619. For more information about LIFT or accommodations for persons with disabilities, contact Becky Sheffield at, 540-727-3435 ext. 344. For more information about Rapp at Home, go to or call 540-937-4663.

— Patty Hardee

About Staff/Contributed 5561 Articles
The Rappahannock News welcomes contributions from any and all members of the community. Email news and photos to or call us at 540-675-3338.