The Rapp for Sept. 15

The 20th anniversary Rough Ride

Courtesy of the Free Clinic

As anyone would know who’s ridden a bike hereabouts (or asked a seemingly innocent question on a local email list), Rappahannock County is a great place to experience a rough ride — and, this Saturday (Sept. 17), the annual Rappahannock Rough Ride, the long-running fundraiser for the Fauquier and Rappahannock Free Clinics, comes back to town and (especially) country.

There’s plenty in this 20th anniversary race for those riders who seek the rough stuff, but there’s also a family-friendly 12-mile loop through the villages of Washington and Flint Hill. Other options include the paved/unpaved Rough Ride option, or the 63-mile paved route, one of the most beautiful and challenging one-day bike tours in Virginia.

All proceeds benefit the Free Clinic; registration is $40 ($20 for ages 11 and younger) online at, or $50/$30 on race day at the starting point — the Washington fire hall. The fee includes rest stop snacks and drinks and lunch at the fire hall when you’re done (breakfast is available at the fire hall for $8).

‘As You Like It’ twice

You have two chances this weekend to see Shakespeare’s “As You Like It,” performed by a troupe of brilliant young performers from Cambridge University.

One of the Bard’s most-loved comedies, “As You Like It” is on stage 8 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 17) and 3 p.m. Sunday at the Little Washington Theatre (291 Gay St., Washington), performed by the Cambridge American Stage Tour (CAST), the international theater student touring group from England’s Cambridge University.

Established under the patronage of Dame Judi Dench in 2000, each September, CAST sends Cambridge’s most talented actors, directors, designers and technicians across the Atlantic to bring a professional quality production of a Shakespeare play to audiences in the eastern United States. The troupe is in its 17th year, and has become a favorite on Gay Street during its several annual appearances. The student directors of the last six CAST productions have all gone on to successful careers in theatre directing. This year’s production is directed by Marthe de Ferrer.

“As You Like It,” is one of the great comedy plays by William Shakespeare, and is also the work that includes the soliloquy that starts, “All the world’s a stage / And all the men and women merely players . . .”

Tickets ($25, $10 for ages 17 and younger) are available at, or call 540-675-1253.

Hear Kid Pan’s park-inspired songs Sept. 23

Students learn to listen in Shenandoah National Park, and see what creativity it inspires as part of a special Kid Pan Alley program.
Students learn to listen in Shenandoah National Park, and see what creativity it inspires as part of a special Kid Pan Alley program.

What’s the song the child hears in the forest? Can they listen close enough to hear nature’s song in the babbling brook, in the whisper of the wind, in the swaying grass and the hummingbird’s wings? Kids from Rappahannock County Elementary, Hearthstone and Child Care and Learning Center will be visiting Shenandoah National Park this month and listening to the sounds of nature and the stories of the Park Rangers. And then, they’ll turn those experiences into song and art as part of Kid Pan Alley’s “Wonder and Reflection” project with the Park. You’ll get to hear those songs in a free concert at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23 at Rappahannock Elementary.

The concert features the children along with Kid Pan Alley’s Paul Reisler, Sahffi Lynne, and saxophone virtuoso Marshall Keys.

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the National Park system and thanks to grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Shenandoah National Park Trust, students from eight local communities get to experience the wonder, beauty, and majesty of the park. By responding to these experiences with a creative act, these encounters deepen the experience and often become life changing events.

Though the park is literally in our backyard, many of the local schools have never visited and learned about the diversity of the ecosystem from Rangers. One of the goals for the Centennial year is to inspire children and community to become the park’s next generation of visitors, supporters and stewards.

In addition to the songwriting, some of the schools will have the opportunity to work with artists from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to create their own artwork inspired by the songs and nature. This Rappahannock program is also supported by a grant from RAAC’s Claudia Mitchell Fund as well as donations from the community.

For more information, visit or email

‘Spotlight’ on Gay Street

Washington Post Executive Editor Marty Baron (right), the former editor of the Boston Globe portrayed by Liev Schreiber (left) in the film “Spotlight,” will answer questions after the film screens at Little Washington Theatre Oct. 7. Courtesy photo

RAAC’s First Friday at the Movies for October is a special screening of the Academy Award-winning film, “Spotlight,” the riveting true story of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe investigation into rampant sexual abuse in the Catholic Church that shook the city of Boston and caused a crisis in one of the world’s oldest religious institutions.

The film itself won the Oscars for best picture and best original screenplay — but what comes after the 7 p.m. show Oct. 7 at the Little Washington Theatre is not bad, either: A Q&A, co-sponsored by Foothills Forum and RAAC, with Marty Baron, now executive editor of The Washington Post and the former editor at the Boston Globe responsible for initiating the investigation. The Q&A is moderated by former Washington Post ombudsman Andy Alexander.

“Spotlight” was directed by Tom McCarthy and stars Michael Keaton and Liev Schreiber (the latter as Baron). Note the earlier-than-usual start time is 7 p.m.; Tickets are $6. Popcorn, candy and water are available for purchase. For more information, call 800-695-6075 or email

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