Synetic Theater’s premiere of War of Worlds has been delayed after co-founder Paata Tsikurishvili suffered what are described as serious injuries in a vehicle crash.
In an update last Friday, the Crystal City-based theater company said that its co-founder and artistic director Tsikurishvili had been hospitalized for a number of days “as a result of injuries he sustained in a serious car accident.”
The injuries included “several broken bones” but no head trauma, the theater company said. He’s expected to make a full recovery and “is recovering faster than expected” but he is in need of a several-month rehabilitation period, Synetic said.
The crash was first announced in early December, but few details were provided.
“The Tsikurishvili family thanks the many people who reached out with words of support. Those who wish to send good wishes may do so at [email protected],” the update notes.
Due to the co-founder’s need for recovery, the theater’s “largest and most ambitious production in its history” is being pushed back from the spring to the fall.
The Tsikurishvili-directed War of the Worlds was set to debut at Synetic Theater in March but now is planning a fall premiere, per the update:
Prior to the accident, Mr. Tsikurishvili was finishing work on the world premiere of War of the Worlds-Synetic’s largest and most ambitious production in its history-which was scheduled to begin workshopping and rehearsals immediately after the holidays. In order to give him the time and space to focus on his recovery, War of the Worlds, slated to open March 3, 2023, will be postponed until Fall 2023 (precise dates to be announced).”
The production is based on the famed 1897 H.G. Wells story about an alien invasion of Earth and the threat to humankind. The sci-fi tale has been continuously adapted over the last century, including by Steven Spielberg for his 2005 movie starring Tom Cruise. Synetic is now set to adapt it into a physical, wordless stage production.
“In [this] latest iteration, War of the Worlds leaps off the page and onto the stage through Synetic’s wordless Physical Theater style and its signature immersive, multimedia production design,” reads the website’s description.
In the show’s place, a revival of the 2014 production Beauty and the Beast will now take the stage in March. It’s being choreographed by the other half of Synetic’s husband-and-wife founding duo, Irina Tsikurishvili, and directed by managing director Ben Cunis.
The show will run until April 2 and the theater warns the show is for ages seven years or older.
“This production of Beauty and the Beast contains fantasy violence and may be scary to younger children,” the theater warns. “Parental guidance is advised. Please note that this is not the Disney musical.”
Known for its physical and nearly wordless theater, Synetic Theater first moved to Crystal City from Rosslyn in 2010. It nearly lost its lease at 1800 S. Bell Street in 2018 but building owner JBG Smith backtracked and agreed to let them stay. Like many performing arts venues, Synetic ceased live performances for more than a year during the pandemic.
In October, the theater debuted a “bloody” adaption of Dracula. Directed by Tsikurishvili, it turned out to be the last show he will likely direct for at least a year.
Just in time for the spooky season, Crystal City’s Synetic Theater is debuting a “bloody” adaptation of Dracula.
The two-decade-old, local non-profit theater is bringing one of the world’s most famous horror stories to its stage next month, with shows starting on October 13. The show is set to run Thursday through Sunday through Nov. 6.
A special Halloween performance on Monday, Oct. 31 is planned. Additionally, on Oct. 28, Synetic is hosting its annual Halloween party Vampire Ball, which will include a performance of Dracula plus food, dancing, physical theater, and themed cocktails.
Located inside the Crystal City Shops near the Metro station, Synetic Theater first opened in the neighborhood in 2010 after previously making its home in Rosslyn. It’s known for its physical and nearly wordless theater.
This adaptation of Dracula will adhere to Synetic’s well-known style, something co-founder and the show’s director Paata Tsikurishvili believes will help tell the 125-year-old story of the “vicious vampire.”
“With minimal dialogue in our storytelling, this production relies heavily on visuals, music, physicality, and most importantly, audience interpretation,” Tsikurishvili told ARLnow about what makes their version of Dracula unique. “Whether it’s Shakespeare or Stoker, Synetic provides room for audiences to find their own meaning in our productions.”
This will be the third time that Synetic Theater has adapted Dracula, with previous performances in 2005 and 2009, and will include a number of actors reprising their roles, including Dan Istrate as Count Dracula.
Tsikurishvili said the 2022 version will have “significant updates to the costumes, choreography, and set design” but the set will continue to be “very minimalist” to allow “audiences to fully focus on the actors, movement, and story.”
It’s been something of a rough go for the venerable physical theater company over the past few years.
In late 2018, Synetic nearly lost its lease at 1800 S. Bell Street, but building owner JBG Smith backtracked and agreed to allow Synetic to stay in the building until at least the end of this year. The pandemic happened just over a year later, forcing Synetic to shut down performances. It was only late last summer when the theater got back into its space and started doing regular performances again.
With all that is happening in the world today, Tsikurishvili told ARLnow that showcasing the story of Dracula now is “very fitting.”
“When you think about the moral of Stoker’s story — it’s about confronting darkness, but not alone,” he said. “In this season and in this show, we explore otherness and what it takes to push differences aside and work together against evil.”
Student Organizes Concert for Ukraine — “The granddaughter of a refugee from Ukraine who was forced to leave her home due to World War II, Sofia Parfomak knows all too well what millions of present-day Ukrainians are going through since the Russian invasion began in February. Parfomak, a dual enrollment student at Marymount University and Bishop O’Connell High School, has taken the crisis to heart.” [Marymount University]
Synetic Prepares for New Season — “Arlington-based Synetic Theater has announced plans for its 2022-23 season, which will explore ‘otherness’ and relationships to those who are different. ‘When I first came to this country as a refugee, I did not speak the language; it was disorienting but also magical,’ said Paata Tsikurishvili, cofounder and artistic director of the troupe.” [Sun Gazette]
Video: Drivers Blocking Bike Lanes — “Photo came out in ARLnow that police put a lighted sign to stay out of bike lanes so pulled a few clips from yesterday’s ride, which could be from any day I ride. I don’t even use the bikes lanes much then drivers get mad at me. Am sure drivers will give the sign all the attention it deserves.” [YouTube]
Nearby: Falls Church Transforming — “Under the guidance of the Falls Church City Council, the recent developments have increased City property tax receipts to fund such civic projects as constructing the new Meridian High School, renovating and expanding the Mary Riley Styles Library and updating and expanding City Hall, all while reducing the city’s property tax rate by roughly nine cents per thousand dollars of assessed valuation.” [Northern Virginia Association of Realtors]
It’s Friday — Clear throughout the day. High of 85 and low of 70. Sunrise at 5:57 am and sunset at 8:34 pm. [Weather.gov]
Trash Collection Starting Earlier — “In an effort to get a jump on the day and maybe beat a bit of summer heat, curbside collection crews will be starting their routes 30 minutes earlier in the morning beginning next week. The new start time of 6:30 a.m. is considered a pilot, with the results to be evaluated after a few months. As usual, recycling/trash/organics carts need to be at the curb by 6 a.m. on weekly pick-up day. Putting them out the night before is perfectly fine–if that’s how you roll.” [Arlington County]
Bezos Space Firm Has Arlington Office — Blue Origin “has a small existing office at 1530 Wilson Blvd. in Arlington… which the Blue Origin website describes as its ‘East Coast business office supporting government relations, sales and business development efforts.’ A lobbying disclosure form filed last month with the federal government also puts Blue Origin’s presence at that address. The Rosslyn office will remain open after Blue Origin occupies its new Reston space.” [Washington Business Journal]
Prolific Arlington Architect Dies — “Fredrick Sheridan of McLean passed away at home on June 30th at the age of 95. Fred was President and a founder of SBE & Assoc, an Arlington architecture firm for over 55 years… He was an early and major contributor to the development of local building and zoning codes in Arlington, advocating for residents and landowners. His scope of work included more than 200 projects. Fred’s versatility of design expertise extended from Courtland Towers to the Monastery of the Poor Clares to Marymount University.” [Legacy]
Forestry Commission on ‘Missing Middle’ — “The Arlington County government’s Forestry and Natural Resources Commission… while saying it agrees that a broader range of housing options should be available in Arlington, seems to be joining a growing chorus that the proposed zoning alterations should be phased in over time, to see what works and what doesn’t, before being implemented throughout Arlington’s single-family neighborhoods.” [Sun Gazette]
Group Lauds Board’s Antisemitism Resolution — “The Arlington County Board has received praise from the American Jewish Committee (AJC) for adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism. Board members passed a resolution in support of the language in June.” [Sun Gazette]
Crystal City ‘Midsummer’ Production Reviewed — “If ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ is only as enchanting as a production’s take on the mischievous fairy Puck and bumbling actor Bottom, then Synetic Theater is fortunate to count spellbinding performances from Ariel Kraje and Vato Tsikurishvili among its assets.” [Washington Post]
NPS Seeking Ideas for Daingerfield Island — “The National Park Service is soliciting public feedback for ideas to overhaul part of Daingerfield Island near Potomac Yard. The idea is to revitalize the area around the Washington Sailing Marina at the former Indigo Landing Restaurant.” [ALXnow]
It’s Friday — Mostly cloudy during the day, then rain and possible storms at night. High of 86 and low of 73. Sunrise at 5:52 am and sunset at 8:37 pm. [Weather.gov]
‘Midsummer’ Starts Next Month — “Synetic Theater, the home of American Physical Theater and movement-based storytelling, announces the return of its acclaimed adaptation of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed and choreographed by company co-founders Paata and Irina Tsikurishvili. The production runs June 30 through July 24.” [Synetic Theater]
Local Donut Shop Expanding — “The owners of a Ballston doughnut shop and cafe are building out a commercial kitchen in Tysons to support a growing wholesale business and its own planned expansion… Charles Kachadoorian, a Good Company co-owner, said the shop has outgrown its capacity at 672 N. Glebe Road in Ballston, from which it produces sweets for its cafe, for other coffee shops to sell retail, and for its own catering business. It plans to expand across all of those avenues, Kachadoorian said, including with a new shop in Crystal City in the shorter term and one in D.C. in 2024.” [Washington Business Journal]
GOP Concern Over ‘Missing Middle’ — “Several Arlington Republicans have expressed your concerns about the County’s proposal to upzone single-family residential plots in neighborhoods across the county. We are passing along information from Arlingtonians for Our Sustainable Future (ASF), should you decide you want to make your voice heard on this issue.” [Arlington GOP]
Planetarium Supporters Look to Future — “Boosters of the Arlington school system’s planetarium are hopeful that new budget funding will enable the facility – shuttered since before the pandemic – to reopen with a permanent teacher attached to it by fall. School Board members in early May overruled Superintendent Francisco Durán and dropped in nearly $150,000 to support the David M. Brown Planetarium for the coming school year. Durán had proposed keeping the facility closed for another year.” [Sun Gazette]
Rosslyn Walk Planned — “When you’re out and about, do you find yourself contemplating how sidewalks, land use, and street connectivity influence your experience and enjoyment of public spaces? If so, make sure to RSVP to WalkArlington’s upcoming “Walk and Learn” focused on street design in Rosslyn on Wednesday, May, 25 from 5:30 – 6:45pm.” [GGWash]
W-L Boys Win District Soccer Tourney — “With the Washington-Liberty Generals hosting the championship match of the Liberty District boys soccer tournament, head coach Jimmy Carrasquillo expressed some pre-game concerns. The top-seeded Generals (15-0-1) entertained the third-seeded Yorktown Patriots in an all-Arlington clash, and Carrasquillo knew the rematch would be much tougher than his team’s 4-0 regular-season victory over its neighborhood rival.” [Sun Gazette]
Some Cicada Stragglers Spotted — “Have you ever been late to a party? I mean really late, so late that by the time you arrived, the party was over and the guests were long gone? If so, then you have something in common with the periodical cicadas that have been popping up in the last few weeks from Maryland to Tennessee. They’re a year late to the raucous party billions of their fellow Brood X cicadas threw last summer.” [Washington Post]
It’s Tuesday — Rain in the morning, ending in the afternoon. High of 65 and low of 56. Sunrise at 5:50 am and sunset at 8:23 pm. [Weather.gov]
As the region creeps back closer to normal, and with the holiday season now upon us, in-person performing arts are making a comeback.
Local theaters are once again welcoming back audiences for an assortment of concerts and productions.
If you’re interested in seeing a show and gaining some cultural enrichment while sitting among fellow humans, below are a few Arlington options to consider over the next few months.
When: November 2 to January 2, 2022
Where: 4200 Campbell Avenue in Shirlington
Safety Precautions: Proof of vaccinations or a negative test are required to attend a live, indoor performance at Signature Theater. Masks are also required at all times.
Details: In-person theater is back at Signature Theater with an all-new production of the iconic musical Rent.
“RENT is a musical about love, loss and community,” wrote director Matthew Gardiner in the press release. “After this past year where we’ve all felt isolated and disconnected, reopening Signature’s doors with this story about beautiful warriors and agents for change who found each other amidst unimaginable loss feels incredibly resonant.”
With a new artistic director at the helm, the Washington Post called Signature Theater’s production of Rent “gloriously harmonious.”
Encore Stage’s Enchanted Bookshop Christmas
When: November 19-21 & December 3-5
Where: Gunston Arts Center, Theater 1 at 2700 S. Lang Street
Safety Precautions: Masks are required for everyone in the audience, including staff and students, except for children under the age of two. Concessions will only be available by pre-order and patrons must eat and drink outdoors.
Details: A sequel (with a holiday spin) to “Enchanted Bookshop,” which was performed at Encore Stage in 2019. Encore did two drive-by productions prior to moving back inside earlier this fall.
It’s four days before Christmas and a very special present has gone missing. Help come-to-life book characters solve the mystery and save the day. Enchanted Bookshop Christmas for all ages that’s 90 minutes including intermission.
When: November 27 to December 26
Where: 1800 S. Bell Street in Crystal City
Safety Precautions: All audience members over the age of 12 are required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test along with an ID. Children under 12 are not required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative. Masks are required at all times and concessions will not be sold during the performance.
Details: This is a modern re-telling of the classic magical tale of “a striking clock, a glass slipper, and a brave young woman who dares to pursue her wildest dreams.”
Synetic Theater kept active throughout the pandemic by streaming performances and doing outdoor theater earlier this fall.
Known for wordless physical theater, this performance is family-friendly as well as appealing to non-English speakers due to the fact that there’s little dialogue.
Avant Bard Theatre’s How I Learned What I Learned
When: December 1 to 19
Where: Gunston Arts Center, Theater 2 at 2700 S. Lang Street
Safety Precautions: Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test are mandatory for entry. Face coverings must be worn at all times while in the building.
Details: This autobiographical one-man show from one of America’s most acclaimed playwrights, August Wilson, stars William Newman, who some might know as the Chief Judge of Arlington’s Circuit Court. This isn’t Newman’s first starring role on the stage, either.
The performance deals with mature themes and is not suitable for all ages.
When: December 2 to December 5
Where: Kenmore Middle School at 200 S. Carlin Springs Road
Safety Precautions: Attendees 12 years old and over are required to show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test within the past three days. All attendees are required to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status. Fully vaccinated dancers over the age of 12 will not be wearing masks while performing.
Details: This BalletNova’s first live, in-person performance in nearly two years. This rendition has all-new choreography, sets, and costumes “that are sure to make this year’s production our most magical yet,” artistic director Matthew Powell writes ARLnow.
“There are also a few fun surprises in store, but we can’t give away all of our secrets,” he notes.
Tickets can be purchased at the door or on the website. The production is suitable for all ages.
National Chamber Ensemble’s Holiday Cheer
When: December 18
Where: Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington at 4444 Arlington Blvd
Safety Precautions: All patrons must be fully vaccinated, wear a mask at all times, and capacity will be less than 50% to allow patrons to spread out.
Details: A holiday concert featuring “star soprano” Sharon Christmann joining the ensemble and performing the favorites.
A streaming option will be available for those who don’t feel comfortable attending in person. This performance is family-friendly.
The Arlington Players’ A Midsummer’s Night Dream
When: January 15 to 30, 2022
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre at 125 S. Old Glebe Road
Safety Precautions: Proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID test within the last 72 hours. Audience members must wear masks at all times as required by Arlington County.
Details: For the long-running community theater company, this William Shakespeare comedy is its first show back at Thomas Jefferson Community Theater. This past fall, the Arlington Players had an in-person, outdoor performance at Lubber Run Amphitheater.
A Midnight Summer’s Dream is family-friendly and open to all ages.
Know of any other upcoming performing arts shows in the area worth considering? Let us know in the comments.
Running Store Coming to Pentagon City — “Federal Realty Investment Trust has leased the last bit of vacant retail space at Westpost, the 14-acre mixed-use development a short walk from where Amazon.com Inc.’s new headquarters buildings will stand. The leases put the roughly 297,000-square-foot retail center on course to be fully occupied in the first half of 2022 after a handful of notable vacancies, including the nearly 34,000-square-foot former Bed, Bath & Beyond to be replaced by a Target store, and the roughly 4,500-square-foot space where Road Runner Sports will replace a shuttered Unleashed by Petco.” [Washington Business Journal]
Library Seeking Latino History Donations — “Over the last three decades, Arlington’s Latino community has rapidly grown and stockpiled a wealth of history. And this week, librarians and historians at the Center for Local History at Arlington Public Library are asking for donations of documents to archive the county’s Hispanic history. The project is called Re-Encuentro de Arlington Latinos.” [WTOP]
Rock Climbing Gym Goes Green — “Earth Treks Crystal City prides itself as a rock climbing outlet for people living in a metropolitan area and the business in northern Virginia hopes its roots in rock climbing can bring forward better environmental practices… Earth Treks announced recently its partnership with a Virginia company that allows its climbers to bring in old and rundown equipment — shoes, water bottles and harnesses — which will be reused in a variety of ways, including to make dog harnesses.” [WUSA 9]
Synetic Returns to Theater — “Last night night found me in Crystal City, where Synetic Theater was back in its performance venue for the first time since the pandemic, staging a production of ‘The Madness of Poe…’ Performers were not masked, a nice change after recent experiences with a number of troupes who use Arlington Public Schools facilities and are not allowed to let their actors, though all vaccinated, go without masks.” [Sun Gazette]
New Commuter Bus Service Funded — “The Northern Virginia Transportation Commission plans to fund a new express bus service, part of efforts aimed at reducing congestion connected with Interstate 66 and the Beltway. The commission approved a plan yesterday to fund the bus service with over $5.1 million for two years. Routes would run from the Reston South Park and Ride lot to key destinations in Arlington County that include the Pentagon, Pentagon City and Crystal City.” [Reston Now]
More Studies for Route 7 Bus Route — “A regional study of the proposed bus rapid transit (BRT) route from Tysons to Alexandria is moving into a new phase that will assess options through the Seven Corners area. The Northern Virginia Transportation Commission voted last night (Thursday) to approve a contract for the fourth phase of its Envision Route 7 mobility analysis study.” The bus might also make a stop at the East Falls Church Metro station in Arlington. [Tysons Reporter]
Arlington arts organizations may have lost as much as $10 million in 2020 due to the pandemic, but they were able to get by with help from friends of the arts.
Many arts groups in the county reported losing 41-60% of their expected income, according to Embracing Arlington Arts, a group of local residents who work toward bolstering the arts in the county. But the arts organizations survived on a combination of government and private grants, generous locals and virtual performances.
“Most arts groups had no earned revenue,” said Janet Kopenhaver, the founder of Embracing Arlington Arts. “While they were offering these virtual things, you can’t charge what you would normally charge for a ticket. You had to depend on your donors and the donors came through.”
The National Chamber Ensemble, which sold season tickets for virtual concerts, said Zoom and donations from patrons helped the group stay in tune.
“We had wine and cheese receptions over Zoom with the audience,” said the ensemble’s artistic director and first violinist Leo Sushansky. “Everything balanced each other out because virtually a whole family could watch with one ticket, but people who didn’t live nearby like in England or New York could attend performances also.”
Arlington-based Synetic Theatre’s Managing Director Jason Najjoum said the theater also received generous donations.
“Our individual donors continued or increased their support, which says as much about the work we do as the Northern Virginia/Greater Washington community we call home,” Najjoum said. “We were able to keep our staff fully employed, and even added a couple of team members.”
Groups accessed the county’s annual arts grant program, small business grants from the county, and the more-competitive state and federal arts grants funding, Kopenhaver said. Arts groups could also cash in on federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.
Najjoum said Synetic relied heavily on PPP funding to create a custom streaming website and app.
“None of this would have been possible without significant government support,” he said. “It was hard won by countless lobbyists and advocates, but the local, state and federal government really stepped up and provided the support we needed.”
Amazon contributed too, donating to several area arts organizations, including Synetic.
“We were able to support the acutely affected freelance arts worker class through an artist relief program that provided $60,000 in support to 32 arts workers,” noted Najjoum.
But artists are still uncertain about what the future holds for them in Arlington.
“The question remains: with government support ending, will ticket sales come back strong enough to replace it, especially given that our upfront production expenses will also be up? Producing theater has always been very expensive,” he said. “This will only work at the bottom line if audiences and donors increase their support going forward.”
Although many arts organizations weathered the shutdowns, a perennial issue facing these groups has resurfaced: space.
“We need a cultural center — a vibrant, busy venue. It would be a game changer,” said Kopenhaver. “We are losing arts groups because of lack of venue. It’s a critical issue.”
A few have already left because they cannot perform in middle schools, which she said is where most perform — away from transit, restaurants and other walkable amenities.
Embracing Arlington Arts is working with developers to create a flexible space in an area with more amenities that can accommodate arts audiences.
“We fear, if the venues keep dwindling, there will be nowhere to perform,” Kopenhaver said. “At a middle school you can’t have receptions, you can’t have alcohol, you can’t have talk backs, which are becoming popular, because the janitors are kicking you out.”
On top of that, the child-sized restrooms are uncomfortable for the patrons, many of whom are retirees, she said.
Synetic’s venue in Crystal City has been in high demand during the pandemic, and has been used for church services, film shoots and pageants, said Najjoum. But with more performances, Synetic needs its space back.
Meanwhile, the National Chamber Ensemble has been out of a concert hall for four years, after the county-run Rosslyn Spectrum (part of the now-defunct Artisphere) was closed to the public. The ensemble now performs at Gunston Arts Center or the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, along with other performing arts organizations.
When the pandemic hit, and those venues shut down, Sushansky said patrons opened up their homes.
“We went to the private homes of our patrons and these people had marvelous instruments,” he said. Still, he added, “it would certainly be nice to have our own space. It has to be a collaboration of the county.”
And COVID-19 remains a persistent threat.
Following the lead of Broadway theaters and other local D.C. arts venues, Synetic will require proof of full vaccination, either physically or digitally, or a negative PCR test, for the rest of the year. Audiences will have to wear masks at all times, except while eating or drinking. It will continue streaming its performances.
The National Chamber Ensemble is waiting to see the guidance closer to the start of the season on Nov. 6. Sushansky said he delayed the opening in hopes that coronavirus cases will go down. He says he’s eager to resume in person concerts again, but will retain the virtual option for those who are still not comfortable coming out.
“I wanted to create something for my community, so I can’t wait for communication in-person to resume,” he said. “It’s really special performing for the Arlington audience.”
The following is a round-up of upcoming shows from local arts organizations, organized by the type of performance.
YHS Lax, Other Teams Cap off Stellar Seasons — “The spring sports season was a busy and successful time, maybe the most accomplished ever, for high-school varsity teams and individuals in Arlington County, with many winning various championships. That spring campaign ended this weekend with some Virginia High School League Class 6 state championship games. One contest included the undefeated Yorktown Patriots in the boys lacrosse title match, which they won.” [Sun Gazette, Washington Post]
Neighborhood Leaders Don’t Like Route 1 Plan — “A coalition of civic associations representing surrounding neighborhoods suggests that a pending Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) report on improvements in the Route 1 corridor could turn out to be an ‘epic fail’ that does not address key issues. As a result, leaders of the organizations are urging the Arlington County Board to ask VDOT to go back to the drawing board and consider their concerns.” [Sun Gazette]
A Bro Ode to Whitlow’s — “It’s the final few nights for Whitlow’s on Wilson, the venerable Clarendon bar where, for 26 years, 20-somethings have come to drink cheap beer and try to get lucky. This is concentrated Clarendon. Pure, unadulterated, un-adult Clarendon, a teeming room of recent grads absolutely wilding out after a year of epidemiological confinement.” [Washington Post, YouTube]
Long-Time Whitlow’s Patrons Bid Farewell — “As the days dwindled to hours before the closure of Whitlow’s on Wilson, some of those who had been patrons and boosters of the iconic Clarendon restaurant and watering hole gathered June 25 for one last hurrah.” [Sun Gazette]
ACFD Now Publishing Response Stats — “Check in each Monday to see our #Weekly Incident Summary, highlighting the total emergency incidents #ACFD responded to overall as well as by category. Last week our members handled over 600 calls for service!” [Twitter]
Amazon Funds Synetic Theater Initiative — “This spring, Isaac’s school gave students art kits through an Amazon.com Inc.-funded program called smARTies Art-in-a-Box, designed to jump the digital access gap. The box included a flat piece of cardboard student artists could fold to make a stage and blank puppet characters for decoration. The idea came from Synetic Theater, an arts and theater organization based in Crystal City.” [Washington Business Journal]
County Launching Race Conversations — “Today, Arlington County launched a new effort to address racial equity and disparities in our community. Called Dialogues on Race and Equity (DRE), the effort is part of the County’s broader commitment to racial equity… DRE will include a series of virtual community conversations with individuals, nonprofit organizations, civic associations, faith organizations, and businesses.” [Arlington County]
Local Nurses Hold Food Drive — “Nurses at the Virginia [Hospital] Center are going above and beyond to give back to the local community… Nurses launched the ‘Together We Can’ campaign where they collected canned goods. All together, they collected 10,000 cans and donated them directly to the food assistance center.” [WJLA]
Virtual 5K for Local Nonprofits — “A coalition of three homeless-outreach organizations – Community Lodgings, Bridges to Independence and Homestretch – will be hosting their third annual 5K “Home Run for the Homeless” in a different format this year. Rather than running as a group on the Washington & Old Dominion Regional Trail this year, participants will be able to run where they choose anytime from Oct. 10 (which is designated World Homeless Day) to Oct. 31.” [InsideNova]
Penthouse Sold in New Rosslyn Tower — “The sales team for Pierce announced strong early sales for The Highlands‘ luxury condominium tower… Strong early interest in Pierce has resulted in over $18.7 million in sales by The Mayhood Company since launching sales in August, including the sale of one of two top-of-the-market penthouse residences.” [Press Release]
Theater Holding Virtual Halloween Event — “Synetic Theater will hold its annual ‘Vampire Ball’ in a ‘virtual’ setting this year, with participants enjoying the festivities ‘from the comfort of your own crypt.’ The event will be held on Friday, Oct. 30 from 8 to 10 p.m.” [InsideNova]
Nearby: Trump Rallies at Eden Center — Vietnamese Americans held rallies for President Trump at the Eden Center in Falls Church over the weekend. [Twitter, YouTube, YouTube]
This column is written and sponsored by Arlington Arts/Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.
The COVID-19 pandemic has required almost every industry to reassess, revamp and reset.
This is especially true of the performing arts, historically predicated on both an artistic and economic transaction between artist and audience. As Arlington Arts has been documenting, Arlington’s cultural community has responded quickly and energetically.
Arlington’s Synetic Theater presents a digital adaptation of Giovanni Boccaccio’s The Decameron, a collection of novellas written in Italy in response to The Black Plague of 1347-1351. For each day through July 20, short filmed vignettes were released in groups of three. All content will remain available to stream through the end of July. Watch at your own pace, with a range of affordable pay-what-you-can ticket options.
The Decameron is a collection of novellas that celebrates the human impulse to connect through storytelling in a time of despair and isolation. The book is structured as a collection of 100 tales told by a group of young people sheltering in a secluded villa just outside Florence to escape the epidemic. The tales the group tells each other in The Decameron range from life lessons and tongue-in-cheek commentary, to erotic and tragic love stories.
Have more questions? That’s understandable in this new paradigm, so Synetic has created a page of FAQ to guide you through this virtual theater experience. For tickets and information, visit the Synetic Theater website!