VSA Loudoun

VSA Loudoun VSAarts of Loudoun provides creative opportunities through performing and visual arts to individuals of all abilities in an inclusive environment.
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Things to do this weekend (feel free to share!): 1) Learn watercolor painting techniques with Alice Power at Round Hill ...
04/27/2019
Purcellville Music and Arts Festival | Small town community and culture

Things to do this weekend (feel free to share!):

1) Learn watercolor painting techniques with Alice Power at Round Hill Arts Center Saturday 4/27 10-noon https://www.roundhillartscenter.org/art-classes-for-adults

2) Check out the VSA artwork at the Purcellville Music and Arts Festival (free) on Saturday 4/27 12-5pm http://www.purcellvillemusicandartsfestival.com

3) Celebrate VSA Loudoun's 30th anniversary with a party on Sunday 4/28 5-8pm! Friends, free food, fun and games, raffle prizes, fun(d)-raising silent auction, art and more!

4) Check out our Give Choose campaign and tell all your friends and family about it! https://www.givechoose.org/VSALoudounCounty?cid=0&kw=VSA&page=1

Welcome to the Purcellville Music & Arts Festival SAVE THE DATE: Saturday, April 27, 2019 The Purcellville Music and Arts Festival celebrates the Purcellville community, history and culture. Held at Fireman’s Field located behind the Historic Bush Tabernacle, 250 South Nursery Avenue, the family f...

VSA Loudoun County is THRILLED to join a list of great area nonprofits for the 2019 GiveChoose campaign!GiveChoose is a ...
04/23/2019
VSA Loudoun County - GiveChoose

VSA Loudoun County is THRILLED to join a list of great area nonprofits for the 2019 GiveChoose campaign!

GiveChoose is a one-stop shop for donors - an easy way for Loudouners to learn about any number of great nonprofits (like VSA-Loudoun County!), and donate to one or all now through May 7!

Here's the VSA - Loudoun's special GiveChoose link. Please share with friends and family!

https://www.givechoose.org/VSAloudounCounty

To fulfill our Mission, VSA - Loudoun has developed two branches of programming: 1. Theatre Arts: We hold an annual spring musical, summer get-togethers and fall "Boot Camps" which cover a wide range of arts training, including acting, dance, music, puppetry and more. 2. Fine Arts: Our DaVinci Art S...

Sign up ASAP- great opportunity to learn watercolor painting with Alice Power this Saturday 4/27 10-noon, ages 16+ (kids...
04/22/2019
Round Hill Arts Center

Sign up ASAP- great opportunity to learn watercolor painting with Alice Power this Saturday 4/27 10-noon, ages 16+ (kids' session Sun May 26 1-2:30pm) Register through Round Hill Art Center (only $15!)

Please note if you need special accommodations when you register

The Round Hill Arts Center (RHAC) is a vibrant and eclectic gathering place with diverse quality programs where artists and the community interact and explore their creativity. Located in western Loudoun County, we provide a wide range of art and craft classes for the Northern Virginia Region.

FYI: Free film screening of "This Business of Autism" on Sat April 6 at 1pm Tuscarora High. Registration requested but f...
04/02/2019
This Business of Autism Showing - April 6 - The Arc of Loudoun

FYI: Free film screening of "This Business of Autism" on Sat April 6 at 1pm Tuscarora High. Registration requested but free to the public. Sponsored by The Arc of Loudoun in partnership with Tuscarora High School Husky Buddies.

The Arc of Loudoun in Partnership with Tuscarora High School’s Husky Buddies Program Presents: This Business of Autism  When: Saturday, April 6 | 1pm Where: Tuscarora High School, 801 N. King Street, Leesburg, VA 20176 REGISTER TO ATTEND THE SHOWING … Continue reading →

03/31/2019

TREASURES: The Musical Adventures of Tom Sawyer ended on a high note today, and we congratulate our wonderful cast, crew and supporters for an excellent run!

Last chance to see this terrific production: 3 pm today at Franklin Park Arts Center (More info at VSAloudoun.org). We'l...
03/31/2019

Last chance to see this terrific production: 3 pm today at Franklin Park Arts Center (More info at VSAloudoun.org). We'll see you there!

Full houses and standing O's greeted this wonderful cast and crew last weekend; don't miss your chance to see TREASURES ...
03/28/2019

Full houses and standing O's greeted this wonderful cast and crew last weekend; don't miss your chance to see TREASURES on its last weekend! Tickets at VSAloudoun.org (by online and save $$!).

Standing ovations for TREASURES! VSA - Loudoun has had a wonderful time bringing this delightful family musical to the s...
03/26/2019

Standing ovations for TREASURES! VSA - Loudoun has had a wonderful time bringing this delightful family musical to the stage: huzzah for Tom Sawyer and Loudoun's VSA!

Last weekend coming up; we’ll see you there!

's cover photo
03/26/2019

's cover photo

03/23/2019

Actors ready to go on!

03/23/2019

Havin’ fun backstage - ready to go on!

A GREAT opening night, with a great cast and crew! Came share the fun: Tickets VSAloudoun.org!
03/23/2019

A GREAT opening night, with a great cast and crew! Came share the fun: Tickets VSAloudoun.org!

Opening Night TONIGHT at Franklin Park Art Center! The actors are so excited and ready to entertain you! Buy tickets onl...
03/22/2019

Opening Night TONIGHT at Franklin Park Art Center! The actors are so excited and ready to entertain you! Buy tickets online and save: https://vsaloudoun.booktix.com/

TREASURES opens this Friday. Support a wonderful cast in a wonderful musical! Tickets at VSAloudoun.org (Buy online and ...
03/16/2019

TREASURES opens this Friday. Support a wonderful cast in a wonderful musical! Tickets at VSAloudoun.org (Buy online and save).

Meet "TREASURES" Choreographer Laura Zimmerman!“Miss Laura, VSA is the best thing that ever happened to me,” said ac...
03/16/2019

Meet "TREASURES" Choreographer Laura Zimmerman!

“Miss Laura, VSA is the best thing that ever happened to me,” said actor Sasha Kourakina, “and VSA is going to be the best thing that ever happened to you”.

Laura had seen a couple shows by VSA – Loudoun (the County’s performing and visual arts organization for people of all abilities) before she came on board last year as “Mrs. TV” in “Willy Wonka”. The show was directed by Karlah Louis, and it was Karlah who recommended Laura to VSA as Choreographer for this year’s, “TREASURES: The Musical Adventures of Tom Sawyer”.

And, "Sasha was right," says Laura. It’s been a great fit.

A dancer since she was three, Laura became a professional ballerina with the Jazz Ballet Company in Chicago; she studied with Alvin Ailey and the American Ballet Theatre, and in cities all over the world – London, Paris, Milan, Brussels, Stockholm – wherever Jazz Ballet Company performances took her.

And then, lucky for us, in 2003 she moved to Loudoun where she began to teach ballet and tap at Loudoun Valley Community Center. Some of those classes included kids and adults with a range of disabilities, and she fell in love with the students.

She challenges them at every turn – going for that higher level but ready to change things, as needed. But they’re always up for a challenge.

Her favorite “TREASURES” dance number so far is “It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” - the big town picnic where the young girls dance, and the boys do their bit, and then they dance as couples. The energy and joy the actors bring is infectious, and we guarantee audiences will be toe tapping to that number for years to come.

Which suits Laura just fine, because she says, “I look forward to working with VSA – Loudoun for many, many years to come”.

“TREASURES: The Musical Adventures of Tom Sawyer”, written by Dolly Stevens and Tom Sweitzer, opens Friday, March 22 at Franklin Park Arts Center, Purcellville. Get your tickets online today and save $$ at VSAloudoun.org.

Join the applause for the performing and visual arts' programs for those of all abilities through VSA - Loudoun: show op...
03/13/2019
Treasures Coming to Purcellville

Join the applause for the performing and visual arts' programs for those of all abilities through VSA - Loudoun: show opens March 22!

By Diane Helentjaris Swag! Plunder! Loot! – however you express it, treasure can be found in Purcellville. Very Special Arts Loudoun County is presenting the musical Treasures: The Musical Adventu…

🎉Nine VSA DaVinci Studio artists have art at Round Hill Arts Center- take a peek at the Appalachian Trail Art Exhibit...
03/11/2019

🎉Nine VSA DaVinci Studio artists have art at Round Hill Arts Center- take a peek at the Appalachian Trail Art Exhibit up through the end of the month.

Don't forget the DaVinci show "Hidden Treasures" is accepting art until Wednesday March 13th and opening reception is Saturday March 23rd 5:30pm 🖼️

Very well-attended Appalachian Trail Art Exhibit opening reception at Round Hill Arts Center today! We appreciate VSA Board members Joannie, Lynn, and Carolyn stopping by as well as DaVinci families💕

We learned a lot about the Appalachian Trail (longest hiking-only footpath in the world -- 2192 miles through14 states, stretching from Maine to Georgia) from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy Board Chair Sandra Marra http://www.appalachiantrail.org

Opening Night for "TREASURES: The Musical Adventures of Tom Sawyer" is coming soon! You can feel that anticipation at ev...
03/09/2019

Opening Night for "TREASURES: The Musical Adventures of Tom Sawyer" is coming soon! You can feel that anticipation at every rehearsal, now. Last Thursday’s music rehearsal – a case in point!

Musical Director Sophie Tenaglia has been hard at work to make our production “sing”. Sophie is new to VSA – Loudoun and new to the work of Music Director, but she sees it as a perfect fit for her.

An intern at A Place to Be – the nonprofit for Music Therapy in Middleburg, VA, Sophie holds an MS in Music Therapy from Radford University and a bucket of enthusiasm. Sophie says being Musical Director for VSA – Loudoun, the County organization providing creative opportunities to people of ALL abilities through the performing & visual arts – is giving her the opportunity to understand of the different kinds of practice each person requires, adapting a teaching style for each that will challenge them but avoid triggers.

And she loves collaborating with Director Amanda Barr, appreciates the support she gets from cast and crew, and especially loves this cast’s willingness to try hard to make it right. “They love to be here - to try it again. Always happy to do a song again! And not just one line – the whole song!”

And the music in "TREASURES" is a blast, so why wouldn’t they?

At every show, VSA – Loudoun becomes a family, and this family is ready to put on a great show. Be there to cheer them on!

"TREASURES" runs March 22 - 31 at Franklin Park Arts Center. Tickets at VSA-Loudoun.org (Buy online early and save!).

Getting close to Opening Night, now! And speaking of production nights, we're pleased to announce a Sign Language Interp...
03/09/2019

Getting close to Opening Night, now! And speaking of production nights, we're pleased to announce a Sign Language Interpreter will be interpreting the Saturday, March 23rd production of TREASURES! For tickets, visit VSAloudoun.org!

Wonderful article by Diane Helentjaris about TREASURES! Get your tickets today!
03/06/2019
Treasures Coming to Purcellville

Wonderful article by Diane Helentjaris about TREASURES! Get your tickets today!

By Diane Helentjaris Swag! Plunder! Loot! – however you express it, treasure can be found in Purcellville. Very Special Arts Loudoun County is presenting the musical Treasures: The Musical Adventu…

Nine of our VSA DaVinci artists have artwork in this show- come check it out! Opening reception on Sunday 3/10/18 at 2-5...
03/05/2019

Nine of our VSA DaVinci artists have artwork in this show- come check it out! Opening reception on Sunday 3/10/18 at 2-5pm at Round Hill Arts Center

The Appalachian Trail Art Show is up! Our Artitsts' Reception is this Sunday, March 10, from 2-5pm, so stop on by, check out the art, and meet some of the artists. We hope to see you there!

02/28/2019
Meet the Director, Amanda Barr!

Meet AMANDA BARR, Director!

With a passion for dance, acting, singing and technical theatre, our “TREASURES” Director Amanda Barr comes to the stage work with a working knowledge and appreciation for ALL the bells and whistles that going into creating a great show. A recent Radford University School of Dance and Theatre Graduate, Amanda already brings 12 years of VSA – Loudoun experience to bear. That’s right! She’s worked with the group since she was 10, volunteering to help in whatever way was needed.

And, knowing VSA – Loudun so well, Amanda brings one more very important aspect of directing to the table: teamwork. The artistic crew collaborates - bouncing ideas off each other as they go. At every rehearsal, Amanda challenges the actors to do their best, but she also listens to them when they want try something new.

Speaking of new, Dolly Stevens’ and Tom Sweitzer’s “TREASURES: The Musical Adventures of Tom Sawyer” has been produced in the area several times but not recently. Because the creative duo tweaked it a bit since its last production, Dolly and Tom were open to the idea of changing things a little bit to adjust to VSA – Loudoun’s needs – lyrics a little more accommodating, scary parts a little less realistic. Amanda (and the whole VSA – Loudoun team) appreciated their flexibility. “VSA – Loudoun has always been like one big family”, and “TREASURES" – the story of mischievous, lovable Tom Sawyer set to heart–warming, toe-tapping music - feels like family, too.

After the March 22 – 29 production, Amanda will continue pursuing a singing and acting career (If you saw “Once Upon A Christmas Carol” last fall, you saw Amanda play Young Scrooge’s love, Belle). But she’ll always have a home here.

- Meredith Bean McMath

02/18/2019
“For those who come to see TREASURES who haven’t seen a VSA show before now, first, they’ll be entertained, and th...
02/18/2019

“For those who come to see TREASURES who haven’t seen a VSA show before now, first, they’ll be entertained, and then they’ll see that those on stage have more ability than disability.”

That’s Tom Sweitzer speaking, which must mean it’s WEEK TWO of "How to Make a Musical": our interview with Thomas Sweitzer, co-creator of VSA - Loudoun's March 22-31 musical, TREASURES: The Musical Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

Co-writers Dolly Stevens and Tom Sweitzer met many years ago and soon began making musicals together. Tom explains, "Making a musical is an organic process – the innocence of not knowing too much – the ins and outs – there’s a beauty to it". And he and Dolly both graduated from Shenandoah Conservatory and would be hard pressed to count how many shows they’d been in, so the two understand what works and doesn’t work when it comes to musicals!

“Before meeting Dolly, I’d done writing by myself but not in a team. I didn’t know how cool it would be to collaborate, and I became addicted to it!" Tom says,
“If you’re a storyteller, you’re a storyteller; for my part, I tell stories through the visuals and the music.”

Basically “Dolly and I like telling stories. So we took one of the best and most profound stories, Mark Twain's "Tom Sawyer", to write our first full musical, TREASURES".

What Tom loves best about their version is that it’s a coming of age story with something extra: the fact that Mark Twain had a unique ability to speak from a child’s point of view, but with the irony and humor an adult could appreciate. “Sometimes with modern theatre,” he explains, “they try too hard as they tell a story. Mark Twain isn’t like that”, and that’s why their TREASURES music “is simple and quirky”, and a heck of a lot of fun for the audience! The show has been produced twice before now and has always been a huge hit!

Important to note Tom worked with VSA – Loudoun in the early 2000s, directing around five shows and assisted with many others. “I loved working there and with that community. And it had a profound impact on him: in fact, he says, “My work with VSA - Loudoun came back to me in later years through my company, A Place to Be, where we do clinical music therapy for those with special needs."

And that's the beauty of VSA - Loudoun. In short, as Tom says, “VSA – Loudoun has the same belief as my company – that everybody has ability. Everyone can be at their best.”

- Meredith Bean McMath for VSA - Loudoun

TICKETS AND INFORMATION: https://vsaloudoun.org/

So, just how does VSA Loudoun put together a magical musical like "TREASURES: The Musical Adventures of Tom Sawyer" for ...
02/13/2019

So, just how does VSA Loudoun put together a magical musical like "TREASURES: The Musical Adventures of Tom Sawyer" for you? Well, it takes a large group of creative types - from cast to crew - and a lot of elbow grease! But first... you need a magical musical, and it takes two incredibly creative local artists, Dolly Stevens and Thomas Sweitzer, to come up with a treasure like this one!

So, let's find out how they did it! This week: an interview with Dolly; next week, Tom. Dolly is the Founding Artistic Director of the former Growing Stage, Inc. and the current Director of Blue Ridge Middle School theatre productions), and Tom Sweitzer is the Executive Director of “A Place to Be” in Middleburg, VA.

Now, the story starts waaayyyyy back - back when Dolly Stevens was looking for an Ebeneezer Scrooge. Yep. An Ebeneezer for her stage adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” to be performed by The Growing Stage, Inc. A friend happened to recommend a recent graduate from Dolly’s alma mater, Shenandoah Conservatory, named Tom Sweitzer. Lucky for all, Tom said yes to Dolly’s offer, and the two soon became fast friends.

And after “A Christmas Carol”, Dolly wanted to stage an adaptation of the then recent Disney film, “The Little Mermaid”. But, when she wrote the Disney organization to ask permission to write that adaptation, Disney declined her request.

Fine! She’d create her own adaptation from the original fairy tale! Moreover, Tom might come up with a couple pieces of music and Dolly could write lyrics to a couple songs, and the rest is… well, the next part of the history! They thoroughly enjoyed collaborating on “The Little Mermaid”, so they began to talk about OTHER shows they’d like to do. Dolly mentioned "Tom Sawyer", worked up an outline, and they went to work.

Tom would develop a tune for a prospective piece of music – like Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher’s mutual crush – and Dolly worked up the lyrics. But the music wasn’t the only thing that was original. Now and then, Tom or Dolly would suggest a way to amp up the fun: like Tom’s idea to have Huck and Tom appear at a funeral in women’s dresses to try to blend in - which doesn’t quite work, and… well, you’ll just have to see the show to find out happens next.

Dolly explained successful collaboration is a unique ability: it’s filling out a story by going back and forth as the creative process moves you forward - almost without you, at times. First you have to know the story inside out, then decide where songs needed to happen and what you’re trying to accomplish in a particular scene, and then try on some melodies. When the right one strikes her, Dolly explains, the “lyrics fall out me”. And when two creative types are working that closely, you know the music and story belong to both of you, even though you’ve worked on different aspects. So it feels like a co-writing experience, even though, technically, “Treasures” has a book adaptation by Dolly Stevens and Tom Sweitzer, music by Tom Sweitzer and lyrics by Dolly Stevens.

Dolly says she’s delighted the show is coming back to life and that prepping the script for VSA – Loudoun gave her a chance to improve it. So this show will be even better than the original!

Tickets and further info are found at www.VSALoudoun.org!

- Meredith Bean McMath, VSA Board Member

Address

36441 Blueridge View Ln
Purcellville, VA
20132

Opening Hours

Monday 10:00 - 16:00
Tuesday 10:00 - 16:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 16:00
Thursday 10:00 - 16:00
Friday 10:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(540) 338-7973

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