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PODCASTS

Each Tuesday afternoon, Janet Kopenhaver airs a new “Embracing Arlington Arts Talks” podcast. Each show features an Arts organization representative, visual artist, arts expert, dancer, musician, actor and everyone in between to talk about their profession, productions, events, economic and health benefits of the arts, and many other topics. We also have, and will continue to feature several dignitaries on the show, including northern Virginia’s “First Lady” Megan Beyer, former NEA Chair Jane Chu, and Arlington County Board Members.

To follow the Podcast so that you don’t miss any episodes, follow the link to your preferred platform: Apple PodcastSpotify, and  Amazon Music 

 

AND check out our Theater/Arts Education Series.

2024 Podcasts

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Thomas Walter Booker, Actor/Movie Producer

06/11/2024

Actor Thomas Walter Booker appeared on the "Embracing Arlington Arts Talks" podcast to give us all the details about his exciting new project - a movie called "Absent" about a young boy in DC learning to forgive his father and move on with his life that he wrote, is producing and will appear in. Find out what spurred him to write the film, why it is so important for folks to see, what is the timeline until release and how listeners can help support the project. Also learn how he ended up in the theater industry at a VERY young age and his serendipitous journey toward landing a role in "Fat Ham" at the Studio Theatre.

Performing Arts
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Director Jason Damaso and Actor Zach Kessel, Dominion Stage

06/04/2024

Dominion Stage's Director Jason Damaso and Actor Zach Kessel joined us on the show to talk about the company's upcoming production of "Rent." Get details about how the show will be presented, why they feel this show still resonates today, and some examples of unique ways this production has been presented in the past. Also find out how each of them got into the theater industry and roles/plays on their bucket lists.

Performing Arts
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Peggy McKowen, Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF)

05/28/2024

We were so happy to invite the Artistic Director of the Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF) Peggy McKowen back to the show to talk about the 2024 festival which includes three plays and an offering in two parts. From the supernatural to autism to HIV to the Holocaust, this year's experiences cover many tough topics and yet most will leave audiences uplifted as Peggy gravitated towards choosing ones that would powerfully touch people. Also hear about some unique collaborations with other organizations that she pursued this year, as well as information about the playwrights, themes, special events, talkbacks, ticket packages and much more. Wonderful destination vacation opportunity this July.

Performing Arts
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Casey Watkins, Costume Designer

05/21/2024

Another episode in our "Behind the Curtain" series on the professionals working backstage to make theater happen has aired. This one features Costume Designer Casey Watkins. Learn what she is responsible for in a production, what is her process for designing costumes, how does she research period pieces and some interesting tricks about costume designs that directly influence an audience member's experience and feelings toward the characters. Also hear about her wonderful experience of bringing a show to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Performing Arts
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Bailey Gafeney, Sound Designer

05/14/2024

Continuing our "behind the curtain" chats with those theatrical professionals who make theater happen backstage, we welcome to the show Sound Designer Bailey Gafeney. Find out what exactly a sound designer is responsible for, the tricks and insight into "underscoring" a production, what is her process for designing sound and some of the more challenging projects she has worked on. Also learn about some positive changes she has seen in the industry so far in her career.

Performing Arts
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John Hall, Actor

05/07/2024

Actor and Chair of the Black Mountain Center for the Arts John Hall joined us on the show to talk about his unique journey into the theater world, the mission, background and upcoming events at the Center, and details about his role(s) in the regional premiere of "Popcorn Falls" (2 actors playing about 20 characters). Also get all the details about a truly immersive event coming in June at the Center - "Art in Bloom" - that melds art, floral arrangements and nature and includes garden tours of local houses, visual artists creating artwork at each house, gallery exhibitions and the opportunity to purchase the paintings made during the event. A true destination event!

Performing Arts
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Sylvia J. Pierce "Talks" Technical Theater and Props

04/30/2024

Technical Theater professional Sylvia J. Pierce appeared as a guest on the podcast as part of our series on the "behind the curtain" magic that happens to make a theatrical production happen. She enlightens about what exactly a technical theater professional is responsible for, with particular insight into a props manager, how she got into the industry, what dramatic changes she has seen in the technical field over the last 46 years, and how she preparing props for the upcoming production of "Thurgood" at NC Stage. Also hear some very entertaining stories about her experiences working with CNN, Eurovision and SNL, as well as her next project - "Hilloween" - a truly immersive and scary experience coming this October to Spruce Pine, NC.

Performing Arts
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CJ Barnwell, Lighting/Visual Media Designer

04/23/2024

This is another episode featuring the "behind-the-scenes" theater professionals who are critical to bringing a production to the stage. This week we get the inside scoop on lighting and visual media design from CJ Barnwell. Find out how he ended up in this field, his process for designing, what exactly a lighting/visual media designer does and some challenges he has faced in the past. Also find out how the profession has evolved and changed over the years, as well as why the relatively new visual media component has become so important. Finally get all the details and particular challenges of lighting for the production he is working on now - a one-person show at NC Stage - "Thurgood."

Performing Arts
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Solomon Parker III, Actor

04/16/2024

What an insightful and interesting interview we had with Actor Solomon Parker III who is appearing in Signature Theatre's upcoming production of "Hair." Why does he think this show is so important and relevant in 2024? Why does he believe the 1960's were so critical? How did he prepare for his role as the "President of the United States of Love" and how it contrasted to his previous role when he appeared in the production in Oregon? Answers to these questions as well as how he got into the theater industry and roles on his bucket list are some of the wide-ranging topics we discussed. And what does Solomon think would make this world a much better place?

Performing Arts
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Julie K. Ross, Scenic Designer

04/09/2024

Scenic Designer and Visual Artist Julie K. Ross appeared on the podcast as part of our educational shows about the professionals not on stage that are critical to bringing a show to the stage. Hear what a Scenic Designer does, how she ended up in this career, how the profession has changed (and where projections fit in), and a prop that many times ends up on her sets as an inside joke. Also hear about her work as a visual artist and where in Dollywood one can see her very large and unique murals. Finally get the scoop on "Thurgood" opening soon at NC Stage Company and some teasers about that set.

Performing Arts
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Sara Duke, Encore Stage and Studio

04/02/2024

The Executive Director of Encore Stage and Studio Sara Duke returned to the show to talk about the exciting developments with their "Flip the Script" series. Hear how the students prepare and draft the play, background on the two previous productions (one focused on Arlington's first middle school integration and Green Valley) and the current one that will be all about the diversity of Arlington and its food trucks. Also hear what surprised the students in their research about Green Valley and some iconic sights in the neighborhood that are recreated on stage. Finally get all the details about the final two productions in this current season and the many different options for summer camps being offered this year.

Performing Arts
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Jessica Phillips, Actor

03/26/2024

Actor Jessica Phillips took time off the stage to join us on the podcast to talk about her new show "Penelope" being presented at Signature Theatre. How did she prepare for a one-person show and portraying Penelope - Odysseus' wife in the Odyssey? Get all the details about the show and why she thinks all audience members will be able to relate so well to her character. Also learn about how she ended up in the theater industry, what are some of the big differences and adjustments actors need to make when moving from television to the stage, and what her unique answer was to roles on her bucket list.

Performing Arts
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