Penny Templeton Studio Acting Lions














Spotlight On


Frantic Assembly

Mark Taper Forum at LA’s Centre Theatre Group 50th Anniversary

MCC Theatre

St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn

The Everyman Theatre

Boston Playwrights’ Theatre

1st Stage Theater

59 E 59 Theater

Young Vic of London

Theatre Huntsville

Dance Place in Washington, D.C.

Alabama School of Fine Arts 50th Year Celebration

Rennie Harris at Baltimore Center Stage

Ronald Rand’s new book “CREATE! How Extraordinary People Live to Create and Create to Live”

What is FAFA? The Florence Academy of Fine Arts in Alabama

Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance – London’s International Drama School

Alabama Music Hall Of Fame

Historic Zodiac Playhouse — The “Z” in Florence, Alabama

Shoals Symphony Orchestra at UNA

“Grand Ball in the Belle Epoch” – Edwardian Period Style Salon

Ronald Rand in Let It Be Art


1st Stage Theater

Northern Virginia’s best kept secret is 1st STAGE located in Fairfax County. Back in 2008, a group of educators, artists and actors under the leadership of the founding Artistic Director Mark Krikstan came together to create an organization that would bridge educational and professional theatre. In just seven years, 1st STAGE has grown from a grass roots collective of local artists to an award-winning institution with national recognition. 

“Altar Boyz”

The current Artistic Director Alex Levy, who was hired in 2014, has bold plans for the future of 1st STAGE. When we spoke with Mr. Levy, he shared with us: “1st STAGE is uniquely positioned to become the center of the arts in Fairfax County, as Tysons Corner rapidly develops. The pace of development in Tysons is unprecedented. Since 2014, the Tysons skyline has seen the addition of ten new buildings. Fairfax County has also approved over forty million square feet of new development set to break ground in the years to come. 1st STAGE wants to be a major force for the arts as this community continues to grow.”

Doug Wilder, Daniel Corey in “One Man, Two Guvnors”

The Theatre is located several miles from downtown Washington, D.C. in a shopping mall called “The Spring Hill Business Center.” Through the dedicated work of the theatre staff and volunteers, the office space was converted into an intimate and unique 110-seat theater and office. There is also an art gallery with six exhibits per season, ranging from photography, to paintings, to wood sculpture.

Lee Mikeska Gardner in “Side Man”

Mr. Levy also told us:  “People have come together to help make 1st STAGE the cultural hub of the community. I’ve made a commitment to produce plays that have complicated text and fit a necessary niche for a medium-sized theatre. 1st STAGE is very interested in presenting plays that engage the audience on “the issues of our times” and the theatre is one of the last places people can come together in their community.”

Luis Alberto Gonzelez in “Jesus Hopped the A Train”

1st STAGE’s 2017-2018 season includes “Jesus Hopped The ‘A’ Train” by Stephen Adly Guirgus, “My Name is Asher Lev” by Aaron Posner, “The Farnsworth Invention” written by Aaron Sorkin, “Fly By Night” a musical, conceived by Kim Rosenstock, written by Will Connnolly, Michael Mitnick and Kim Rosenstock, and local playwright Bob Bartlett’s “Swimming with Whales.”  The last event of the season will be the 2nd Annual Logan Festival of Solo Performance.

“Pitmen Painters”

Mr. Levy says “Selecting a season is a long process and with my staff, we read hundreds of plays before deciding what plays to present. I wants to always have an exciting and diverse season with works that are worthy of “digging into” and “coming out with a different angle. 1st STAGE also provides fellowships for future leaders in the theatre.  One of their first fellows, Emily Wall, is now the General Manager of 1st STAGE.”  The theatre has one fellow a year. 

“Take Me Out”

The 1st Stage Founding Artists are: Lucas Beck, Deb Crerie, Jane Kalbfeld, Nathaniel Krause, Mark Krikstan, Alex Mandell, Peter Van Valkenburg, David Winkler, and Cheryl Patton Wu. 1st Stage received a 2015 National Theatre Company Grant from The American Theatre Wing, Founder of the Tony Awards.

For info: 1st STAGE 1524 Spring Hill Rd. Tysons, VA 22102, (703) 854-1856,,


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