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ArlingtonThespian troupe wins grant from Dominion

Thespian troupe wins grant from Dominion

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Encore Stage & Studio has received a $10,000 grant from the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation, which will be used to support its performances and community outreach.

Encore was presented with a Dominion Energy ArtStars Award, one of five organizations receiving the “Shining Star” award this year.

“We are honored,” said Sara Duke, Encore’s executive director. “For more than 50 years, Encore has provided a creative home for youth in Northern Virginia. This is more important than ever during these challenging times.”

Grant funding will support keeping classes and camps affordable, and provide hands-on opportunities for youth in theater roles both on stage and in behind-the-scenes roles.


“Encore Stage & Studio shows how the creative spirit continues to drive through the creative arts and education,” said Hunter Applewhite, president of the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation. “Arlington is very fortunate to have this talented organization.”

What is now Encore Stage & Studio got its start with a mid-1960s summer production of “A Pocketful of Preposterous Poems” at Lubber Run Amphitheater. The show featured works by Ogden Nash, Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll.

(While pieces of that original work – and a playbill with names of the cast – have been uncovered in recent years, the search remains ongoing to find a full copy of the script.)

Like most theater organizations, Encore was impacted by the COVID pandemic, but took creative routes around a full shutdown. Some performances, classes and camps were held outdoors, and last fall the troupe resumed indoor performances. Currently, the organization is performing a world-premiere production, “Riley O’Brien and the Lost Leprechaun,” which a Sun Gazette review called “inventive in its conception and solid in its execution, making it a treat for all ages.”

The Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation is one arm of Dominion’s philanthropic efforts, which when combined with the EnergyShare program assisting those in financial straits contributed more than $48 million to community causes last year.

Dominion serves about 7 million customers in 13 states, providing electric and natural-gas services.

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