For Immediate Release:
February 13, 2020
Primary Media Contact:
Public Relations Specialist
The Fairfax Follies are back this year, but they won’t be the Spring Follies. This year’s performances are happening Feb. 22 and 23.
The Follies are being put on earlier than is customary to accommodate the performing schedule of director Russell Rinker, who will be appearing in another show in Washington, D.C. in March and April.
A Strasburg High School graduate, Rinker, who has starred in the Broadway National Tour of “Amazing Grace,” and was in Blue Man Group, takes over from longtime director Andrea Ludwick, who taught English, speech and theater at Laurel Ridge before retiring last spring.
She had been with Laurel Ridge for 45 years, and staged the Follies for 40 years. Rinker, whose parents Judy and Rick Rinker are both former Laurel Ridge employees and longtime Follies performers, has been performing in the college’s productions since his preschool days.
Russell Rinker has served as co-director and musical director for many years.
He says this year’s theme is the “Fabulous 1950s,” a play on the college celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
“We’re going to perform the music from the 1950s and the skits will kind of be set in that era,” Rinker says. “We just started rehearsing last week, and only have about six weeks to put it all together.”
So far, about 40 people, including about a dozen children, are in the production, he says. The band is increasing from two to four pieces.
Another change this year will be the lack of pre-show activities that had traditionally been held in the Carl and Emily Thompson Conference Center in the Corron Community Development Center.
“We have more Laurel Ridge families involved in the show this year, and we’re drawing more students from the college,” Rinker says. “We’re kind of on the front lines of keeping the performing arts alive in the community since there are no longer community theaters in Strasburg or Middletown.”
Tickets will be sold at the door, and are $5 for those ages 12 and up, and $3 for children ages 6-11. Children 5 and under are free.
Proceeds will go to the Andrea Ludwick Performing Arts Fund.
The shows are 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Feb. 22, and 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Feb. 23. Find out more at https://laurelridge.edu/event/fairfax-follies-the-fabulous-fifties/2020-02-22/
Founded in 1970, Laurel Ridge Community College is a multi-campus public institution of higher education. With four locations — Middletown, Warrenton, Luray-Page County and most recently, Vint Hill— the College serves eight localities in the Shenandoah Valley and northern Piedmont regions. The localities are the counties of Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren and the city of Winchester. Laurel Ridge offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in a wide variety of disciplines, in addition to providing access to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs offered on site by a four-year institution. Laurel Ridge also serves the business community by offering workforce preparation programs for employees and employers. Laurel Ridge serves more than 9,000 unduplicated credit students and more than 11,000 individuals in professional development and business and industry courses annually.
Laurel Ridge Community College (Laurel Ridge) is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Laurel Ridge Community College. Laurel Ridge Community College is an equal opportunity institution providing educational and employment opportunities, programs, services, and activities and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors. Laurel Ridge also prohibits sexual misconduct including sexual violence or harassment.
Laurel Ridge Community College was known as Lord Fairfax Community College until June 2022. For consistency purposes, the college will be referenced as Laurel Ridge going forward.