For Immediate Release:
March 6, 2023
Primary Media Contact:
Public Relations Specialist
This year’s Spring Follies theme should feel like home to many of the audience members, according to director Russell Rinker. The variety show, being performed four times March 11 and 12 on the Middletown Campus, is “Goin’ Country.”
“We will celebrate the rural traditions that we all know so well,” said Rinker, noting most audience members likely will have grown up – or are still growing up – in the Northern Shenandoah Valley. “We’ll have great country music going all the way back to Hank Williams and Bill Monroe in the early days. Of course, we have a segment honoring Patsy Cline.”
There are about five dozen performers this year, including children and a dance troupe, Rinker said.
A Strasburg native who has gone on to have a successful theater career that includes stints as a member of Blue Man Group and performing with the Broadway National Tour of “Amazing Grace,” Rinker has been performing with the Follies since he was a young boy. His sister and his parents are also longtime performers with the show. Rinker’s mother, Judy Rinker, was the first Shenandoah County resident to enroll in the college in 1970, was the 1972 Outstanding Graduate and worked at the college for more than three decades.
This is the first time Laurel Ridge Community College library archivist John Owens has taken part in the Follies. He is in a couple of skits.
“I figured I would give it a try,” Owens said. “The show is light-hearted. I had never met Russell before, but as the college’s archivist, I’ve been indexing photos of him and his whole family for years. He’s a riot. He has so much experience with theater.”
This year, both the show and pre-show activities will be in the Corron Community Development Center. Pre-show fun will include food and popcorn for purchase, free ice cream, face painting and cornhole.
The show begins at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. both Saturday, March 11, and Sunday, March 12. The pre-show begins at 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. both days. Tickets are $5 at the door, with children 5 and under free. Proceeds will support the Andrea Ludwick Performing Arts Fund.
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.