Ashburn, Va. (August 15, 2014) – What do Harvard law students, UCLA sorority girls and a group of high school thespians from Loudoun County have in common? They all are in Piedmont Arts Foundation’s summer production of Legally Blonde The Musical. The show takes the stage on August 21 at 7:30 p.m., August 22 at 7:30 p.m., and August 23 at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m.
Every year the Piedmont Arts Foundation welcomes a different show to its summer stage, located at Franklin Park in Purcellville, Virginia. This year, Belmont Ridge Middle School’s director Jason Augustowski is directing this bubbly, pink-filled musical.
“I chose to direct this show because it is really just super fun,” Augustowski said. “It gives me an opportunity to work with different students from a different age group then I would normally get to work with.”
Legally Blonde The Musical is based off a book and a 2001 film adaptation of the same name. It follows Elle Woods, a UCLA sorority girl in her journey to win back the love of her life at Harvard Law School. Elle learns a lot while she’s enrolled as a law student; she works hard to prove that being “legally blonde” is quite a powerful thing.
Augustowski is new to Piedmont Arts, and is excited for what he can bring to the organization.
“I am so thankful that I can bring such a fantastic production staff to this summer show,” Augustowski said. “I have over 30 individuals who work around the clock to pull this off.”
While some things may be changing this year, one thing is staying the same: the dozens of dedicated actors and actresses from Loudoun County High Schools who are bringing Legally Blonde to life.
The musical is starring students from Tuscarora High School, Stone Bridge High School and Briar Woods High School.
“I am so excited for my role as Elle Woods because I absolutely love the show and the character,” sophomore Abby Irons said. “I’m also really excited to get to perform with some of my best friends.”
For these students it provides an opportunity to work with other students they might not otherwise get a chance to work with, as well as gain experience to help them with their regular high school shows.
“I have learned to cherish every moment with this show,” freshman Rylee Showalter said. “I am so fortunate to be able to do this show with some of my friends who will end up going to different high schools.”
Piedmont Arts Foundation works to support the arts through grants and other monetary contributions, but their summer stage shows do just as much to support local theater. The foundation was started in 2004 by John and Terri Pendola in memory of two theater students from Stone Bridge High School that lost their lives in a tragic accident. The Pendolas continue to support the actors and technicians from Loudoun County High Schools as well as the performing arts in Loudoun County.
“Foundations like Piedmont Arts are so important because of the opportunities they give the students of Loudoun County to perform,” Irons said. “There are not many foundations in the area that support the arts, and this one gives so much. It is amazing how the Pendolas were able to turn such a tragedy into a wonderful organization that supports the theater community. I am so happy and proud to be performing with them.”
It’s clear that for the students who have chosen to participate in this show that these last few weeks of rehearsal have been full of fun and fluorescent pink, and that some of the students will even take home a deeper message from it.
“The biggest reward from doing this show is being able to be around such talented and dedicated people,” sophomore Caleb Rouse said. “The cast and crew are truly amazing. This has given me an opportunity to do something that I love this summer, and that’s really important to me. I am very, very honored to be a lead in this show.”
For more information on Piedmont Arts and to order tickets click here.
Article by Viva Loudoun Intern Sarah Smith from Stone Bridge High School.