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Fairfax native Lisa Helmi Johanson will portray Rue in the world premiere of “Rescue Rue,” part of The New York Children’s Theater Festival, opening April 25.

Johanson grew up studying voice, violin and piano. She discovered musical theater in middle school and has been performing ever since.

After graduating from Woodson High School in 2003, she studied voice and musical theater at Christopher Newport University. She made her off-Broadway debut one month after arriving in New York City. She currently performs the lead role of Christmas Eve in the national tour of “Avenue Q.”

“Rescue Rue,” a musical fairy tale with puppets, tells the story of one dog’s journey from shelter to adoption, finding a “fur-ever home” in New York.

Johanson’s other credits include “Three Sisters” (Classical Theatre of Harlem), “Women Beware Women” (Red Bull Theater), “Ghost Girl” (Workshop Theater), “4,000 Miles” (St. Louis Repertory Theatre) and “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” (Merry-Go-Round Playhouse).

“Rescue Rue” is for ages 3 to 8. Performances are at 5:30 p.m. April 25, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. April 26, and 2 p.m. April 27 at Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater, 10 West 64th St. For tickets, call Ovationtix at 866-811-4111 or visit

Vienna shows off its best photographers

The Vienna Parks and Recreation Department has announced the winners of its 2014 amateur photography contest, which took place March 15 and March 16 at the Vienna Community Center. Sixty-four photographers submitted 230 entries.

Katherine Swoboda received the Best in Show award, and Michael Cassidy won the People’s Choice award.

Here are the first-, second- and third-place winners and honorable mentions in each of the eight categories, and student winners and honorable mentions.

Animals: Katherine Swoboda (first, third); Dennis Govoni (second, honorable mention); Barbara Saffir and Caroline Stevens (honorable mentions). Student winner: Joshua Lynum (first, second), Wolftrap Elementary School.

Architecture: Talib A. Aleem (first, honorable mention); Mary Jane Fish (second); Cathy Dutchak (third); Michael Cassidy and Joan Axilbund (honorable mentions). Student winners: Jessica Miller (first), Centreville High School; and Isabel Roscoe (second), Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.

Digital: Paige Counts (first); Colin GrandPre (second); Jean Klaus (third); and Mark Roth (honorable mention). Student winners: Nicholas Needham (first, third), South County High School; Miranda Bricker (second, honorable mention), James Madison High School; and Kate Callahan (honorable mention), McLean High School.

Nature: Katherine Swoboda (first); Dennis Govoni (second); Margaret Raymond (third); Dennis Tarnay and Erica Everhart (honorable mentions). Student winner: Jessica Miller (first), Centreville.

Photojournalism: Aaron Holland (first); Chuck Campbell (second); Ryan Dunn (third); John Sichenze, You-Yen Yang and Leah Bussert (honorable mentions). Student winners: Isabel Roscoe (first), TJHSST; Madeline Roodberg (second, honorable mention), Flint Hill School; and Miranda Bricker (third), James Madison.

Pictorial: Tom Simpson (first); Andy Wohl (second); Ryan Dunn (third); Karen Lykke, Chuck Campbell and Jon Carr (honorable mentions). Student winner: Isabel Roscoe (first, second), TJHSST.

Portraiture: Brian Willeli (first, third); Lee Falcon (second); Karen Lykke, Paige Counts and Michael Faber (honorable mentions). Student winners: Kate Callahan (first), McLean; Madeline Roodberg (second, honorable mention), Flint Hill; Nicholas Needham (third), South County; Eden Green, Fairfax High School, and Rachel Albrecht, Falls Church High School (honorable mentions).

Scenic: Mark Roth (first); Dennis Govoni (second); Dennis Tarnay (third, honorable mention); and Jean Klaus (honorable mention). Student winners: Jessica Miller (first, second), Centreville; Rachel Albrecht (third, honorable mention), Falls Church; and Nicholas Needham (honorable mention), South County.

Judges for the photo show were Wayne Wolfersberger of the Northern Virginia Photographic Society and Joshua Taylor Jr. with Archiphoto Workshops. The Vienna Photographic Society assisted with the show.

Fairfax school mobilizes volunteers for Good Deeds Day

Some 5,000 volunteers are expected to roll up their sleeves and make a difference April 6, during a communitywide day of service, part of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington’s third annual Good Deeds Day.

Volunteers will staff more than 60 projects across the D.C. metro area, from preparing and serving lunch to the homeless, to making cards for soldiers overseas and cleaning up parks.

Gesher Day School at 4800 Mattie Moore Court in Fairfax is one of the main sites, where Virginia families can make food for homeless shelters, assemble fleece blankets, write letters to soldiers and create crafts. Volunteers also can get swabbed for the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation, a Jewish bone marrow registry.

“Every year, Good Deeds Day enables thousands of people to experience how fulfilling it is to give back to the community,” said Good Deeds Day Co-chair Marcia Nirenstein. “It’s great to see firsthand people here in our local community coming out to take part and helping to grow the circles of good.”

For more, visit

Vienna florist gives back to community

Karin’s Florist at 527 Maple Ave. E. in Vienna has introduced its newest addition to the Karin’s Gives Back Program: “Bright Beginnings.”

Now through April 30, 10 percent of the purchase price of a “Bright Beginnings” bouquet will benefit Shelter House, which provides crisis intervention, safe housing and supportive services to promote self-sufficiency for homeless families and victims of domestic violence in Fairfax County.

Karin’s Gives Back is a charitable donation program that supports and promotes the good work of Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland-based charities.

Residents who would like to nominate a charitable organization for the Karin’s Gives Back program can email or call 703-281-4141.

College credits

The National Field Hockey Coaches Association named 12 University of Delaware field hockey student-athletes to its National Academic Squad. Two of the students are from Fairfax County: Maddie O’Beirne of Vienna, and Meghan Winesett of Centreville.

Carly Sable, a senior at Davis & Elkins College in West Virginia, directed a play in the Division of Fine and Performing Arts Winter One-Acts production. Sable, daughter of Carolyn Sable of Alexandria, directed “A Pretty Trap” at the Boiler House Theatre on the college campus.

High school honors

Brianna Fridy, a senior at Chantilly High School, traveled to New Orleans last month to spearhead two service projects for children in need. During the American Medical Student Association’s Convention, she set up, organized and managed an area where more than 800 physicians-in-training from around the world could make blankets and posters for seriously ill, traumatized and hospitalized children.

Brianna and two volunteers from the nonprofit organization Project Linus helped medical and pre-med students make more than 25 blankets and 30 posters. The posters were given to Children’s Hospital in New Orleans for its ICU patients.

Five students from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology have been named semifinalists in the 2014 Intel Science Talent Search: Archis Bhandarkar, Tina Ju, Lucas Kang, Kunal Khurana and William Moses.

The 300 semifinalists were chosen from among nearly 1,800 entrants and will receive matching awards of $1,000 along with their school.