Announcing 2013 Annual National Juried Photography Exhibit winners

Best in Show: $1000          ­Robert Sulkin   “Ode to M. Curie”
(Sponsored in part by the Lynchburg News and Advance)

2nd Place Award: $500     Jane Yudelman  “Marina #3”
(Sponsored by the Academy of Fine Arts)

3rd Place Award:  $300      Bill Mauzy  “Mill Shed #1”
(Sponsored by the Academy of Fine Arts)

 Juror’s Choice Award: $100         Susan Bidwell  “Pandora’s Friend”
 (Sponsored by Blackwell Press)

Juror’s Choice Award: $100         Leslie Elliottsmith  “Parvana”
(Sponsored by the Lynchburg Camera Shop, Inc.)

Juror’s Choice Award: $75  Misha Gregrory Macaw  “Moonrise Over Gathering Clouds”
(Sponsored by the Academy of Fine Arts)

Juror’s Choice Award: $75            John Shuptrine  “Swirl 2”
(Sponsored by the Academy of Fine Arts)

Juror’s Choice Award: $75            Michael Elliott-Smith “The Botanical Gardens”
(Sponsored by the Academy of Fine Arts)

Juror’s Choice Award: $75            Mark East    “Lincoln At Sunrise”
(Sponsored by the Academy of Fine Arts)

Juror’s Choice Award: $75            Val Brinkerhoff   “Tower Triptych”
(Sponsored by the Academy of Fine Arts)

CONGRATULATIONS WINNERS! THANKS TO ALL FOR YOUR SUBMISSIONS. Watch for information on next year’s exhibit!

Classes coming up!

arrow icon Fused Under the Sea Glass [2260]

Create a beautiful under sea scene in glass!
DATES: Saturday, Sept. 7
AGES: 7 & UP
FEE: Free
TIME: 1:30 – 3:00 pm


arrow icon Clay SurfaceTreatments [2265]

This class is for intermediate to advanced students. Basic forming methods will be reviewed; the main theme of the class will be focusing on surface treatments to enhance your work which will include stamp impressions (make your own bisque designs), slip trailing and scraffito carving. * Unlimited extra studio time included in higher fee.
DATES: 6 Tuesdays, Sept. 3 – Oct. 8
AGES: 15 +
FEE: $160/$180*
TIME: 6:30 – 9:00 pm


arrow icon Print Techniques With Clay [2266]

This session students will learn about traditional printmaking techniques that can be translated to clay. Topics covered include slip block printing, incised underlay, paper monoprint transfer and reductive scraffito carving. These layering skills will bring added depth and a painterly line to your clay work. * Unlimited extra studio time included in higher fee.
DATES: 6 Wednesdays, Sept. 4 – October 9
AGES: 15 +
FEE: $160/$180*
TIME: 6:30 – 9:00 pm


arrow icon Pottery Projects I [2267]

Students work independently on projects of their own choosing with help and guidance from instructor. Instruction in both handbuilding and wheel work covered. There will be group critiques and guest demonstrations. Several special topic demonstrations with this session. * Unlimited extra studio time included in higher fee.
DATES: 6 Wednesdays, Sept. 4 – Oct.9
AGES: 15 +
FEE: $160/$180*
TIME: 9:30 am – 12:00 pm


First Fridays!

It’s the week of First Fridays! The galleries are a buzz and Gallery Curator, Ted Batt, is running around like a wild man, updating the Academy’s three gallery exhibits on site as well as multiple satellite galleries found around Lynchburg. We’re crazy about art!

This month’s main exhibit, unveiled this Friday at First Fridays, features a modern take on photography, captured by an iphone. Presented by photographer Sam Krisch, this exhibit captures Krisch’s love of travel and vintage images. Here’s a bit more about Sam:

Sam Krisch Roaming Plan: iPhone Wanderings

In the first solo show of his iPhone work, Sam Krisch blends his love of travel and vintage images and his use of the iPhone as a creative tool. The work spans four continents during the last three years.

Krisch, who is also a more traditional landscape photographer, became fascinated with the iPhone when he discovered that he could create finished, unique work on location and share it with others through social media. Many times the images he makes images with the iPhone and pro digital SLRs at the same location and prefers the results with the iPhone.

There are images from four continents captured over a three year period. They range from a snowy evening in his mother’s driveway and a soft focus image from his street in Virginia, to monastic students in procession by a road in Burma.

The images have unique moods and looks, from the ironic, to neo-classical, to painterly and to mysterious. They explore the feeling of a nostalgia of the present mirroring visions of the past.

Academy First Fridays

Also on display this month is an exhibit by Larry Contratti, also in photography.

Title of exhibit: A Life In Crime. 

Explanation: These photos were taken while I was on the road as a Producer for two television shows, “America’s Most Wanted” and “Nightmare Next Door.” I wanted to document the more organic scenes where the stories unfolded, which were in contrast to the dramatized versions I would present on TV. The photos focus on the wonderful people I interviewed and the calm moments in between. 

Artist Bio:  Larry Contratti started his career in media as a producer with “America’s Most Wanted” and has since gone on to produce and edit other broadcast and web shows. He’s now freelance producing and editing video, as well as consulting clients on content creation and video marketing strategy.

Join us this Friday for First Fridays downtown, starting at 5:o0 pm. With refreshments and music by Riddle on the Harp, it’s an event not to miss!

Gallery art changeover happening!


If you are interested in seeing the Academy’s present gallery exhibit, you have through tomorrow to get downtown and see the great art!

With exhibits featuring works on paper, oils and African American heritage paintings, May was another month of First Friday high traffic, quality art and sold pieces!

Catch the exhibit this Friday during business hours and pencil in next Friday for the opening of the June exhibits. Get more details at

Announcing the Canine Stars of Legally Blonde, the Musical!

We have double cast the role of Bruiser! Bella will be playing the role of Bruiser opening weekend. She is a young and spunky dog who loves her mommy!  She loves anything and everything pink and sparkly and is very excited to be a part of this show.  Her family is very involved in theatre, so she fits right in! 

Sophie came to auditions night and we knew she was also perfect for the part of Bruiser.  She will be playing Bruiser the second weekend. Sophie says, “I am very excited to play the part of Bruiser. This is my first stage appearance and everyone has been so nice to me.  I love my mommy and my brother, and I love to eat everything, like treats, flowers, buttons, and a camera card.”  

And a loveable bulldog named Louie is playing the role of Rufus! Louie is making his stage debut with this show. When not giving slobbery kisses, Louie enjoys long naps on the couch.

And now, we are ready to roll. The cast is in full run through rehearsals, the set and lights are almost done and we are heading into tech week next week!  This is going to be an awesome show, one you don’t want to miss!!

Nora Moore
Artistic Director

Broadway’s Next H!T Musical Information

Co-Artistic Directors











Every song is fresh. Every scene is new. Every night is different.

It’s all improvised and it’s all funny.

The hysterical Broadway’s Next H!T Musical is the only unscripted theatrical awards show.  Master improvisers gather made up, hit song suggestions from the audience and create a spontaneous evening of music, humor, and laughter. The audience votes for their favorite song and watches as the cast turns it into a full blown improvised musical – complete with memorable characters, witty dialogue, and plot twists galore. BNHM has been seen recently at The Triad, Tribeca Film Festival, and at the New York Musical Theater Festival, among many others.

Director’s Note

The lights go down.  The overture begins.  Pretty much your typical musical theater experience so far, yes?  No!  Tonight will be different!  Why, you ask?  Because this musical has never been seen before!  In fact, it has not even been conceived, written or rehearsed!  And yet it will appear, complete with script, music, lyrics and choreography, before your eyes this evening.  This is the exciting process at the heart of Broadway’s Next H!T Musical.  We will step onstage free of any pre-performance ideas and allow ourselves to be inspired by what you, our audience, write on a small piece of paper – a story to unfold as we perform it.  We are empowered by the notion of creating a memorable song, complete with melody and lyrics.  We dance to choreography invented as it is executed.  Broadway’s Next H!T Musical, improvisation at its best, will amaze and delight you, and leave you with the experience of seeing what has never before been seen and what will never be seen again.  Broadway’s Next H!T Musical can only be described as magic!  



RALPH BUCKLEY (Co-Producer) has worked as an actor and director on and off Broadway, in television, film and radio.  Ralph has produced music and improvisation in diverse venues including Joe’s Pub, El Flamingo and The Triad.  He is executive director/producer of the ongoing improvisational performance workshop, The Yes Show.

ROBERT Z. GRANT (Performer) loves to make stuff up and sing about it.  Recent credits include The Collective’s 360, Ionesco’s The Lesson, The Next Big Broadway Musical! (2007 MAC Award), The Amazing TED Show, and ComedySportz NY.  Tour: two months in South Africa with The Glass Contraption.  Robert studied acting with Bill Esper at William Esper Studio, dance at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, clown with Christopher Bayes at Juilliard, and improvisation with Ralph Buckley. Robert is probably best known for his anonymity.

CHRISTINE PYNN (Stage Manager) is a freelance stage manager, lighting designer and board operator in the New York comedy and theatre scene.  She’s had the pleasure of working with several companies and performers, including The Peoples Improv Theater, Political Subversities, SketchFest NYC, Margaret Cho, Kurt Braunholer, Elephant Larry, MIRANDA, Joe Moses and Tom Shillue.

DEB RABBAI (Co-Artistic Director, Co-Producer, Performer) is an original member and co-creator of Broadway’s Next H!T Musical.  A native New Yorker, Deb has worked as an actor, improviser, singer and voiceover artist for the last twenty years.  Deb became the Co-Artistic Director of BNHM in 2009 and has proudly witnessed its progress over the last two decades into the hilarious hit it is today.  A graduate of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in NYC, Deb performs regularly with the national touring improv company Chicago City Limits.  Deb is a highly experienced teacher of improvisation and acting, having worked at NYU, Marymount Manhattan College, The American Comedy Institute, Weist-Barron and Acteen in NYC.  She also spent ten years performing and teaching improvisation with Freestyle Repertory Theatre (TheatreSports New York).  Deb successfully created programs that teach curriculum through improvisation – these programs have been integrated into public schools in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.  Deb has appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and in national commercials for MasterCard, Wendy’s and Zyrtec.  Deb has done countless voiceovers, ranging from radio and TV advertisements, to video games and Japanimation/anime films. For more information on Deb, please visit her blog:

JORDAN RICHARDSON (Pianist) Composer/musical director: Desert Star Theater, Salt Lake City, UT; PCPA Theaterfest, Santa Maria, CA; Great American Melodrama and Vaudeville, Oceano, CA. Jordan resides in New York City and is happy to be joining Broadway’s Next H!T Musical.  Thanks to my everlasting friends and wonderful family.

ANNIE SCHIFFMANN (Performer) is an actor, improviser, singer, and teacher.  Annie performed with Chicago City Limits for over seven years.  Annie also lends her talent to many corporate events and recently hosted, performed, or facilitated training at events for Tenneco, KPMG, and Cisco.  Trained in improvisation, theatre, musical theatre, and directing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Annie leads workshops for schools and corporations in all of these disciplines.

ROB SCHIFFMANN (Co-Artistic Director, Co-Producer, Performer) has worked and toured as a professional improviser and musician for over seventeen years.  As a two-time MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs) Award winner and the recipient of the 2011 INNY (Improvisation News) Award for Best Improv Coach, Rob’s musical and improv talents are known across the country.  He has taught and directed improv at The School for Film and Television, Weist-Barron, and the Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.  A graduate of Oberlin College, Rob performed regularly with Chicago City Limits before joining Broadway’s Next H!T Musical in 2001.  BNHM’s master improvisers started their success at the famous NYC cabaret club Don’t Tell Mama as well as with the New York Musical Theater Festival.  Rob became Co-Artistic Director in 2009, and continues to perform with the hysterical troupe throughout the country and at their resident theater The Triad in NYC.  Called “sharper than a pound of cheddar cheese” by, Rob has showcased his skills on The Daily Download and The CBS Early Show.  Rob’s musical talent is also evident with the New York based acoustic-pop band, The Hillary Step; he is the main writer, lead singer, guitarist, and Music Director.  For more information, please visit

COURTNEY SIMMONS (Emcee) is thrilled to be a part of the BNHM cast.  A recent alum of Marymount Manhattan College, she was last seen singing in Israel’s version of American Idol and won top female performer.  Prior to that performance, she was performing at Feinstein’s Cabaret Club in the Broadway Ballyhoo.  She is also a part of the Broadway By The Year chorus at Town Hall.

GREG TRIGGS (Co-Producer) has also performed with Disney’s Comedy Warehouse, the Brave New Workshop and Chicago City Limits.  Writer/director for Disney, SeaWorld, the Tribeca Film Festival, the World Science Festival and the NFL.  TV credits include BBC, ABC, TLC, Oxygen, the Discovery Channel and Nickelodeon.  Recent projects include the Doha Tribeca Film Festival and the openings of the Disney Dream and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Honolulu.  Learn more at