RAAC's Theatre is moving its events across the street to the Little Washington Theatre, above.

The Rappahannock Association for Arts and Community (RAAC) has announced that it is shifting its theatrical performances and other public events from RAAC ‘s Theatre on Gay Street to the Little Washington Theatre (LWT), which is just across the street. The action was prompted by significant safety issues at the current RAAC Theatre building that were identified in the county’s recent structural engineering study.

“We are delighted our community theatre has found a new home,” said Matthew Black, RAAC’s board chair. “In addition to staging live performances, we will also use this wonderful venue to host RAAC activities such as, movies, speakers and other community events.”

Over the years, the LWT, which is owned by Nancy Raines, has offered Rappahannock audiences top-notch live entertainment ranging from bluegrass bands to classical music ensembles to stand-up comedians.

“I’m very pleased with this arrangement,” said Raines. “Over the past year, we at LWT were considering options for post-pandemic scheduling. We had decided on scaling back our offerings to a few select community events when RAAC approached us about using the facility. Going forward RAAC will assume responsibility for scheduling their shows and regular events, as well as other performances which may well include some of the LWT shows the community has come to love.”

Under the two-year agreement RAAC will have access to the entire theatre facility including the lobby, bathroom, theater, greenroom and enclosed porch — rent-free. 

“With a very good sound and lighting system, and the all-important bathroom, greenroom and lobby, RAAC can now offer audiences a venue that will not disappoint,” said Black. “You can almost hear the collective sigh of relief in having such a viable theater option.”

According to Black, the short-term arrangement will give RAAC time to figure out the best course of action for the longer term. Options under consideration range from renovating the old RAAC theatre to meet safety standards to staying at LWT for a longer period. 

“I want to thank Nancy Raines for her incredible generosity and flexibility,” said Black. “This is just another example of her ongoing commitment to our community.”


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