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Ashburn Blog: StageCoach Theatre Hosts Grand Opening for New Theatre, Classroom Space

StageCoach Theatre Company celebrated a grand opening for their new black box theatre and classrooms space at 20937 Ashburn Road in Ashburn on Nov. 4.

The celebration included a performance of “The Hamilton Murders” and an afternoon tea, followed by live music and refreshments.

The company was founded by Jerri Wiseman and Terry Smith in 2011. The group performs year-round shows around Loudoun County, including their annual upcoming shows “Naughty or Nice” Christmas Cabaret, “Up on the Rooftop, Click, Click, Bang – Murder Mystery Dinner Theater” and “Holiday Hooligans” in December, third Friday improv on Nov. 17, after school classes, and much more.

Wiseman said the new 1,400 square foot space will provide the group a home they have been hoping to find for many years and they are “excited.”

StageCoach moved into the space Oct. 13 after renovating it over the summer. The new space is available for outside group rentals, and will be used for their performances throughout the year.

The group is open to anyone who would like to audition. They also offer after school classes for ages 10-19, as well as summer camps and workshops which are available year-round.

For more information, visit stagecoachtc.com.

Local mom creates unique and fun card game:
Janet Carruthers never thought she would become a card game designer in her lifetime.

Her life changed in 2012, when her mom was dying of a rare cancer. She was working full time at the FBI and taking care of her mom, who kept saying that she hoped that Carruthers would find a “happier” job rather than chasing criminals. She did not listen and continued working at the FBI, until a few years later she was diagnosed with a spinal cord tumor. The prognosis was death, being paralyzed, cancer - or if she was lucky, life.

Carruther said she got lucky. She endured difficult surgeries, a lot of physical therapy and experienced a “brush with death,” but she has now found her “happy place.” She took a break from crime fighting and volunteered at an at-risk elementary school to help kids realize that there are other choices in life.

“Everyday is a huge blessing. I don't take things for granted now,” Carruthers said.

The school assigned her two young boys, one from Ethiopia and the other from Honduras. Both were very shy and didn’t really want to talk, she said. Their first meeting was awkward, with a lot of silence and head nodding. As a mother of four children, she tried every trick in the book to get them talking.

Carruthers was determined to get them to open up so she did what any mom would do - she brought some games to their next meeting and they opened up. They had a lot of fun, but Carruthers said she “always seemed to lose.”

“Being a bit competitive, it started to get irritating so when the boys would do their victory dance for winning, I would join them. I mean, who wouldn’t want to do a crazy dance in the middle of an elementary school cafeteria,” she said.

That crazy loser dance led to other “goofy” things that the loser could do and then Cards of Consequence ™ was born.

It is a simple penalty phase game that is played after any competition. At first, it was just on 3 x5 cards, but then she wondered if there was anything else like it on the market – which there was not. She started on a path of designing a game and getting a patent on it.

The product launched in June and there are now six editions being released.

“It's a pretty easy companion to any competition. The game is very family friendly, easy to take on a trip, and young adults really like it. Losers can have fun too,” she said.

Carruthers is now known as the “game lady” at school. The boys have become like her own kids, and she is involved with their family activities. Part of the net proceeds go to a scholarship fund for them, as well as nonprofits which help veteran groups.

Carruthers is back to fighting crime for her "real job" because she realized it does make her happy – but she also has found a special place working with kids and developing games.

This month, Carruthers will attend the Chicago Game and Toy Convention where she will participate in a “Shark Tank” type of competition. The game is currently available on Amazon. For more information, visit cardsofconsequence.com.

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