<b>Arlington Hayes Award Winners</b>

Arlington theaters went into Monday’s Helen Hayes Awards with 17 nominations, and came out with five awards – more than one-fifth of the total presented.

Signature Theater led the local pack, with three awards for two of its productions. Michael Sharp won Outstanding Supporting Actor in a musical for his performance in Signature’s "Grand Hotel," opening the 2001-02 season.

The musical, set in Berlin before World War II, also garnered a Hayes award for outstanding musical direction for Jon Kalbfleisch. Signature also won the Charles MacArthur Award for a new play, for its production last spring of "In the Garden," by local playwright Norman Allen.

Two of Arlington’s smaller theaters also came up for recognition on Monday. The American Century production of "Danny & Sylvia: A Musical Love Story," won outstanding lead actor for Brian Childers. Le Neon, Arlington’s French language theater, won an outstanding sound design award for Daniel Portaix, for his work on "Les Cloisons (Partitions)."

When Le Neon was nominated in March, artistic director Didier Rouselet said it was always an honor for a smaller theater to be recognized in a town that also plays home to the Kennedy Center.

"It’s always very nice," Rouselet said. "There are so many shows in competition. So the fact that our show gets a nomination, it doesn’t matter which category - it’s always nice."

<b>Virdi Heads Clarendon Alliance</b>

The Clarendon Alliance has a new executive director this week, replacing recently resigned Tom Fairchild.

Sona Virdi, an Arlington resident, began her duties as executive director of the community organization last week, coming to Clarendon after working as a Congressional aide on the Hill.

"We’re lucky to have her," said Jon Kinney, Clarendon Alliance board president.

Virdi replaces five-year veteran Tom Fairchild. Fairchild announced he would be stepping down from his role earlier this year, looking at possible jobs in the private sector. Before Fairchild, Eric Dobson served as executive director.

<b>Small Park Nominations</b>

The county’s Parks and Recreation Commission is accepting applications for its 2002-03 Small Parks Program, providing funding for small capital improvements, beautification projects and park buildings.

Since it began in 1978, the program has funded more than 150 projects, including tot lots, park furniture, drinking fountains, landscaping, fencing and sports and building amenities. The maximum grant is $10,000.

The first step of the application process is submitting a letter of intent, giving the commission notification of intent to submit a proposal for consideration. The letters are due by 4:30 p.m., May 15. Faxes and e-mails are acceptable, but must be submitted by midnight May 13, and confirmed by phone prior to 4:30 p.m., May 15.

For more information and a copy of the Small Parks Program guidelines can visit <a href=" asp"> asp</a>.