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NBC4’s Lindsay Czarniak to Star at Arena Stage

Posted on Feb 26,2009
Filed Under Entertainment , Local Style,
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Czarniak reporting for TNT at a recent Nascar race.

Sports hottie Lindsay Czarniak is coming to Crystal City's Arena Stage.
 
No, not because the Capitols' Alex Ovechkin is bringing his puck and stick there. The top-rated News4 sportscaster, as it turns out, is a Thespian at heart. Back in 2000, Czarniak appeared in the independent action film Aquarius, in which she played a character named "Mist."

Because actress Alice Ripley will reprise her role as Diana in Next to Normal on Broadway, one of two productions Arena Stage transferred to Broadway this spring, Ripley will no longer be able to perform in Arena Stage’s upcoming 17th Annual Benefit for Community Engagement, as was previously announced.

Lindsay Czarniak

Czarniak agreed to step in, replacing Ripley in the role of Dorothy. The annual benefit raises one-third of the funds necessary to run Arena’s Community Engagement programs, which educate and enrich the lives of over 20,000 area students.
 
This year’s benefit will take place on Monday, March 16 at Arena Stage in Crystal City and will be emceed by The Honorable William T. Newman, Jr. Expected to join the all-star performers are political notables Councilmembers Jack Evans and Tommy Wells, Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, and Representatives Jesse Jackson and Jim Moran.

 The evening will begin with a Taste of Crystal City dinner reception and live auction, followed by Arena Stage in Oz, an original musical revue by Michael Bobbitt.

At the event, two awards will be given to members of the Arena Stage and D.C.-area arts community, The American Voice Award and The American Artist Award, which will be presented to outgoing Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Dana Gioia and to the late Robert “Bob” Alexander, founder and 30-year artistic director for Living Stage, Arena’s community outreach theater company.

Czarniak, 32, was born in Harrisburg, PA and moved to Northern Virginia with her family when she was five. Her father, Chet Czarniak, spent 17 years working in a local newspaper's sports department. Growing up a sports fan, she played lacrosse and field hockey at Centreville High School. In 2000, she graduated from James Madison University with a major in online journalism.

She started out as an intern for WUSA 9News Now while still a college student. Her broadcasting career began as a CNN production assistant. Her first on-air role as a news reporter occurred while working for WAWS in Jacksonville, Florida. She also worked for WTEV-TV (also in Jacksonville), WTVJ in Miami, Florida, and the Speed Channel.

Czarniak in Turin, Italy with NBC colleagues Mike Jenkins and Julie Yarbough.



In 2005, Czarniak returned to the D.C. area and joined NBC4 after receiving a phone call from legendary sportscaster George Michael to work as a sports anchor and reporter. She officially became the co-host of The George Michael Sports Machine in September 2006. In her first major assignment as a reporter, Czarniak traveled to Turin, Italy to relay coverage of the 2006 Winter Olympics for NBC Sports. She has also served as a pit reporter in NASCAR Busch Series races at the Martinsville Speedway and at the IRP Busch race.

When Michael stepped down as NBC4's sports anchor in 2007, Czarniak and her colleague, Dan Hellie,  became co-sports anchors. She was also tapped as a pit reporter for TNT's six-race Sprint Cup Series schedule from Pocono to Chicago. Following the murder of free safety Sean Taylor, Czarniak was the first sports reporter to interview team players of the Washington Redskins.
Last spring, Czarniak made a guest appearance on The Tony Kornheiser Show -- occupying the "chick chair" --  telling a humorous anecdote of being arrested for expired license plates by the DC Police on her way to a News 4 interview, which turned out to be an important public service warning for those who visit D.C.

Last year, Czarniak was honored at the Reading Phillies at Bowie Baysox doubleheader where she threw the first pitch. Fans at the game received Lindsay Czarniak bobble heads.

At the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, Czarniak was sportsdesk reporter for NBC and hosted a half-hour show on Oxygen called Gymnastics on Oxygen. She said that she had grown her hair several inches at the request of Oxygen.

Czarniak's parents are Chet and Terri Czarniak. Chet has worked for the sports department at a Washington, D.C. based newspaper for 17 years before becoming the current managing editor of usatoday.com. Terri is currently principal at Rose Hill Elementary School in Alexandria.

Single tickets for this event start at $250. For more information contact Sarah Denhardt at sdenhardt@arenastage.org or (202) 554-9066 extension 266.



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