Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

September 30, 2002

Student Makes Whitworth History as Co-Director of Fall Production, "The Sound of Music"

Senior Kasey RT Graham is forging new territory as the first Whitworth student to co-direct a main-stage production at Whitworth College. Graham, a theatre major, is completing his senior project by co-directing Whitworth's 2002 fall musical, The Sound of Music, with Theatre Professor Rick Hornor. Graham is also the choreographer for the production.

The Sound of Music will be staged Oct. 10, 11 and 12 and Oct. 18-19 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 13, at 2 p.m. in Cowles Memorial Auditorium at Whitworth College. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the door or by calling the Whitworth Theatre Department at (509) 777-3707.

"The Sound of Music is definitely lighter fare than last fall's documentary-style drama of white supremacists God's Country, but it maintains the same integrity," Graham says. "We see how the evils of prejudice can wreak havoc, even on those indirectly connected to it."

The Sound of Music was the final collaboration between the famous duo Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein. When the musical first opened on Broadway in 1959, the New York World-Telegram and Sun called it "The loveliest musical imaginable ... the dialogue is vibrant and amusing in a plot that rises to genuine excitement." The original production of "The Sound of Music" earned eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

"We want to honor the original story," Hornor says of the Whitworth production. "Like Fiddler on the Roof, we believe The Sound of Music is more than just a light-hearted, American musical comedy. Yes, there are charming children, memorable scenes, singable tunes and love, but shadowing all of the bright moments is the invasion of Austria by Nazi Germany, resulting in a family having literally to leave their homeland, their home, their families, and to try to establish a new life in a foreign land. The Von Trapp family loses everything but family, personal honor, and faith. We are telling their story."

"Whitworth is doing The Sound of Music because the story it tells is one of love, fear, courage and, ultimately, hope," Graham says. "It is told through one strong family and through the universal language of music."

Associate Professor of Music Debbie Hansen will conduct the musical's score. Whitworth presents a major musical every other fall.

Contacts:

Kathy Fechter, Theatre Department program assistant, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3707 or kfechter@whitworth.edu.

Julie Riddle, public information specialist, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or jriddle@whitworth.edu.

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