Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

September 26, 2006

"The Pirates of Penzance" Swings to the Whitworth Stage

Gilbert and Sullivan's opera about a band of sentimental pirates
an adventure of comic proportions

The Whitworth Theatre and Music Departments will present the fall production, "The Pirates of Penzance, or The Slave of Duty," on Oct. 13, 14, 20 and 21 at 8 p.m., and on Sunday, Oct. 15, at 2 p.m. in Cowles Auditorium at Whitworth College. Admission is $5. To purchase tickets in advance, call (509) 777-3707. Tickets can also be purchased at the door prior to each performance; seating is assigned.

Directed by Professor of Theatre Rick Hornor, "The Pirates of Penzance" follows the story of Frederic, whose father instructs his nurse to have the boy apprenticed as a pilot. The nurse thinks the father says "pirate." The zany trouble begins when Frederic is apprenticed to a band of tenderhearted, orphaned pirates.

The play was written by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, who are the undisputed masters of comic opera and whose work shaped significantly the modern musical comedy. The opera premiered Dec. 31, 1879, at the Fifth Avenue Theater in New York, where it was a hit with audiences and critics. After a successful three-month run in New York, "Pirates" took the stage at the Opera Comique in London for 363 performances.

"We chose 'Pirates' because it has a great cast of hilariously funny and unique characters and the music is spectacular," says Hornor. The fall production marks the first time Whitworth has done a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta.

Marc A. Hafso, director of choral activities and vocal studies at Whitworth, will coach the singers; Mike Saccomanno, a junior music major at Whitworth, is pianist for the production; and Suzanne Ostersmith, coordinator of the theatre dance minor at Whitworth, is choreographer.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Whitworth, which has an enrollment of 2,500 students, offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Contacts:

Rick Hornor, professor of theatre, Whitworth College, (509) 777- 4430 or rhornor@whitworth.edu.

Jennifer Toulouse-Lee, theatre department program assistant, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3707 or jtoulouse-lee@whitworth.edu.

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

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