On July 25, 26, and 27 the Granite Falls Area Community Theater (GFACT) and the Yellow Medicine East Drama Club will be producing The Sound of Music.
The community theater is a fairly new organization having only been in existence four years. They have produced one other musical and two Broadway revues. At those performances, audience members were asked to fill out a survey. One of the questions was, "What musical would you like to see produced in the Granite Falls area?" When deciding what project the community theater would tackle next, the community theater decided to simply take the majority of votes and The Sound of Music became the decision.
As with any production of this nature, the list of contributors is rather large. The following is a small sampling of who is involved:
GFACT is run by Mary Virnig who is also directing this year's musical. Mary's contribution to GFACT is echoed by her volunteer time on various other community boards. Carrie Speh is the Vice-President of GFACT and also contributes greatly to other community events. Carrie and her husband Pete will serve as stage managers for the show. Grant Elliott is the student representative who has appeared in many YME theater offerings and will play Max in this summer's production and the lead role of Jean Valjean in this fall's school musical, Les Miserables. The administration of Yellow Medicine East allows the use of school facilities. "Their support of the arts and this specific collaboration of students and adults is an important educational activity," said YME Choir Director and Sound of Music cast member, Jeff Iverson.
Several area individuals will lend their respective artistic talent to this production as well. Rosina Halverson Studer, who is attending Concordia College in Moorhead, will play the lead role of Maria. Rosina has proved herself as a fantastic artist from her involvement in choir, musicals, and dance. Claressa Thielen, an accomplished singer, pianist, and dancer, is the choreographer. Joan Lundell, whose skills are enjoyed by many in Granite Falls every Sunday morning and at YME concerts, is accompanying the show. Emma Woods, an award-winning vocalist and frequent actress in school musicals, is the assistant director. Emma's father Keith and her brother Alec will serve as technical directors. Two-time MMEA All-Stater, Andrew McCormick, a gifted area musician, will direct the pit. Rosina's mother Elaine Halverson is contributing to the costumes and will share her well-developed keyboard skills in the pit. Local artist Tammy Isfeld's work will be seen in the show as she is painting a backdrop of the Austrian Alps. Ruth Speh is playing the role of Mother Abbess and her daughter, Robyn, is playing the role of Elsa. Two other Speh family members involved are Emilee and Cody.
Several other YME students complete the cast including Ali Ator and Shane Nokleby, who recently participated in the ACDA state honor choir. Mariah Norell, who recently received YME Drama Club's "Most Outstanding Actress" award, is playing the part of Liesl.
Page 2 of 2 - "After directing musicals and plays in the community for the past eight years, I decided to audition this time around," Iverson said. "It has been ten years since I have performed on stage and I am delighted to share it with my former and current students. I will be playing the role of Captain von Trapp."
For those who enjoy the arts, this musical will be a delight to experience. "It has been a joy to work with the varying levels of artists who contribute to make this show possible, On behalf of the Granite Falls Area Community Theater and as the advisor of the Yellow Medicine East Drama Club, I would like to extend an invitation for you to attend one of our performances in the YME High School auditorium," Iverson said.
Performances will be July 25 and 26 at 7:30 p.m. and July 27 at 2:00 p.m.. Tickets are available in advance at Granite Falls Bank, Citizens Alliance Bank of Granite Falls, and Books by Kelly. Tickets are also available at the door.