Pinewood School Produces First High School Production of WHISPER HOUSE

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Pinewood School’s Performing Arts Department is proud to announce the high school and regional premiere of Whisper House, written by Obie Award winner, Kyle Jarrow (book & lyrics), and Grammy and Tony Award winner, Duncan Sheik (music & lyrics), opening on November 8th, 2013 in Los Altos Hills, CA.

It’s 1942 – at the height of World War II – and Christopher, an imaginative young boy, is sent to live with an aunt he has never met: Lilly, a reclusive woman who serves as the keeper of a remote lighthouse. Not yet comfortable in his surroundings, Christopher begins to hear strange music no one else can hear seeping through the walls. It does not take long for him to suspect the lighthouse may be haunted, and these ghosts tell him that Yasuhiro, a Japanese worker that Lilly has employed, should not be trusted.

Is Christopher’s imagination getting the best of him? Or are these ghosts warning Christopher about the very real dangers that lie ahead? Whisper House is a touching and beautiful story about how we should embrace, rather than fear, the unknown.

Whisper House is a piece that both Duncan and I love, and we couldn’t be more excited to have it produced at Pinewood,” book writer Kyle Jarrow said. “One of the original (adult) actors from the San Diego production of Whisper House, David Poe, had the chance to go up to Pinewood School to do a master class and see these young actors at work. Poe was blown away by their talent, excitement and smarts.  Coming from a world of professional theater that can sometimes be exhausting — and like all professional arts, very much business-minded — it’s refreshing to know high school actors are sinking their teeth into the show with enthusiasm and awesome commitment.  Thanks Pinewood for doing our show!”

Talmage Wise (Male Ghost) and Annie Whitacre (Female Ghost) lead this ghostly story with Rachel Brenneman (Ghost chorus) and Carolyn Ehrlich (Ghost Chorus) by their sides. This small cast of nine also includes Dariya Smith (Aunt Lilly), Justin Stangenes (Christopher), Carson Robinette (Yasohiro), Ben Montrym (Sherriff Charles), and Andrew Yaholkovsky (Lieutenant Rando).

“It’s been wonderful to be able to connect theatre professionals, such as Duncan, Kyle and David, with the educational world,” says Spencer Williams, Producer and Performing Arts Department Chair. “When original cast member David Poe came to Pinewood to do a master class with the cast, the students were so invigorated by his comments and praise. It was such a wonderful moment to see the two worlds colliding – one of my favorite moments in my professional career.”

Williams, an associate member of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre (www.namt.org), is also incredibly proud of the opportunity to have high school students produce new musical theatre. “It’s so exciting that my students get the opportunity to take on new characters – a very rare opportunity for them. Usually, that opportunity only comes in at the professional level but as a writer/composer and teacher, I feel it is necessary to start creating new musicals at this level if musical theatre wants to continue to gain new audiences.”

Whisper House is directed by theatre teacher, Mr. Doug Eivers, and musically directed by music teacher, Mrs. Shenelle Williams.

Tickets for Whisper House are available at www.pinewoodarts.com.  Whisper House opens on November 8th and runs until November 16th, 2013. All performances are at Pinewood School – 26800 Fremont Road, Los Altos Hills, CA 94022.

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