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Pinewood opens regional premiere of "Whisper House"

Pinewood School’s Performing Arts Department is scheduled to stage the high school and regional premiere of “Whisper House,” opening Friday and running through Nov. 16 in the school’s theater, 26800 Fremont Road, Los Altos Hills.

Directed by theater teacher Doug Eivers, with musical direction by music teacher Shenelle Williams, “Whisper House” features book and lyrics by Kyle Jarrow and music and lyrics by Duncan Sheik.

“Whisper House” is set in 1942, at the height of World War II. Christopher, an imaginative young boy, is sent to live with an aunt he has never met, Lilly, a recluse who serves as keeper of a remote lighthouse. Not yet comfortable in his surroundings, Christopher begins to hear strange music that no one else can hear seeping through the walls. It doesn’t take long for him to suspect that the lighthouse may be haunted. Is Christopher’s imagination getting the best of him? Or are the ghosts warning him about the very real dangers that lie ahead?

“‘Whisper House’ is a piece that both Duncan and I love, and we couldn’t be more excited to have it produced at Pinewood,” Jarrow said.

Jarrow said one of the original adult actors, David Poe, from the San Diego production of “Whisper House,” visited Pinewood to conduct a master class and see the young actors at work.

“Poe was blown away by their talent, excitement and smarts,” Jarrow said. “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 that high school actors are sinking their teeth into the show with enthusiasm and awesome commitment.”

“Whisper House” stars Talmage Wise (as Male Ghost), Annie Whitacre (Female Ghost), Rachel Brenneman (Ghost Chorus), Carolyn Ehrlich (Ghost Chorus), Dariya Smith (Aunt Lilly), Justin Stangenes (Christopher), Carson Robinette (Yasohiro), Ben Montrym (Sheriff Charles) and Andrew Yaholkovsky (Lieutenant Rando).

“It’s been wonderful to be able to connect theater professionals such as Duncan, Kyle and David with the educational world,” said Spencer Williams, producer and chairman of the Performing Arts Department. “When … 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 said he is proud of the opportunity to have high school students produce new musical theaer.

Performances are scheduled 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Nov. 14 and 15, and 2 and 7 p.m. Nov. 16.

Tickets are $10-$20.

For tickets and more information, visit pinewoodarts.com.

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