A group effort in Granite Falls

For a relatively young organization, the Granite Falls Area Community Theater has made great strides.

And now it will be putting on a beloved musical next week.

The Granite Falls Area Community Theater and the Yellow Medicine East drama club is presenting “The Sound of Music” at 7:30 p.m. July 25-26 and 2 p.m. July 27, in the YME auditorium. The show is being directed by Mary Virnig

In the past four years, GFACT has done some musical revues and other full-scale performances, Jeff Iverson said, and during those shows, audience members were given a survey.

“One of the questions was ‘What musical would you like to see performed?'” Iverson said. “Mary suggested ‘The Sound of Music,’ so we decided to produce it.”

It’s also a show that is well-loved by many, fun for the entire family, and it gets children involved with the cast, Iverson said. Iverson said there are about 20 people in the cast.

Iverson, who is also the choir director at YME, has been in shows in the past and has directed the musicals and plays in the Granite Falls community for the last eight years. Since it’s been a decade since he’s been on stage, Iverson said he decided to audition and is playing Capt. von Trapp.

“I last appeared in Minnewaska Showstoppers’ ‘Oklahoma’ as Will Parker in 2003,” he said. “I wanted to get on stage again just for a change of pace.”

Besides being Capt. von Trapp, Iverson is also the music director for the show.

“I have been able to direct the music for the show as well as be on stage, it works out pretty well,” Iverson said.

GFACT likes to try and incorporate as many areas of the arts as possible – music, dance, visual art, Iverson said.

“We were lucky to have a professional artist, Tammy Isfeld, to be able to share her talents by painting a large mural for the show,” Iverson said. “Other community members fill the cast, crew and pit band. It is a great way to demonstrate how music and theater are both lifelong activities. Students are able to perform with adults.”

“There’s definitely people there continuously dedicated to it (community theater),” said Rosina Halverson Studer, who plays Maria.

And it’s great to see younger people get involved in theater, Halverson Studer said.

“That’s what is great about ‘The Sound of Music,’ they have this opportunity,” Halverson Studer said.

Halverson Studer said she was going to be home for the summer and wanted something to do and to further her opportunities in music and theater.

“It’s one of my favorite musicals, Julie Andrews is just phenomenal,” Halverson Studer said.

And Maria was the role she auditioned for, Halverson Studer said.

“I honestly was just really excited,” she said about receiving the part. “We did have some good singers try out.”

The last couple of weeks have been a crunch time, Halverson Studer said, with the actors working with the set, costumes and props.

“It’s definitely been a group effort with people stepping up,” Halverson Studer said.