The hills are alive at Sundance

Photo courtesy of Isaac Walters

In partnership with UVU since 2008, the Sundance Summer Theater presentation of “The Sound of Music” will begin July 29, and performances will be held every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. until August 20.

While resort staff is in charge of the marketing and hosting responsibilities for the show, all casting, set design and construction as well as lighting is being handled by the university. The entire backstage staff is comprised of students.

The summer theater series started in 1969, but a rocky history fraught with issues such as high production costs and declining ticket sales made it hard for the canyon resort to keep the series alive. Ever since the partnership with UVU, however, the resort has seen better results.

According to Mari Turner, Executive Assistant and Programs Manager at Sundance, the cooperation of UVU has brought continued growth and success with this concert series, the resort’s “biggest endeavor” of each year.

Turner has worked for the resort for 18 years, and has been in charge of the summer theater series for the past two years. The professionalism exhibited by the faculty and students from UVU, Turner said, is impressive.

Backstage is not the only place students will shine during this production. Two students, Aubrey Bench and Andy Hansen, earned themselves roles in the cast during the auditions that were held on campus in April. Hansen, a senior Theater Performance major, will be playing the role of Max. “The Sound of Music” will be Hansen’s first performance outside of UVU.

“We are doing this play that everyone knows, but there are a lot of powerful emotions that will speak to each individual audience member in a completely different way,” Hansen said.

Isaac Walters, the Media and Marketing Coordinator for the UVU department of theatrical arts, will direct the production. “People are going to be surprised,” Walters said. This particular presentation of the well-known story, presented in the familiar mountainous setting of the Wasatch Front, will fulfill expectations and go a step farther by helping spectators relate personally with the emotions from the story.

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