MARQUEE - 'The Sea' debuts tonight

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Whitman College's upcoming play "The Sea" will open at 8 tonight on the Alexander Stage. It is a love story set in England in the early 1900s. Willy, the main character, has a friend who drowns, and Willy falls in love with his friend's fianc?©e. He then must deal with both the forces of order and chaos.

The play was originally written by Edward Bond, and it is directed by Whitman professor Cynthia Croot and assistant directed by Whitman student Sarah Wright. The stars are Whitman students Chris Reid, Jeremy Howell, Kevin Klein, Henry Nolan and Yoni Evans.

This play has an intriguing plot that is both funny and optimistic, which Croot enjoys.

"There's a clash of titans, a threat from above, a boy meets girl story, the only funny funeral I've ever seen and a lot of optimism about the future," Croot said. While Bond's works are sometimes dark, Croot sees optimism in the play and notes how he is able to contrast the sadness with laughter.

"Bond is not known for his comedic touches -- I love how he's able to contrast shocking and troubling events with laughter. I also find the language of the play moving and full of longing ...," Croot said.

"Bond's play deals with humor, absurdity, grief and renewal in equal measure. In 'The Sea,' we watch society unfurl as entrenched factions go to war, churchmen pray, sages drink -- and young love blossoms despite it all," Croot said.

This play is also relevant to Walla Walla audiences, as it is set in a small town.

"I think the play is a fascinating study of small town life, isolation, mutual dependence and hope. All of these seem like great themes for Walla Walla residents to connect with," Croot said. For more information, go to www.whitman.edu/theater.

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