Camelot Theatre Company opens the first musical of its 2009 season, the Tony Award-winning "Shenandoah," based on the 1965 movie of the same name starring Jimmie Stewart.

Camelot Theatre Company opens the first musical of its 2009 season, the Tony Award-winning "Shenandoah," based on the 1965 movie of the same name starring Jimmie Stewart.

With a book by James Lee Barrett, Peter Udell and Philip Rose, music by Gary Geld and lyrics by Peter Udell, "Shenandoah" won the Tony Award in 1975.

Says Artistic Director Livia Genise, "The tagline for the movie was: 'Two Mighty Armies Trampled Its Valley ... A Fighting Family Challenged Them Both!' The tagline we have chosen to represent our production is a quote from one the songs: 'Freedom is a flame that burns within ya.' Freedom is a state of mind.' "

"Shenandoah" is the story of Charlie Anderson, a strong-willed Virginia farmer with six sons, one daughter and a pregnant daughter-in-law, who is trying to keep his family neutral during the Civil War. But the Union and Confederate troops see things only in Union blue or Confederate gray.

When his young son Robert is taken prisoner, the family is inevitably swept up in the conflict. Their story portrays the upheaval that wounded the land and the people.

"Shenandoah" previews at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 12. Preview tickets are $12. The show opens at 8 p.m. Friday, March 13, and runs 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday through April 12.

There will be a pay-what-you-can performance at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 18.

Genise directs Camelot's production of "Shendandoah." Choreography is by Rebecca K. Campbell and musical direction is by Don Tull.

A former Broadway actress, Genise has both directed and starred in many Camelot productions, including "Do I Hear a Waltz," "Sockdology," "Meet Me in St. Louis," "Master Class," "Woody Guthrie's American Song," "Man of La Mancha," "Into the Woods," "Promises, Promises" and "Brigadoon."

Campbell served as the director of dance at Pacific University for six years and has more than 10 years of experience as an instructor of performing arts classes, camps, workshops and musical theater for youth and children.

At CTC, Campbell has directed "Into the Woods" and the Camelot Conservatory productions "Seussical Jr.," "Honk Jr.!" and "Once Upon A Mattress." She choreographed Camelot's productions of "Promises, Promises!," "Meet Me In St. Louis," "A Little Night Music," "Children of Eden," "Camelot" and "Zorba;" and she appeared in "Spotlight on Judy Garland," "A Little Night Music," "Master Class," "Zorba," "Sisters Rosensweig" and "Enchanted April."

Tull brings to "Shenandoah" 55 years of theatrical experience as a performer, writer, conductor and director from venues as diverse as community theater to Broadway. One of his favorite areas of expertise is Victorian and early 20th century operettas and musicals, including the resurrection of rarely performed works of the period.

"Shenandoah" stars Bob Jackson Miner in the role of Charlie Anderson. Theater-going audiences will recognize Miner from previous Camelot productions ("A Little Night Music," "1776" and "Do I Hear A Waltz?"), or the Oregon Cabaret Theatre ("Pump Boys & Dinettes" and "Guys On Ice"). Also known as Harmonica Bob, Miner had his own television show on a Fox affiliate for four years. He brings to the role of Charlie his acting, vocal and harmonica skills.

Charlie Anderson's sons are played by Camelot veterans Mark B. Ropers (Jacob), Jeremy Johnson (James), Sunshine Bucy (John), Jonathan Andrew Oles (Nathan) and Dylan Taylor (Henry). The role of Robert Anderson is shared by Lucas Gandy and Griffin Hadden. The role of daughter Jenny is played by Shannon McReynolds and Rebecca K. Campbell is daughter-in-law Anne.

Rounding out the cast in numerous roles are Grant Shepard, Shay Astor, Tina Astor, Aaron Carper, Casey Faubion, Kaitie Falk, Tim Kelly, Rosamond Kimball, Waylon Lenk, Roy Sutton, Peter Ray Wickliffe and Kathy Wing. The role of the young slave boy, Gabriel, is shared by Oliver Phillips and Kevin Weatherby.

Musicians for "Shenandoah" are Mark Reppert (piano), Brian Alec Thom (synthesizer) and Steve Sutfin (drums). Special choreography is by Matthew Reynolds.

The production team for "Shenandoah" includes Camelot's resident designers: costumer Emily Ehrlich Inget, set designer, properties master and master carpenter Don Zastoupil; lighting designer Bart Grady; and sound designer Brian O'Connor. Stage management is by Taja Watkins. Waylon Lenk is dramaturg. Kaitie Falk is the vocal coach and Cassandra Carper is the light and soundboard operator.

Tickets are $21 for adults and $19 for students and seniors. Student rush tickets of $10 will be available five minutes before showtime subject to availability. Reserved seating is an additional $2.

Tickets are available at the Camelot box office, or online at Camelottheatre.org. Box office hours are from 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and one hour before performances.

Call 535-5250.