By Elizabeth Keys
STILLWATER, Okla. —
With a cast and crew of more than 80 students, Stillwater High School opens “The Sound of Music” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Productions continue Friday and Saturday night at 7:30 with a 2:30 Sunday matinee closing performance. Tickets are $7 and can be purchased from cast members or reserved through the main SHS office at 405-533-6450. An opening night auction and spaghetti dinner for $5 at the door in the SHS Student Center from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday will benefit the band and diners may purchase “The Sound of Music” tickets for $5.
“It's a big production and the students are excited,” said Director Lisa Larios.
Dana Ayers is the music director with Michelle Hendrix working as technical director. The orchestra will be conducted by Kevin Zamborsky with the assistance of rehearsal accompanist Pam Harmon.
“There's a large cast,” said Tyler Swim who will perform in his first play ever portraying Captain Von Trapp. He studies voice with Marilyn King but he was surprised to win a leading role as a sophomore.
“It's a great story based on true events,” Swim said.
The musical follows the Von Trapp Family as a high-spirited young woman, Maria, is sent from a religious abbey to be the governess for seven children of the patriarch, a widowed naval officer. Maria reintroduces music and laughter to the family and gradually captures the heart and hand of the stern Captain. Upon returning from their honeymoon, they discover Austria has been invaded by the Nazi regime. The family narrowly escapes to Switzerland providing one of the most inspirational finales ever presented in musical theater.
“I grew up with this musical,” said Edyn Rolls who will portray Leisl Von Trapp. “My grandmother, Laura Rolls, was born in Austria and she said all the settings are authentic – places she saw when she was younger.”
The musical is considered one of the masterpieces of modern musical theater with Rodgers and Hammerstein collaborating on such favorites as “The Sound of Music,” “16 Going On 17,” “Edelweiss,” “Climb Every Mountain” and “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?”
The story of the family was told in a novel,“The Trapp Family Singers,” by the Baroness Maria Von Trapp. The idea for the musical first came about after the release of a German film directed by Vincent J. Donehue. He believed the story to be the perfect vehicle for a musical, especially if tailored to fit theater star Mary Martin. Richard Halliday, Martin’s husband, became interested in the project and sought assistance from producer Leland Hayward. The producers brought in Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse to write the libretto and Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein to write the music and lyrics. “The Sound of Music” opened in 1959 in New York to rave reviews from both audiences and critics. In 1965, a film version of the musical starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer was released and won five Academy Awards including Best Picture of the Year. During the holiday season of 2013, a new version will be released on television starring Carrie Underwood as Maria.
Carley Dickey will play the role of Maria in the SHS performances this week and said “everyone is working very hard” as she nodded in the direction of the stage managers Kassie Sebrant, Corian Zacher and Dan Banks. “The Sound of Music” is the last high school musical for the three seniors who are managing the technical staging and “it's going to be great,” Sebrant said.