WHS presents ‘The Sound of Music’
Do you like raindrops on roses?
How about whiskers on kittens?
Bright copper kettles, perhaps, and warm woolen mittens?
If those — and brown paper packages tied up with strings — are a few of your favorite things, Watauga High School has a musical production that could help this silver white winter melt into spring.
The WHS stage comes alive with “The Sound of Music” April 3, 4 and 5, offering some 103 students the chance to bring to life Rodgers’ and Hammerstein’s musical classic.
And for co-directors and WHS drama instructors Sarah Miller and Zach Walker, it’s about time.
“Neither of us had directed it before, and we have a combined total of some 30 or so musicals,” Miller said.
That includes “Fiddler on the Roof,” which Miller and company presented as the school’s spring musical in 2013. “Everyone loved it,” she said, noting that producing another classic seemed only natural.
Walker, who is new to the WHS faculty, is inclined to agree.
“Since it’s my first year here, and we’re working with a cast of 103, it’s exciting to do a piece where … we could have a large group come together,” he said.
Even more than that, the musical holds a special place in their hearts.
“It’s the first live musical I saw as a kid,” Miller said. “I love it. It’s my grandparents’ favorite show — one of them, anyway — and we heard it a lot in their home.”
It wasn’t just the music that captured Miller’s heart, but also its message of togetherness and standing up for one’s beliefs. The music only furthers this.
“Even if you’re not a big fan of it, there are a few songs you just know,” Walker said.
Needless to say, each has a favorite number — or two. For Miller?
“‘Edelweiss,’” she said.
“Of course, ‘The Hills are Alive,’” Walker said.
“And ‘Do-Re-Me,’” Miller added.
Even the students seem to identify with the material.
Senior Sidney Ginn plays protagonist Maria Rainer, an aspiring nun who finds herself working as governess for the children of Austrian naval captain Georg von Trapp, played by junior Evan Jones.
Her service there is supposed to help her determine whether she’s fit for a monastic life, but her growing fondness for the children and their father seems to suggest otherwise. The story is also set on the verge of World War II, adding another layer of adversity to the proceedings.
Coincidentally, Ginn wants to pursue a career teaching music to elementary-age students. As she prepares to bid “so long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, good night” to Watauga High, she’s elated to be a part of something special.
“The way music touches people is wonderful, especially the way it is expressed in this show, and the way it happens in wartime shows it’s the simple things that bring people together,” she said. “It’s the perfect way to end my high school career. Before I go off to teach music, I can pretend to teach music.”
But it’s not all teaching music. Both Ginn and Jones are filling roles made legendary by a pair of Hollywood heavyweights — Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer — in the 1965 film. Rather than emulate, the two leads decided to explore different aspects of their iconic roles.
“We talked about how Christopher Plummer may have played the role as strict, more militaristic, but (Jones) emphasizes more of his underlying sadness,” Miller said.
The cast and crew have also taken ownership, she said, including student Corin Brown, who helped design the set as part of his senior capstone project.
“We all have a good chemistry, and everyone’s here to work,” Jones said.
That does, however, leave room for one question: How do you solve a problem like Maria?
“With ‘The Sound of Music,’” Ginn said.
“The Sound of Music” plays at 7 p.m. April 3, 4 and 5 in Watauga High School’s Ross Auditorium. Tickets cost $10 and are available at the door or in advance at WHS between noon and 2 p.m.
For more information, call (828) 264-2407, or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) Watauga High School is located at 300 Go Pioneers Drive.
Cast and Crew
Evan Jones stars as Captain von Trapp; Sidney Ginn as Maria Rainer; Ali Maupin as Baroness Elsa Schraeder; Andy Li as Uncle Max Detweiller; Nicole Fox as Frau Schmidt; James Stanley as Franz; Anna Prewitt as Liesl von Trapp; Zac Jones as Friedrich von Trapp; Heather McCurry as Louisa von Trapp; David King as Kurt von Trapp; Olivia Phillips as Brigitta von Trapp; Lucy Edy as Marta von Trapp; Lucy Walker as Gretl von Trapp; Aly Miller as Ursula, a housemaid; and Haley Harwood, Larissa Lowenberg and Meghan Smith as household maid staff.
Olivia Moffett performs as Mother Abbess; Renee Taylor as Sister Berthie; Aime Sigmann as Sister Margaretta; and Eliza Eason as Sister Sophie.
The Nuns of the Abbey are played by Katie Alexander, Jenelle Boisvert, Morgan Carr, Teri Church, Mallory Coston, Lucia Fisher, Grace Fowler, Mary Fuller, Corinne Giles, Sonny Helms, Sarah Holtkamp, Maggie Idol, Jessy James, Kelsi Kanoy, Larissa Lowenberg, Kelsey McQueen, Paige Miller, Aly Miller, Cadie Mitkus, Sarah Mize, Hope Perry, Edie Royal, Elena Russert, Mary Leah Reece, Bailey Reis, Kendell Schaffer, Meghan Smith, Bailee Taylor, Allison Wilson and Hannah Zimmerman.
Caleb Guenther performs as Herr Zeller; Brook Blackwell as Frau Zeller; Luis Nunez as Admiral von Schreiber; Max Schlenker as the Bishop of Kaltzberg; Ben Watson as Rolf Gruber; Conner Brodt as Baron Elberfeld; Devinne Snook as Baroness Elberfeld; Corin Brown, R.J. Christian, Caleb Stoudt and Jonathon Carlson as Rolf’s Nazi Friends; Collin Linnville and Rebecca Dowdy as Kampfgruppe Gruber; Tyler Swanson, Ian Winey and Joelle Page as Kampfgruppe Brown; Jill Turner as Kampfgruppe Christian; Jonathan Gragg and Shannon Ray as Kampfgruppe Stoudt; and Jonathan Carlson and Sha Sha Yan as Kampfgruppe Carlson.
Drew Bentley, Zack Holtkamp and Zach Langdon are the Trio of the Saegerbund; Maggie Idol is Fraulein Schweiger; and Kyle Dolbier and Jonathon Carlson, Corinne Giles and Collin Linnville, Haley Harwood and Ian Winek, Maggie Idol and Corin Brown, and Shannon Ray and R.J. Christian are Laendler Dancers.
Citizens of Kaltzberg are Drew Bentley, Jenelle Boisvert, Conner Brodt, Ramona Coffey, Gillian Cone, Kate Cone, Reba Cox, Megan Critcher, Rebecca Dowdy, Sage Duffey, James Files, Jonathon Gragg, Katie Harrelson, Haley Harwood, Conner Heinen, Zack Holtkamp, Andrea Howell, Elise Lehr, Larissa Lowenberg, Callie Martin, William Maupin, Aly Miller, Tess Moody, Joelle Page, Reid Pond, Shannon Ray, Emily Rayner, Rhiannon Reed-Kelly, Savannah Shooter, Meghan Smith, Tyler Swanson, Bridgett Taylor, Roxie Topper, Jill Turner, A.J. Ugenti and Sha Sha Yan.
Jenna Messer is stage manager and student director; Amber Parker is assistant stage manager and student director; Nick Bozeman is lightboard operator and designer; Mary Mink and Halie McDaniel are spotlight operators; Thomas Miller is sound board operator; Devinne Snook and Teri Church are props masters; Andy Li is costume design director; and Corin Brown is set architect.