Help Wanted: Governess for the seven children of a wealthy, Austrian widower who has grown into a cold disciplinarian. Strong moral background (such as time spent as a nun) and musical skills a definite plus. Romantic entanglement a possibility. Must be willing to fight Nazis. Send inquiries to Captain von Trapp.
That's where the action starts as Eagle Valley High School students launch their production of one of the most beloved musicals of all time - "The Sound of Music."
The production takes center stage today and Saturday, with show time at 7 p.m. each evening at Eagle Valley High School.
For anyone who has lived under a rock for the past 50 years, "The Sound of Music" is set in Salzburg, Austria, during the emergence of Nazi Germany. Uncertain about her future as a nun, Maria accepts the job as governess at the von Trapp mansion, becoming one in a long line of nannies who have been assigned to care for seven naughty von Trapp children since the death of their mother. After a rough start, she wins the children's affection and eventually even Captain von Trapp, who is engaged to a frosty baroness, becomes quite fond of the new governess. Marriage and the Nazis complicate the plot and the captain and Marie must decide their priorities for the well-being of their family.
"The Sound of Music," ran on Broadway from 1959 to 1963, and won the 1960 Tony Award for best musical. In 1965, it was made into the blockbuster film starring Julie Andrews.
EVHS drama director Cathy Stricker says that even through challenges ranging from other activities to illnesses, everyone involved with the school musical worked very hard to ensure this year's production is a success. She's excited for the community enjoy it.
"It's one of my all-time favorites," she says of the musical, adding that the crop of strong vocalists currently enrolled at EVHS make 2012 the prime year to perform "The Sound of Music."
"The nuns definitely have a bit of a different role than in the movie. They open the show and close the show. Their vocals are super strong and really beautiful all together with the harmony," she said. "It gives me the chills."
Senior Lane Sheldon (The Mother Abbess) and junior Tania Molinar (Sister Margaretta) are two of those strong voices. Sheldon, a seasoned thespian for the school, said the music was the biggest challenge for her this year.
"The music is so well-known that it would be really embarrassing if we screwed it up," she said.
"It was hard, but we were also able to expand our vocal ranges and sing a different style of music, which was fun," she said.
Senior Zoe Thrasher (Maria Rainer) and junior Steven Siefers (Captain Georg von Trapp) scored the leads in this year's production. Although Thrasher has had a ton of experience under the EVHS spotlight, this is her first lead role.
"Having my character fall in love was challenging. Not only was this my first lead, but it was my first romantic role, so everything was new territory," she explained.
Thrasher believes the most dominant personality trait of her character is passion, as Maria tends to throw herself into situations.
"She is very devoted to music, to her church, to the Von Trapp children, and eventually the Captain," she said. "This causes her to be a little dramatic, but full of life because her emotions are so strong."
Siefers said he is also experiencing new challenges this year.
"I'd say one of the differences is that in the play there is more interaction between my character and those of Max Detweiller and Elsa Schraeder," he said.
Siefers' goal is to create a unique experience for the audience, while keeping the story true to what people know. He's also striving for that with his character.
"I want to be true to the character as it has been portrayed in the past and yet still put my own spin on it."
Thrasher and Siefers, along with the rest of the cast and crew, encourage the community to come experience "The Sound of Music."
"It's a classic play and we have put a lot of work into it. You will be as enchanted with the stage performance as you were with the movie," said Siefers.