Brownwood High School students will bring the “The Sound of Music” to audiences next weekend in a production that closely follows the classic 1965 film.
Show times in the school’s Dorothy McIntosh Fine Arts Center are:
• 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24
• 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25
• 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25
• 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26.
The show is directed by Brownwood High School choir director Jennifer Reeves.
“We are doing the Broadway musical version that everyone sees when it’s on stage,” Reeves said. “It is very close to the movie.”
There are some differences between the stage and movie versions including some characters who play a larger role on stage than in the movie version, Reeves said.
Set in 1938 Austria, the musical follows the adventures of a young woman named Maria who is failing in her effort to become a nun. The retired Austrian Navy Capt. von Trapp, a widower, asks the nearby covenant to find a governess who can handle his seven children and Maria draws the assignment.
The children, and eventually the captain, warm to Maria’s adventurous personality and her love of music. With Austria coming under control of Hitler and Nazi Germany, Captain von Trapp — now married to Maria — is ordered to report for duty in the German navy. Suspense builds as the family comes up with a secret plan to escape the Nazis.
“It’s been a joy working with so many wonderful students at BHS for our upcoming musical,” Reeves said via email.
She said while the musical has always been open to any Brownwood High student, this year’s production has brought many more students to the stage who have never even taken a theatre class.
“It’s been fun watching these newbies grow,” Reeves said. “It’s also enjoyable to work with some of my choir students that are veterans to the stage and some that decided to try this for the first time.”
Reeves played Maria in the Lyric Theatre’s 2008 production of “The Sound of Music.” For the Brownwood High School production, junior Carlee Richardson is playing Maria, and she’s wearing many of the costumes that Reeves wore as Maria.
Richardson said she’s seen the film as well as a live performance of “The Sound of Music,” and she wanted to play Maria.
“I really tried to embody her character, her free spirit,” Richardson said. “She’s childlike. But at the same time she’s really poised so you have to bring sophistication. But when she’s in the hills, she’s her younger self again.”
The Brownwood High production is about 2 1/2 hours long with a 10-minute intermission, and is only slightly shorter than the film.
The production has the familiar scenes including the von Trapp house, terrace, balcony, gazebo, graveyard and the abby, Richardson said.
Most Brownwood High School plays are directed by theatre director Shannon Lee. Richardson said she has enjoyed having Reeves as a director.
“It’s really fun to see another director’s style and how they’ll do different scheduling,’ Richardson said. “They’ll do their blocking different. They’ll run rehearsals different. I feel like that’s really nice for us to get exposed to.”
Richardson noted that the von Trapp children have grown lip with fun shut out of their lives by their stern widower father, Captain Von Trapp.
“They’ve grown up without anything,” Richardson said. “The captain has just completely shut out the fun. It was really cool being able to bring the fun back.”
Reeves said the cast has been rehearsing since early November.
“It takes a village to put on a production and no one really understands this until they’ve been a part of one, especially behind the scenes,” Reeves said. “There are many students and teachers wearing many hats to make sure this happens.”
Reeves cited examples including:
• Theatre director Lee and assistant theatre director Brittany Martin have had roles including costume designers and technical directors, making sure all of the lights, sound and sets are ready. .
• Martin came up with a projection background this year that projects pictures to set the scene, Reeves said.
“Not only has this turned out so neat, it also has saved so much money for our set,” Reeves said.
• Brownwood Middle School director Kristi Wied is the musical director for “The Sound of Music.”
• “Every show isn’t complete without an amazing stage manager,” Reeves said, crediting Brownwood High School senior Shelby Wilson doing “an amazing job keeping all of us organized.”
• Senior Hunter Trowbridge is the assistant stage manager.
• Something new this year: photography teacher Heather Nix gave a project to her graphic design students to design a poster for the musical.
Twenty-five students worked on the project and Brownwood High School student Ariah Aguirre’s design was chosen.
• Senior Isabel Clevenger and the media crew helped Nix with taking headshots of all of the cast.
Clevenger is also playing Louisa, one of the von Trapp children, performing for the first time on stage at Brownwood High School, Reeves said.
• “We want to thank the Brownwood Lyric Theatre for letting us borrow all of their costumes from their production of ‘The Sound of Music’ in 2008, Reeves said.