|‘The Sound of Music’ cast bond to form own family atmosphere in local production
|Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 9:58 pm
By DONNA RYDER
The children playing the von Trapps in the Masq-uerade Theatre production of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein’s “The Sound of Music” have gained more than acting skills during their experience with the play. They have also gained a family.
Many of the children have expressed that they now have a connection with their fellow actors and feel like they are actually brothers and sisters.
Sarah Schlager of Union City, who plays Brigitta in the Raindrops cast, said, “So many memories have been made while taking part in this show, and I have a lot of new friends. I feel the other von Trapp children have really become my brothers and sisters.”
The show also has a special meaning for Sarah because her real father, Dave Schlager, plays her theater father, widowed World War I hero Capt. Georg von Trapp. “Being in this show with my dad has been amazing and is something I will remember all my life.”
Sarah is also the 14-year-old daughter of Leigh Schlager and an eighth-grade student at Union City Middle School.
She has performed in Masquerade Theatre productions of “Annie” in both 2007 and 2010, “The Wizard of Oz” in both 2009 and 2012, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “The Mu-sic Man” and “White Christmas.” Her experience with Masquerade Theatre’s summer workshop program includes roles in “Beauty and the Beast Jr.” and “Guys and Dolls,” as well as time spent assisting the younger children during multiple productions of “Storybook Summer.”
She has also taken on roles for spoofs of “Mac-Beth” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” at the Obion County Public Library.
“I feel truly blessed to live in a town with a community theater,” she added.
Four other actors who have a special connection to “The Sound of Music” are Ella Virgin, who plays Louisa, and Walker Ross, who plays Kurt, in the Raindrops cast; and Jacob Virgin, who plays Kurt, and Anna Jewell Clayton, who plays Gretl, in the Roses cast. Ella and Jacob’s mom, Jenny Virgin of Union City, is the director, while Anna’s father, Jarred Clayton, is the assistant director. Walker’s aunt, Becky Crabtree, plays Sister Margaretta.
Ella is 9 and a third-grade student at Union City Elementary School. Jacob is 11 and a sixth-grader at UCMS. Their father is Chris Virgin.
Ella said being in “The Sound of Music” has helped her make new friends and see old ones. “I’m really excited because this is the biggest show I’ve ever been in. Masquerade Theatre is fun to get out all your excited emotions.”
She has also been in Masquerade Theatre’s regular production of “The Wizard of Oz,” “Annie” and “Cinderella” and in summer workshops for “Storybook Summer,” “Alice in Wonderland Jr.,” “Beauty and the Beast Jr.” and “Willy Wonka Jr.”
Her brother, Jacob, has been in 14 productions, some of which include “Annie,” “A Christmas Carol” and “The Chronicles of Narnia,” as well as workshop productions of “Guys and Dolls,” “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory Jr.,” “Mulan Jr.,” “Alice in Wonderland Jr.” and “Beauty and the Beast Jr.” He has also served as a helper for “Storybook Summer.”
“I am honored to be a part of this wonderful production in a wonderful theater,” he said.
Walker, the 11-year-old son of Tab and Beth Ross of Union City, is a sixth-grader at UCMS. His Masquerade Theatre experience includes workshop performances in “Mulan Jr.,” “Guys and Dolls,” “Alice in Wonderland Jr.” and “Beauty and the Beast Jr.” He was also in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”
“I have really enjoyed ‘The Sound of Music’ because it has been fun and being on the stage is wonderful,” he said.
Anna, 5, of Union City, who is also the daughter of Beth Anne Clayton, attends Pleasant Valley Preschool. Prior to “The Sound of Music,” she had no theater experience.
The first play she ever saw was “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and she “has been hooked on musicals ever since.”
Anna has a 5-month-old baby brother, but said she’s not sure she would like to have “all those brothers and sisters” in real life.
Her favorite song in the show is “Lonely Goatherd” and she has enjoyed learning to dance, sing and act. She is looking forward to being able to be in the workshop for “Storybook Summer.”
Also new to theater is Lydia Greub, 11, who plays Louisa in the Roses cast. She is the 11-year-old daughter of Vicki and Mitch Greub of Greenfield and is in the sixth grade at Greenfield Middle School.
Rounding out the Roses cast are Ena Makayla Abad, who plays Marta; Kait Scott, who plays Brigitta; Cooper Gilliam, who plays Friedrich; and Cara Brewer, who plays Liesl.
Ena, 8, is the daughter of Richard and Judith Abad of Martin and is a third-grader at Martin Elementary School. She played an orphan in “Annie.”
Kait, 15, is the daughter of Don and Sheila Scott of Kenton and is in the 10th grade with Abeka Academy, a home school organization. She has been in “White Christmas” and “Footloose” and has helped with “Storybook Summer” workshops. She was also in the library production of “MacBeth.”
“‘The Sound of Music’ has been an amazing experience for me. I have made so many friends and created memories that I will keep with me forever. I would whole-heartedly recommend anyone to come and try out for a Masquerade Theatre production. It is an experience you don’t want to miss,” she said.
Cooper, 15, of Martin is the son of Jacqueline Gilliam and Russell Gilliam and a ninth-grader at Westview High School in Martin. He has been in “White Christmas” and “Annie,” as well as workshops for “Grease” and “Footloose.” He served as a helper for “Mulan Jr.” “‘The Sound of Music’ has to be the best and most fun show I have ever done and I feel blessed to be a part of it, as well as I am blessed to be a part of Masquerade Theatre,” he said.
Miss Brewer, 20, is the daughter of Joy Brewer of Union City and works at Second Glance in Union City. She has been in “White Christmas,” “Annie,” “How to Eat Like a Child” and “A Christmas Carol.” She also participated in the workshop for “Three Musketeers” and as a costumer for “Footloose.”
The remaining Raindrops cast includes Addison Kitchen as Gretl, Katelyn Isabella Ramsey as Marta, Rebecca Robb as Liesl and Brady Craddock as Friedrich.
Addison is the 5-year-old daughter of Steve and Renee Kitchen of Union City and is a kindergartner at UCES. She has also been in the Masquerade Theatre production of “Annie.” Her parents said this has been a great experience and Addison has “loved every minute of it. … Addison has grown over the course of the play musically and being more comfortable on stage.”
Katelyn, 6, is the daughter of Joseph and Katie Ramsey of Union City and is a first-grader at Ridgemont. She has been in “Annie,” as well as “Storybook Summer” and “Alice in Wonderland Jr.” “The theatre allows everyone to showcase their talent. The cast is truly like a family always having fun,” her parents said.
Rebecca, 16, is the daughter of Patti and Robert Robb of Troy and is a 10th grader at Obion County Central High School. “The Sound of Music” is her second Masquerade Theatre production. She was also in “Cinderella” and was in the library’s production of “MacBeth.” “This show has been a wonderful experience. I have enjoyed every second of it. I really feel like we’re all a family,” she said.
Brady is the 14-year-old son of Alisha and Donnie Craddock of Union City and is an eighth-grader with Home Life Christian Academy, a home school organization. A veteran of Masquerade Theatre, his first production was “The Wizard of Oz” in 2009. He repeated in that show in 2012. He has also been in “The Chronicles of Narnia,” “The Music Man” and “White Christmas,” as well as workshops for “Beauty and the Beast Jr.,” “Alice in Wonderland Jr.,” “Guys and Dolls” and “Footloose.” He was also a helper for “Storybook Summer.”
“With this being my ninth production, I assumed it would be the same as just about any other show, but I was wrong,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve ever bonded with a cast as strong as this one. When I received the role of Friedrich, I constantly reminded myself that he’s a big brother. Since I only have an older sister in real life, it was really cool to be able to portray that type of character. Now, after putting the show together from start to finish, I actually do feel like a real big brother to all of the kids. ‘The Sound of Music’ is truly the best show I have ever been in.”
The Raindrops cast will perform in their final shows at the Capitol Theatre in downtown Union City on Thursday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., while the Roses cast will perform Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday shows and available in advance at Lanzer Printing and Office Supply Co. or at the box office 30 minutes prior to each show time.
Thursday’s show is a special sing-along show. Tickets are $10 each and will only be available for this show beginning at 5 p.m.
Published in The Messenger 3.13.13