By Pam Johnson
The Jonesborough Repertory Theatre is beyond excited to return to the stage with the well-known and much-loved musical The Sound of Music. However, because of renovations still in progress at the JRT, and after an intensive search by JRT’s artistic director, this production will be presented at the charming and historic Bonnie Kate Theatre in Elizabethton.
The Sound of Music follows the story of Maria, a young postulant at a convent in Salzburg, Austria, who is given the task of nannying the 7 children of Captain von Trapp, a widower who seems to run his household like a military platoon. Maria brings a refreshing air of joy, hope, and music to the stuffy household and misguided family. And she, in turn, discovers that maybe there’s something more to her life than what she thought.
Joe Gumina, who plays Captain von Trapp, believes this show is a great choice to bring to this community. “The Sound of Music is one of the most uplifting stories ever put on stage. I think we’ve all been through a hard year. With its hopeful message about overcoming adversity and the healing power of music, it’s the perfect show to open with.”
His cast members agree. “After a year of uncertainty and heartache,” said Hollie Wright (Maria), “audiences will take comfort in seeing Maria and the von Trapp family facing uncertainties, challenges, and disappointments, and learning how to overcome them together.”
“The Sound of Music is a story of courage, patience, and kindness,” said Miranda Laurio (Liesl). “It’s a story about getting through hard times with the endurance not only of hope, but of love. That is a timely message for everyone as the theatre reopens after all the struggles of the past year.”
Though many have seen The Sound of Music, either on screen or on stage, the story never loses its magic and the message it carries.
The director, Diane Taveau, stated, “Even though their circumstances are different, the von Trapps are still relatable to this day. They faced obstacles, learned from them, and moved through adversity to a new way of life. Isn’t that what we’ve all been going through this past year? What better metaphor than a show talking about ‘climbing every mountain till you find your dream’?”
Rounding out the cast are Dave Bernhardt, Elijah Berry, Ashley Cavender, Rachel Chapman, Shannon Cook, Ryan Gray, Mika Hoilman, Magee Little, Shelly Mangiacotti, Kyle Mason, Tristan Matthews, Susan McNabb, Katie Murphy, Catherine Oakes, Elliott Price, Abby Raper, Susan Saam, Erin Schultz, Zetta Schultz, Brooklynn Shelton, Sharon Squibb, Will Stephens, Gracie Stiltner, Bonnie Straub, Michelle Weintre, and Phillip Wright.
This production runs June 10 through 27. It is directed by Diane Taveau, choreographed by Jessica Shelton, and music directed by Shawn Hale. The show is sponsored by Ballad Health, Ignacy Fonberg, the Law Offices of James R. Wheeler, Saladworks University Center, and W. Ashley and Judy Whitehurst. Tickets are $17 general admission, $15 for students and seniors. To purchase tickets, call the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 423.753.1010 or go online to jonesboroughtheatre.com. The Bonnie Kate Theatre is located at 115 S. Sycamore St, Elizabethton, TN.