SOM

Having done interviews with most of the leading characters in the show (there is one upcoming with Jeff Stockberger, who plays the butler, Franz, and who directs the upcoming B&B show – Smoke on the Mountain) and having featured the kids who play the Von Trapp children, I wanted to pay some tribute to the hard-working actors and actresses who play the remaining roles. It occurred to me that all of them play Nuns and Nazis.

Nuns and Nazis are a big part of The Sound of Music. The story begins with nuns singing, Maria being a postulant at Nonnberg Abbey, and ends with Nazis hunting for the Von Trapp family as they attempt their escape from the Third Reich’s occupation of Austria. So this blog entry is meant to show a little appreciation for the workman-like qualities of those of us who do these essential smaller roles in the show.

Outside of Suzanne Stark, who plays the Mother Abbess, all the other nuns (there are 4 of them) have other roles besides the sisters. The ladies playing nuns are local actresses Carrie Neal and Susan Smith; Louisville actress, Sara King; and recent Florida State grad, Carmel IN native Hillary Smith. In addition, Ms. Neal and Ms. King are party guests in an act 1 scene, Susan Smith plays the Von Trapps’ housekeeper – Frau Schmidt, while Hillary Smith doubles in a supporting role as Liesel, the oldest Von Trapp child. This is not as easy as it sounds.

Granted, Hillary Smith is a nun only in the very first scene, with the nuns performing the haunting chant that begins the show, but Susan Smith, must change into and out of her Sister Berthe garb numerous times during the course of the show. And she still has time to help the children with their many changes.

Hillary Smith as an opening scene nun and as Liesel

Hillary Smith as an opening scene nun and as Liesel

Susan Smith often changes from Sister Berthe to Frau Schmidt and back again

Susan Smith often changes from Sister Berthe to Frau Schmidt and back again

Carrie Neal and Sarah King play Sister Sophia and Sister Margaretta, respectively. Besides their appearances as gown-wearing party guests, they too help with the kids’ costume changes and Carrie is charged with “wrangling” the Von Trapp kids (which means she must oversee them while they are backstage).

Carrie Neal plays Sister Sophia and Baroness Elberfeld

Carrie Neal plays Sister Sophia and Baroness Elberfeld

Sarah King plays Sister Margaretta and a stylish guest at the party

Sarah King plays Sister Margaretta and a stylish guest at the party

The Nazi roles are played by local actor Paul Nicely, who appears as Herr Zeller; and Florida State senior Nicholas Jones, whose supporting character Rolf, gradually becomes a part of the Nazi movement in Austria; and myself, when I appear as Admiral Von Schreiber.

Paul Nicely, Nicholas Jones and myself as the three Nazi characters in the show.

Paul Nicely, Nicholas Jones and myself as the three Nazi characters in the show.

Besides our Nazi roles, Paul has lots of set change and costume change helper duties, Nick moves set pieces and handles some backstage backdrops, while I play my other roles of Baron Elderfeld and the priest, have a few set change duties in act 1 and oh, I write this blog…

Again – the gist of this edition of the blog is really just to point out the wonderfully diverse actors who have taken up the smaller parts in the show and who help the show keep moving through their backstage duties. All of our characters move the story forward; some of our characters sing the story forward. Many of us are local actors taking the opportunity to work at Beef and Boards; some are young actors just beginning their careers. But I believe I can speak for all of us when I say we are very pleased to be a part of what is really a spectacular show.

If you are interested in attending Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music at Beef and Board Dinner Theatre in Indianapolis, ticket information can be found by calling 317-872-9664. The show runs thru Sunday June 30. Further info about the show can be found at http://www.beefandboards.com .

Advertisements