For Immediate Release:
The Growing Stage, Inc.
The Sound of Music: On Stage At Franklin Park Performing Arts Center
The Loudoun foothills are alive with the Sound of Music and the von Trapps are not the only family singing. This fall, Growing Stage Inc. expanded to include adults, attracting families for Rodgers and Hammerstein’s famous hit.
“This is such a great opportunity for families to perform together. What better experience than to sing and dance with your children?” said director Karlah Louis.
“When Captain von Trapp faces off with Rolf Gruber, it’s David and Sean Hemphill, father and son on stage together,” explains music director Ann Stewart. “And we have mothers and daughters in our nun choir singing together in harmony,” she adds. “Rather than an evening where everyone goes in separate directions, some families are making the theatre their home for the night. It’s become a family event.”
Laura Roden, a singer in the nun chorus, with two younger daughters in the cast explains, “Community theatre is great because it gives adults an opportunity to go beyond their day jobs and pursue artistic passions that have perhaps taken a “back seat” to jobs and kids.”
For kids and parents alike, performing together at Franklin Park is a dream come true. “When my oldest daughter was two, she helped raise the framework on the Performing Arts Center,” explained Stewart. “At the time I dreamed our family would perform in that theatre together. Now almost 13 years later, it’s hard to believe that I’m directing music for that production.”
After auditioning with 70 other children, Sophie Gwartney, Josh Wilk, Johanna Wichern, McKenna Morin, Chris Hunt, Kristina Ayers, and Evelynn Hepburn earned the von Trapp children roles. The lead role of Maria comes naturally to Amy Blair who by day was a teachers’ assistant at a local day school. “My favorite scenes involve the children. They’re all so talented.” And in typical Maria fashion Blair adds, “They’re like my children now. I’m so proud of them!”
Offstage parent volunteers have been busy sewing costumes for the cast of 60. And under the capable direction of Karlah Louis, Artistic Director of The Growing Stage, with the assistance of Franklin Park Performing Arts Center, the sets and projections are simply beautiful, transporting audience members to the Austrian alps.
Hearing Loudoun families filling the foothills with the sound of music, might be just the ticket this Oktoberfest. But tickets for the four performances October 19-21 (two matinees, two evenings) at the Franklin Park Performing Arts Center are selling quickly. They can be purchased online at www.growingstage.org/community-theater/sound-of-music/