Central Collegiate’s ‘Sound of Music’ will fill the air
The Mae Wilson Theatre is set to come alive with the Sound of Music. Central Collegiate’s play this year, The Sound of Music will come to the stage with a talented cast of students who have risen to the challenge of playing some powerful roles. The orchestra has also been preparing an inspiring musical accompaniment. Each year, Director and Musical Director, Mr. Brian Bowley and Mr. Paul McCorriston select the musicals carefully based on the children they expect will participate in the following year’s musical. Auditions for the musicals are held in September, but even before the auditions begin, a huge staff of teachers come together to contribute to the preparations making the show possible. People involved, including choreographer Shana van den Heuvel, dedicate hours and weeks of personal time to ensure that the students’ efforts are successfully presented. This year’s production takes place at the Mae Wilson Theatre from November 23 to 25th.
The musical is set during the 1930’s when the political environment was dangerous for pacifists such as the Von Trapp family. As Bowley elaborated, the mid-1930’s Nazi-Germany was building up to the Second World War and, “in order to form a “Greater Germany” and to take advantage of the natural resources that Austria had to offer, the annexation or AnschluSS was inevitable.” It’s very interesting the way Bowley described the story presented in the musical, saying, “The Sound of Music has very strong characters: three strong females, three strong men” as he shared his observation that the students who play the characters are also very strong characters.
Jaidyn Gieni, a Central Collegiate senior who has four years of musical the- atre background, plays Maria, the Von Trapp children’s governess and lead role in the musical. As Bowley shared, Maria “breaks the bonds of Classism when she and the Upper-class Captain von Trapp fall in love.” It comes as no surprise, then, that a strong leading female is set to play such a woman. Gieni has performed as a featured soloist in Leader of the Pack, in addition to holding roles in the musicals, Guys and Dolls and High School Musical. She studies voice privately, has written and directed a play for the One Act Drama Festival, and is serious about music and drama.
Ethan Brentnell has stepped out of his usu- al orchestral comfort zone to venture into the leading male actor’s role, Captain von Trapp. Brentnell also studies private voice lessons and has serious interest in performing vocally and as a song writer. His character, von Trapp, is a wealthy Navy Captain in Austria who flees the country with his family to avoid being forced to comply with the annexation.
All members of the public are invited to attend the musical that will play during three days of performances from Thursday, November 23rd to Saturday, November 25th at the Mae Wilson Theatre. To purchase tickets, visit Central Collegiate or go online to showtix4u.com.
Maria and Gretl as played by Jaidyn Gieni and Avery Johnson. Despite not yet being a high school student, young Avery has volunteered her time to play her special role in the musical.
Part of the CCI orchestra rehearsing, led by musical director Mr. Paul McCorriston (guitar player, centre)