Larson Hall will be alive with “The Sound of Music” next week as Derby Academy’s 7th and 8th grade students perform the classic musical. With a beloved score, and a timeless tale of honor, love and loyalty, the show is sure to entertain and inspire.
Set in 1930s Austria on the cusp of a German invasion, the audience is transported to another place and time as they witness the Von Trapp family, their spirited nanny, and a nation struggle to find balance between their convictions and the ways of the heart.
Part of what makes the production so unique, says Beniers, is that “it is truly a collaborative effort. The teachers and the students work together on all aspects of the show, from acting and singing, to set design and construction, lighting and sound.” And Beniers is quick to give credit to the team that makes the show possible.
Perhaps as important as any individual contribution is how Derby integrates the show into its 7th and 8th grade curriculum. Beginning in January, the four art periods in the standard weekly curriculum are dedicated to the production. Students in the cast spend time researching, studying their roles and practicing lines. And students working behind the scenes get to work on the set, sound and lighting.
“What’s so great is that because theatre is an elective, the children don’t have to choose between sports and being involved in the theatre,” says Beniers. And how does that affect the students’ appreciation of the craft? “For some children, this might be the last show they are involved in. But for some, the light will go off and it’s just the beginning.”
And that’s what Beniers loves most about theatre: “It gives you the chance to be involved in people’s lives in such a positive way.
The show is directed and choreographed by Drama Instructor Christine Beniers, who has performed on Broadway in A Chorus Line and toured nationally and internationally with the show. The cast of 7th and 8th graders includes: Jack Metzger (Hingham) as Captain von Trapp; Emily Briggs (Scituate) as Maria; Julia Herzfelder (Cohasset) as Liesl; Zack Herman (Cohasset) as Friedrich; Nicole Temple (Scituate) as Louisa; Josef Nardi (Duxbury) as Kurt; Emmeline Endresen (Duxbury) as Brigitta; Chase Compson (Hingham) as Marta; Annie Huycke (Hanover) as Gretl; Addie Rose (Kingston) as Elsa; Noah Sadhwani (Hingham) as Max; Holly Maher (Cohasset) as Mother Abbess; and Carter Jones (Hingham) as Rolf. Additional cast hails from Randolph, Mattapan, Dorchester, Milton, Norwell, Hull and Marshfield.
Musical Director Derelyn Kahler is a pianist active in South Shore musical theatre. Art Teacher Nancy Donovan is the Set Design and Stage Manager, and Art Teacher and Technical Director Adam Norcott is the Set Construction, Sound and Lighting Designer. Together they support students in the creation of all aspects of the stage. Brooke Stanton is the Costume Designer.
Performances will be held:
Wednesday, March 6 at 7 pm in Derby Academy’s Larson Hall
Thursday, March 7 at 7 pm in Derby Academy’s Larson Hall
Shows are free and open to the public.