The Sound of Music at APU

by Katelyn Noll '07

APU’s Department of Theatre, Film, and Television's production of The Sound of Music, directed by Bart McHenry, opened on Thursday, January 26. The first show was sold out.

Roger's and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music first opened on Broadway in 1959 and was so popular that a film version was created in 1965. The film that captured the award-winning play has held its place in the homes and hearts of Americans for more than 40 years.

The Sound of Music is believed to be the most watched musical movie of all time,” said McHenry, and it is still performed across the country every year. This year, it has come to APU.

Cindy McKnight, Ph.D., a professor in APU’s Department of Undergraduate Physical Education, enjoys the Theatre Department’s productions so much that she is a season ticket holder. She enjoys each new show: “Usually my favorite is the most recent one I’ve seen.”

The story takes place in Austria, during the rise of the Nazi regime, and includes themes of courage, family, loyalty to one’s country, and trusting God. The first act opens on Maria, played by Hather Lundstedt '08, the would-be nun who, despite her best efforts and the encouragement of Mother Abbess (played by Cymbaline Olsen ’07), can’t seem to fit in at Nonnberg Abbey. She is sent to be a governess in the Von Trapp family home where she will be responsible for caring for seven children.

Her first encounters are slightly less than pleasant, but soon she and the children become close friends, singing and laughing and playing. The children’s father, Captain Von Trapp, played by Corey Krueger '08, is opposed to the idea of his children straying from the first rule in the house: discipline.

As Maria tries to convince Captain Von Trapp to allow his home to be filled with music and laughter, and to show his children that he loves them, the two must attempt to work out their own differences.

Maria struggles to find God’s will for her life and to gain the confidence she’ll need to fulfill it. Meanwhile, the captain has his own troubles: the Nazis have taken control of Austria, and he must now decide if he is to obey their orders and join their navy, or to remain true to his beloved country, which would put himself and his family in danger.

Lundstedt, a sophomore at APU, played the part of Maria. This is the first APU production she has been a part of, and she has loved it.

“I am so proud of this show. The cast is the most humble and kind cast I have ever worked with,” said Lundstedt. While the production is physically exhausting for her, she enjoys being a part of the team.

This is the first time Bart McHenry has directed The Sound of Music. “I thought it went extremely well,” he said, and is grateful to all of the cast and volunteers who helped make it a success. “It has been a thrill to direct this show.”