Campus News

‘The Sound of Music’ hits the stage

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The curtain opened Thursday morning, Feb. 13, on the Bethel College Theatre Department’s production of "The Sound of Music." As of Thursday afternoon, 4,009 tickets had been sold for all five shows, and three of the five shows had sold out.
Maria, played by Kelli Bergeson, when she first meets the Von Trapp children.
Maria, played by Kelli Bergeson, when she first meets the Von Trapp children.
The show, which was cast in November 2013, includes 38 characters and is directed by Theatre Department Chair Richard Young. “It’s been a lot of fun,” said Young. “I mean, we’re doing 'The Sound of Music.' How can it not be fun?” Allison Baker, costume designer, said that the production team began meeting about a month before the show was cast. Prior to show casting, the meetings were largely concept-based, but after the musical was cast, meetings switched to production mode. “We love what we do,” said Baker. “It’s a lot of work, but also a lot of fun.” The weather proved to be an obstacle for the cast, according to Young; however, Young said he believed the cast has risen to the challenge. “We lost about 14 hours of rehearsal that we should have had with the children due to the weather,” said Young. “Because of that, we were not as prepared. We were not as ready as we would usually like to be for the dress rehearsal, but we made up for it with the last two dress rehearsals.” Young explained that the dry tech process does not usually include rehearsals but that they made some adjustments to make up for the missed rehearsal time. “Normally, I like to be able to tell the cast that we don’t need the last two dress rehearsals,” said Young. “This time, I told them that we could use an extra two dress rehearsals, but we are ready. It’s been fun! I’m excited; we’re ready for an audience.” “Mother Abbess” Janelle Rundquist shared her experience as a member of the cast. "I think that, although it's been difficult along the way, it's come together really well and it's going to be a great production," said Rundquist. “I think the weather caused a lot of challenges because sometimes we couldn’t practice, but we worked hard and it’s going to be great.” Set designers and set builders have been working intensively for the past few weeks. The sound production team has worked hard since November to ensure that the technological side of the show runs smoothly. Sound designer Tim Matteson said that the sound production team began working 16-18 hour days eight days before the first show. "It’s lots of work, lots of late nights, said Matteson. “We usually come in before the cast and then we have a meeting after the rehearsal, and then we start fixing things after those meetings. We have production meetings, too. It's a pretty time-intensive process." The production team will finish tearing down from the final show around 2 or 3 a.m. on Sunday morning. "It's fun and we enjoy it in a sadistic kind of way,” said Matteson. “We enjoy working with the students a lot." Young said that the show also required a great deal of work by choreographer Karen Pajor. “The choreography is real fun,” said Young. “Karen can take any person’s ability and make it look great.” Young expressed that the cast is talented and hardworking. “We have some really good voices in our cast,” said Young. “We also have some people who have never performed, but we worked through all that; we got it all to happen. Everything’s creative in this show; everyone has put in a lot of effort and energy to make this happen.” "The Sound of Music" production includes five performances during a period of three days and is nearly 95 percent sold out. According to Barb Franklin, theatre office secretary and box office manager, the response to the production in terms of the number of tickets sold is partly because of the large Catholic population nearby and the recent remake of "The Sound of Music" featuring Carrie Underwood. “I’ve worked here about ten years,” said Franklin. “And I think that this is the fastest a show has ever sold out. People are excited about it.”
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