Florida Southern College’s production of “The Sound of Music” sold out almost a week before the end of the run. The first musical Department of Theatre and Dance’s World War II-themed season delighted audiences from Nov. 14-17 and Nov. 21-24.
The beloved musical, which tells the story of a postulant in Austria who becomes a governess for the seven children of a widowed captain, is one of the most well-known shows of the early 20th century. Senior musical theatre major Skye Sena portrayed the lead role of Maria.
“It takes place during World War II, and it’s about having to give up things to find a better life while also learning to love the life you’re given.” Sena said.
The show is almost sixty years old, but people continue to come back to it.
“I think it’s because it is such a classic and the songs are so iconic…It’s based on a true story…based off of real events, based on a real family…” Sena said.
The show is best well-known for its Academy-Award winning movie adaption, starring Julie Andrews as Maria. While Sena admitted she felt pressure in taking on such an iconic role, she wanted to make the role her own.
“When I first got cast, there was a moment of excitement, then one of fear,” Sena said. “I’ve tried to not watch the movie since I’ve been cast. I didn’t want it to affect my performance. I wanted to make it my own.”
Audiences who were only familiar with the film version were surprised to learn of differences between the movie and stage show, especially regarding placement of songs. For example, “My Favorite Things” is sung by Maria and the children in the film. However, in the musical, it is introduced earlier and sung by Maria and the Mother Abbess. Sena sees these changes as beneficial.
“We see this characterization between these two characters [Mother Abbess and Maria.] She pushes Maria onto her path.” Sena said.
College productions have their own challenges, as those participating are also full-time students. This show is not an obvious choice for colleges, as the show contains something higher education does not usually possess: children. Of the seven “child characters,” four are played by actual children.
“The children are very special. It’s very fun, it’s sometimes tiring” Sena said. No matter the difficulties, working with the kids was a good experience for the rest of the cast. “We get candy at rehearsal now, which we don’t usually get,” Sena joked.
While the show is well-known as a classic, Sena believes that the show is still unique because of who is involved. “The people I’m doing it with make it special.” Sena said.