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Two females portraying a nun and a postulant pose with "The Sound of Music" logo.

Bluefield Youth Theatre to Present The Sound of Music

by | Feb 15, 2024

Bluefield University Theatre and Bluefield Youth Theatre will present Rodgers and Hammerstein’s beloved musical classic The Sound of Music on February 22-26 in Harman Auditorium on the Bluefield University campus. Performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Monday with 3:00 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday. Advance tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students from other institutions and senior adults. Tickets at the door on performance dates are $15 for adults and $10 for students and senior adults. Tickets are free for Bluefield University faculty, staff, and students. Reservations can be made at

The Sound of Music opened on Broadway in 1959 with music by Richard Rogers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, and a script by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. It was the final show on which Roger and Hammerstein would partner. The musical tells the story of a young postulant named Maria who is preparing to become a nun in Austria just before the German annexation of Austria in 1938. Maria leaves her convent to become a governess to the seven von Trapp children, whose mother has recently died and whose father, Captain Von Trapp, is an officer in the Austrian Navy. Maria falls in love with her charges and eventually falls in love with their widowed father. However, in 1938, Austria is annexed by the German Reich in the Anschluss. Rather than accept a commission in the navy of the Third Reich, the captain with his newlywed wife and their seven children flee Austria by foot and cross the Alps into neutral Switzerland and freedom. The musical was a great success on Broadway, winning five Tony awards. In 1965, The Sound of Music was adapted into the popular film starring Julie Andrews as Maria and Christopher Plummer as Captain von Trapp. The movie won multiple Academy Awards including Best Picture.

The Bluefield University Theatre and Bluefield Youth Theatre production features a cast of 36 BU students, youth, children, and adults from the greater Bluefield area. Maria is played by BU Theatre and Music senior Laura Horton. Captain von Trapp is played by BU theatre alumnus Brian Fisher. Other members of the cast include Elei Haynes as the Mother Abbess, Aaron Sudderth as Max Detweiler, and Rachel White as the wealthy Baroness Elsa Schraeder. The von Trapp children are Isabella Deel as Liesl, Canon Smith as Friedrich, Bethany Goins as Luisa, Blaire Anderson as Brigitta, Callie Wilkinson as Marta, and Faith Schraeder as Gretl. The ensemble includes Cadence Lane, Deacon Goins, Bear Woodard, Miles Munique, Elise Jacobs, Grace Trent, Ian Matullo, Finn Smith, Ryleigh Lingenfelter, Tegin Merritt, Joana Schaptzie, Cate Thornton, Alyssa Dinger, Micah Deel, Silas Fain, Deacon Goins, Bear Woodard, Ashley Burton-Pruitt, Melissa Cumbow, Jenay Leedy, Lethea Smith, Shiloh Woodard, Becky Goins, Carrie Mullins, and Charla Wilkinson.

The Sound of Music is directed by Bluefield University theatre faculty Charles M. Reese and Rebecca McCoy-Reese. Musical direction is provided by Alandra Brannon with assistance from BU students James Harris and Laura Horton. The choreography is by Abigail McComas and Ashley Burton-Pruitt. The set for the production is conceived and designed by Reese and McCoy-Reese. Costumes are designed by Brian Fisher. Claire Fisher serves as stage manager for the production with assistance from Caleb Cumbow.

The Sound of Music has presented several unique challenges for the cast and crew. These challenges included costuming the very large cast with unique character demands, such as nuns, Nazi stormtroopers, and living goatherd puppets. One of the biggest musical challenges for the cast has been learning the Latin chants sung by the chorus of nuns multiple times in the production. Finally, the cast had to deal with numerous meteorological challenges—rehearsals were seriously delayed because of the snow and ice that visited the area in January. “We are in the swing, now,” said Reese. “We are rehearsing every weeknight and busily building sets and costumes on the weekends. We expect the result will be one of the biggest productions Bluefield University has ever presented. People have been asking for this show for years now, but we never felt we had the right cast. But now I think audiences are going to be blown away by the beauty of this show.”

Bluefield University invites our community to see this classic musical on the Harman Auditorium stage. Evening shows begin at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 22; Friday, February 23; Saturday, February 24; and Monday, February 26. Afternoon shows begin at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 24, and Sunday, February 25. To make reservations, please visit:

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Bluefield University

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