The Bragg Creek Community Centre will be transformed into the northern Austrian Alps May 24 to 26, when the Swamp Donkey Musical Theatre Society (SDMTS) performs its first-ever spring production – The Sound of Music.
“The countdown is on,” said Trisha Gizen, SDMTS founder and president. “This is our inaugural production, so we’re really excited to get out and do it for the first time.”
The production will feature a cast of 30 actors ranging in age from six to 70, according to Gizen, as well as a supporting cast of 30 people. While many of the actors are from Bragg Creek, she said others hail from Black Diamond, Priddis, Cochrane and Calgary.
The Sound of Music’s large and diverse cast made it the ideal choice for SDMTS’ first spring production, Gizen added.
“We wanted to choose something that involved a cast of all ages, because we wanted to involve children and adults – that we could involve as many people as possible,” she said.
The 1965 film is set in Salzburg, Austria, in 1938. The plot follows a young Austrian nun in training named Maria. Due to what the nuns deem a lack of discipline, Maria is sent to live in the villa of a retired naval officer, Captain Georg von Trapp, to look after his seven children. In time, Maria teaches the children how to sing.
“We wanted to choose a show that is really recognizable, that audiences would love,” said Gizen, who will play Maria. “It’s a classic.”
Other actors will include Kelty Latos, who plays Mother Abbess; Bragg Creeker Roy Styan, who plays Captain von Trapp; and Jorja Polischuk, who plays the captain’s oldest daughter, Liesl.
Gizen formed SDMTS in summer 2018, as a way to provide residents of Bragg Creek and area the chance to learn the ins and outs of musical theatre. The society hosts workshops focused on drama-related skillsets, such as improvisation and stage makeup.
The company’s first production was a Christmas recital in December 2018, when students had the opportunity to show off everything they had learned in the workshops.
Even though SDMTS’ production of The Sound of Music won’t hit the stage until later this month, some actors may already feel like they’re in character. According to Gizen, the society held an Austrian-themed fundraiser May 10 for the upcoming shows.
“It was called ‘Sneak a Peek at The Sound of Music,’” Gizen said. “It was held at the Bavarian Inn and Restaurant in Bragg Creek. It featured a four-course Austrian dinner and oom-pah-pah music with an accordion player, while cast members came out to perform different songs from the show.”
The opening performance will be held at the Bragg Creek Community Centre May 24 at 7 p.m. Two more shows will follow May 25, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., with a final show May 26 at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $25 for adults, or $21 for seniors and children under 12, and can be purchased online at swampdonkeytheatre.ca or, if they are still available, at the door.