Archive for Thursday, November 9, 2006

De Soto High School is alive

With the Sound of Music

November 9, 2006

Montana Frehe can't get enough of performing in high school plays, even though she's only in the fifth grade.

The Starside Elementary School student is one of four children performing in the De Soto High School musical, "The Sound of Music." Montana also performed in the children's choir in last year's production of "Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat." This year, she is playing the role of Marta along with her sister, De Soto High School senior Morgan, who plays Brigitta.

"It's fun to pretend to be something that you're not," Montana said. "It makes us more active with singing and dancing."

The play will be performed at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the high school auditorium. The famous work by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II stars Leslie Hodges and Matt Woywod as the lead roles of Maria Rainer and Captain Georg von Trapp.

"A lot of people know this musical, and a lot of people like it," Hodges said. "We put a lot of work into it, and I think people are really going to enjoy it."

Bryan Hileman, in his first year as the high school's drama teacher, said he was impressed with all the students' abilities.

"Typically, there's one or two characters who don't get their lines," he said. "But as far as any of that goes, we're set. We know our blocking. We know our lines. We could perform today, and we're ready. Right now it's just about making the scenes better."

Mary Etta Copeland, Hodges' grandmother and high school choral instructor, is providing some of the music as well as the pit orchestra, directed by Justin Love.

Sophomore Brandi Hall and freshman Kim Patton both play nuns. They said having excellent teachers was instrumental in the success of the play.

"Mrs. Copeland has been amazing with the music, and Mr. Hileman has had the best set design and has been motivating us to get into character," Patton said. "I heard the pit band practicing, and they were amazing. We can't wait to hear them with the rehearsals."

The two girls said there are some special surprises in the play that the audience is sure to enjoy.

"The play is just so inspiring," Patton said. "It makes you think that nothing can set you back. And there's one of the scenes with Matt and Leslie that always makes me cry."

Lexington Trails Middle School art teacher Nancy Roberts has two daughters in the play this year. Although play practice has kept them at school for late hours for the past six weeks, it's worth their time, she said.

"I'm hoping some of the nun-like qualities will rub off," she said jokingly. "But they have worked really hard."

Junior Casey Keating, who plays the child Freidrich, said the music took many rehearsals.

"We do a lot of harmonies in this, and we're all really good singers, but it's very difficult music," he said.

Junior Jhasmine Roddick, who plays Sister Margaretta, said the younger students would offer a fresh take on the play.

"We have a really unique twist on this classic story," she said. "I really like how some of the actors take their roles and make them their own."

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