BOTKINS — When Blake Maurer, 17, was 7-years-old, she started her musical career as little Gretl in the Botkins Local School’s production of “The Sound of Music.”
Now, 10 years later, Maurer is getting a special opportunity to be in the production once again; this time, as Maria, the star of the show.
“When they announced what the musical was going to be this year, my best friend texted me, ‘you’ll never believe what the musical is’,” she said.
Director and Botkins band teacher Paula Owens said, they chose the show in part because 2015 is the 50th anniversary of the film version and they thought it would be cool if Maurer got to do the show again her senior year.
Director auditions started at the beginning of September. Students read parts of the show and sang “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” a song from the show.
Once the directors, Owens, Marian Epperly and Olivia Schneider, made preliminary choices for parts, they held call back auditions with outside judges that didn’t know the students.
The cast was then announced and rehearsals began.
Maurer and Owens said the cast acts like a family. “When they are together, the von Trapp children seem like siblings in real life,” Owens said.
Maurer said they have a lot of fun together. “We are always laughing and the younger kids are good learners,” she said.
“I looked up to the girl who played Maria 10 years ago. I am really blessed to have this opportunity. This show has a lot of meaning to me,” Maurer said.
The meaning goes beyond getting to do the show twice, this summer Maurer had the opportunity to travel to Europe. While she was there she got to see the mountains in which part of the film version of “The Sound of Music” was set and filmed.
“It was just unimaginable beauty,” she said. Through a program called the Ohio Ambassadors of Music, Maurer got to spend 16 days in Europe and visit seven countries. She was nominated for the program by her choir director, and her and her friend Amber, a member of the band, were chosen to go.
“The Sound of Music” will be presented on the Botkins Local School gym stage the weekend of Nov. 13, 14, and 15. The Friday and Saturday shows are at 7:30 p.m. and the Sunday show will be at 2 p.m.
Ticket prices are not set yet, but all the proceeds will go back into the program fund for future productions.
Reach this writer at 937-538-4825; follow on Twitter @SDNAlexandraN