What makes a good production? Sure, you could answer a million different ways, but the correct one (or at least the one that suits the point I’m trying to make) is the people involved. So, who is involved with The Sound of Music? Excellent question! I had a talk with three of the lead actors in the show: Michael Schmidt, Sheila Hirney, and Kaitlin Caruso. Of course, they are only three people out of a large team of students and adults working together to create a great show, but hopefully you’ll gain a new appreciation for the work that goes into creating a production, if nothing more than simply learning something you didn’t know about a few of the kids onstage.
Michael Schmidt grew up in Coaldale, participating in a range of activities, from playing sports to singing in his church choir. He has three sisters, one of which has already passed through CCH and two who are yet to have its secrets revealed to them. He attended St. Joseph’s until Grade Ten, at which point he joined us at CCH. Eager to try out musical theatre, and to become acquainted with other music-minded people, he signed up for the show that year, Cinderella, followed by Bye Bye Birdie the next year. When asked his favourite play, he chose to alter the question, stating that his favourite musical is a two-way tie between A Very Potter Musical and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog. I approve. He’s met many of his closest friends throughout the shows (What a coincidence! I’m in the show with him this year too!) Despite that he won’t be able to join us as a part of next year’s show, he plans to continue to be a part of other shows in the future. As he leaves us, though, he leaves a few words behind, encouraging anyone considering being a part of next year’s show “to go for it! It’s a great way to spend your time and a great way to meet new people!”
Words of wisdom, indeed.
Michael plays Captain VonTrapp in The Sound of Music, running March 7th to 15th.
Sheila Hirney lived in Taber until the age of thirteen, when she moved to Coaldale, along with her mum (or “mom” as you Canadians say) and sisters, three of which are younger. Her family has a deep musical history and she is no exception. As soon as she came to CCH, she made sure to sign up for the musical, as she “loves to get involved with [music] in every single way”. Despite the fact that she is only one of her siblings who has displayed an interest, she plans to encourage her “impressionable” younger siblings to try it out for themselves. Her history in performance starts in Taber, where the only opportunities were band and the Grade 4/5 Drama Club, for which she was a munchkin and guard in The Wizard of Oz and a pirate in Treasure Island. However, she was more impressed by the many opportunities present here at CCH, and has loved being able to “step into a different person’s life” and “being able to sing all the time, without people looking at me weird”. Sheila hopes that anyone who wants to be a part of the family, or loves anything related to the Fine Arts, would look into joining the show next year.
Sheila plays the Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music, running from March 7th to 15th.
Kaitlin Caruso is another Grade Twelve student in The Sound of Music. She has lived in Diamond City her whole life, alongside her three older siblings and a brother. She went to Picture Butte for elementary school, but started at CCH in Grade Ten. She has always enjoyed both singing and acting, so the decision to sign up for the show wasn’t a difficult one, and she has been in both Bye Bye Birdie and Cinderella. She has taken voice lessons for approximately seven years, and annually goes to the Kiwanis Music Festival. This past year she was lucky enough to make her way to Provincials for Musical Theatre. Her favourite play is a tie between Wicked and Sweeney Todd. She warns anyone considering signing up for the play next year that it does take time, energy, and patience, but if you try to get the most out of it, it will be a rewarding experience, and that you will meet a “whole new group of wonderfully weird people who are so talented and amazing to be around”. Participating in the shows are her strongest memories of CCH, and she looks forward to having a blast with her last.
Kaitlin plays Maria in The Sound of Music, running March 7th to 15th.
Jack Harvey is a Grade Ten student at CCH. He enjoys triathlons, making films and evidently writing blog posts. His favourite thing about CCH is himself.