Civic Theatre: The Sound of Music

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The Tarkington // Apr 28 – May 13

Writer // Janelle Morrison           Photography // Courtesy of Civic

March/April 2023

The final collaboration between Rodgers & Hammerstein was destined to become the world’s most beloved musical. Featuring a trove of cherished songs, including “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” “My Favorite Things,” “Do Re Mi,” “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” and the title number, “The Sound of Music” won the hearts of audiences worldwide, earning five Tony Awards and five Oscars. The inspirational story, based on the memoir of Maria Augusta Trapp, follows an ebullient postulate who serves as governess to the seven children of the imperious Captain von Trapp, bringing music and joy to the household. But as the forces of Nazism take hold of Austria, Maria and the entire von Trapp family must make a moral decision. (Concord Theatricals)

Note: The May 7 performance at 2 p.m. is designated as an inclusive performance, designed to create a welcoming experience that is intended for patrons who have social, cognitive or physical challenges that create sensory sensitivities. An ASL interpreter will also be available. Large-print programs are also available for the visually impaired upon request.

Tickets are on sale now at

Renée La Schiazza – Maria Rainer

“The Sound of Music” is what got me into loving musical theater and really connected me to what I am so passionate about. I was probably 2 years old when I first saw it and remember having to replace the VHS tape after burning out the first [tape], then buying it on DVD and Blu-ray because I would watch it multiple times a year. “The Sound of Music” is a timeless story that focuses on love, family and staying true to your own voice. It also focuses on not being afraid to follow what you believe is right and to your passion.

I know this story well and am hoping to interpret [Maria] in a way where I find a little bit of myself in this role while staying true to what the story is telling. I hope to look at the story through my own lens as well as a historical [lens] with the guidance of Anne [Beck] and the production team to make it unique. Every story needs to be told in a fresh, new way, and this company can do that with all of the individual voices that make up the cast.

Civic Theatre The Sound of Music

David Maxwell – Max Detweiler

I am actually debuting for Civic Theatre after many years of knowing all these people for so long and was previously a union actor before running into Michael Lasley and he mentioned that they needed someone to play this role. The people are on the ball here at Civic. You can tell they love what they do, and vocally, this is an amazing cast just listening to them rehearse the big vocals. It’s really great!

My character [Max] is based on another person who was originally the priest/father of the church that helped these kids and actually escaped with them to America. My character is not based on the real person, so I get to kind of make it my own while following the guideline. Max is in for himself, but he loves Georg and has a relationship with him and Elsa Schrader. He is hopeful that he’ll have two millionaires he can live off of for the rest of his life. It’s fun to play with that and create something that you wouldn’t normally see in the movie. There is more storyline and more to develop, and that has been fun to discover.

Anne Beck Director/Choreographer

“The Sound of Music” is a love story, but it’s not just a romantic love story. It’s a love for family and for where your roots lie. They [roots] can change, and your whole world can change, yet it still feels like home. I love the stage version, and I really love where the songs fall in this. For many people, the songs are in the “wrong” places. For being a big song and dance person, it’s been completely enriching and enlightening to just dive into the storytelling. You’re going to leave the theater with the warmest hearts. During rehearsals, we’re finding all that beautiful writing and the little nuances as well as how much color there is in all the characters. I think the cast is doing a great job at bringing uniqueness while keeping the tradition of the story. There are really distinct and clever ways in which the cast is bringing these characters to life.

I also really love that our audiences will be seeing the staples of Civic Theatre in addition to over half the cast being completely new to Civic. It’s a whole new family coming together to collaborate, create and to tell a story. To me, that is really exciting that the Civic family is always growing, especially with a story that is about family.


Maria Rainer – Renée La Schiazza

Captain Georg Von Trapp – Tobin Strader

Liesl – Emma Hornbecker

Friedrich – Andrew Horras

Louisa – Keegan Connor

Kurt – Jack McNally

Brigitta – Adeline Giesting

Marta – Katherine LeFan

Gretl – Greta Schaefer

Max Detweiler – David Maxwell

Elsa Schrader – Nina Stilabower

Mother Abbess – Kirsten Gunlogson

Sister Berthe – Lauren Walawender

Sister Margaret – Heather Hansen

Sister Sophia – Sydnie Blair

Franz – Dick Davis

Frau Schmidt – Jennifer Sutton

Rolf Gruber – Nolan Daugherty

Ursula – Karen Hurt

Herr Zeller – Luke Robinson

Frau Zeller – Katie Stark

Baron Elberfeld – Drew Kempin

Baroness Elberfeld – Melina DeGolyer

Admiral Von Schreiber – Keith Gregor

Nuns/Postulants/Ensemble – Alex Arnold, Sadie Cohen, Melina DeGolyer, Karen Hurt, Chad Leitschuh, Nicolette Mantica, Lee Russell, Katie Stark, Jennifer Sutton, Anastasia Yiannoutsos


April 28 – May 13, 2023

Thursdays, Fridays, & Saturdays* @ 7:00 p.m.

Sundays @ 2:00 p.m.

*Saturday, May 13 @ 2:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.*

Civic Theatre The Sound of Music