Monday, December 10, 2012

Two Marias

Two very talented young women are sharing the role of Maria

Bottle Tree Productions presents Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music and two very different Marias

Bottle Tree Productions presents The Sound of Music at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church on the corner of Princess and Clergy Streets. Performances are December 13th to the 22nd, Thursdays to Saturdays at 7:30 pm. Tickets can be purchased online at Bottle Tree Productions; The Sound of Music or at the Grand Theatre Box Office. 613-530-2050 or online at The Grand Theatre Box Office is located at 218 Princess Street in downtown Kingston. Ticket Prices are $25/adults, $22.50/seniors, $20/students, $15/children under 12.

Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein wrote the musical based on the memoirs of Maria von Trapp. Maria von Trapp, the misfit nun who became governess to the von Trapp family was played by Julie Andrews in the filmed version of the musical. Christopher Plummer played Captain von Trapp.

In Bottle Tree's production, two very talented young women are sharing the role of Maria. Both are first year Queens students and they could not be more different. Engineering student Hannah Smith and Con Ed student Sara Sturgeon play Maria on alternate nights. Robert Bruce plays Captain Von Trapp. 

Sara is French Canadian and Hannah is English Canadian.

Sara attended Marie Rivere, the francophone high school on Dalton Avenue and Hanna attended KCVI.
Sara's first big role came in last year's Meistersingers' production of Oliver as Charlotte the undertaker's daughter  where, as she says: ”I had four lines” Previous to that Sara had been in a Not So Amateur Amateurs Production. She wasn't sure if she was guard number two or guard number three.

Sound of Music director Charles Robertson saw Oliver and when Anne Marie Mortensen and he were looking for someone to play Cinderella, they both thought that Sara had great stage presence and so cast her in the lead. Robertson commented. “She was everything a Cinderella should be. Charming and graceful with a nice singing voice. You would have thought she had been acting for years. It was shocking that Sara only had bit parts before.”

Robertson has known Hannah Smith for a long time. “Hannah is one of the best actors I have worked with. She is very bright, very well read and very creative. Great imagination. She has a great voice and tremendous acting skills. She recently appeared in Domino Theatre's production of 'A Street Car Named Desire' as Stella and before that as Rita in Theatre 5's 'Educating Rita'”  You tube video of Hannah performing Juliet.

Robertson added; “While both first year Queen's students do intend to keep acting in the future, they are working hard to succeed in their chosen career paths at the university. If for whatever reason; engineering and teaching don't turn out, they always have a plan 'b; to fall back on; they can act and sing.”

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