Students from five schools grow together in the production of a spring musical | Culture & Leisure

Performing arts students of all ages from the Roaring Fork Valley came together as a musical theater family to perform Rodgers and Hammerstein’s popular musical “The Sound of Music.” Taking place in the auditorium of Basalt Middle School this weekend and the following day, the spring production marks a festive return of the community to the stage.

From freshmen to high school seniors, the talented cast and crew consists of students from Basalt High School, Basalt Middle School, and Basalt Elementary School, as well as Roaring Fork High School and Carbondale Middle School. The collaborative show represents many “firsts,” said director and choreographer Sonya Meyer.

“It’s a first for a lot of people in a lot of ways,” Meyer said. “The combination of schools is a first attempt, and there are so many beginning theater students who have never been in a production before.”

The musical also marks the meeting of the two towns of Basalt and Carbondale; never before have students from five Midvalley schools collaborated in a large-scale theatrical production.

While Basalt High School traditionally hosts a springtime musical, Meyer explained how other participating schools haven’t had the same annual theatrical arts opportunity. The pandemic has discouraged many choir and drama programs in local schools.

“We knew there wasn’t really an opportunity for production in the Carbondale schools and it was limited for the Basalt schools,” Meyer said. “So we wanted to give access to as many children as possible.”

Meyer began working with musical director and producer Christina Wenning in December, calling principals from each school and coordinating plans for “The Sound of Music.” Meyer describes Rodgers and Hammerstein’s beloved musical as “not typical of your after-school show,” noting the “massive amount” of set changes, costumes and content embodied in the theatrical storytelling.

“I chose ‘The Sound of Music’ because I wanted to do something people in the Valley would know about in order to bring more interest and exposure to the program,” Meyer said. “And we hadn’t involved young students before, so I wanted to highlight a lot of kids without it being a kids’ show.”

Meyer and Wenning held auditions at all schools in early February. With 36 student actors, plus many members of the backstage crew and stage managers, the theater family came together, spending hours after school rehearsing at Basalt and growing together to bring “The Sound” to life. of Music”.

“The amount of work that’s been done between auditions so far is impressive and seeing these kids find their voices has been amazing,” Meyer said. “They’re learning so much and being part of a team – and especially after COVID and being in masks, playing is a way of watching people, reacting to people, connecting with people.”

Meyer said she hopes this large-scale, multi-school production will become an annual tradition in the future. She expressed her gratitude for the community’s help in fundraising to finance the production costs.

Wenning launched a fundraiser for the show and by Wednesday afternoon $1,610 had been raised towards a goal of $5,000. Donations are still accepted on gofundme.com.

The spring production “The Sound of Music” will take place in the auditorium of Basalt Middle School for the 2 p.m. (April 9 and 16) and 7 p.m. (April 8, 9, 15, and 16) sessions. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for children and students. They’re available for purchase in advance at eventbrite.com, as well as at the door before performances.