Valdosta Daily Times

Features

June 7, 2013

Youngsters bring ‘Sound of Music’ von Trapp children to life

VALDOSTA — From the moment they march onto the stage and stand at attention, the von Trapp children performers have the audience’s support.

Initially, they have the audience’s backing because five of the seven Peach State Summer Theatre “Sound of Music” von Trapp youngsters are local children. As the show continues that early support becomes a deeper appreciation as these youngsters reveal a depth of singing, acting and comedic talents.

Following last weekend’s successful PSST! opening for “The Sound of Music,” The Times sat down with five of the von Trapp performers: Allie Smotherman, 14, plays Louisa; Nicholas Paoletti, 13, plays Kurt; Maggie Tarpley, 10, plays Brigitta; Elle Scruggs, 7, plays Marta; Sofia Paoletti, 6, plays Gretl. Also playing von Trapps are Michael McClain, a Valdosta State University Theatre & Dance student, as Fredrich, and Jennifer Maurer, a Florida State University musical theatre major, as Liesl.

The younger children are from the Valdosta area. They have performed in school and community children’s productions. Though selected from auditions early this year, these youngsters say their “Sound of Music” rehearsals began along with the adult castmembers about two weeks prior to the June 1 opening night. The five young performers say they were not nervous prior to opening night and have enjoyed the PSST! experience so far.

Different scenes are their favorites. Elle likes the pillow fight. Allie enjoys the songs performed by the nuns. Sofia’s favorite scene is when Maria returns. Maggie likes when Maria arrives and reveals she is great with children. They enjoyed signing a few autographs after the Sunday performance.

Each youngster brings different experiences to the show.

Allie Smotherman: The daughter of John and Lang Smotherman and sister to Briggs Smotherman, Allie is a rising ninth grader preparing to attend Valdosta High School next academic year. With the Valdosta Middle School Players’ production of “The Lottery,” Allie won best supporting actress in statewide competition for one-act plays and best actress statewide playing Edgar Allan Poe in VMS’ “Poe-Dunked.” She advanced to national competition playing Eve in “The Diary of Adam and Eve.” She plans to continue theatre as a Valdosta High School freshman.

Nicholas Paoletti: The son of Karl and Ronda Paoletti, and older brother to fellow castmember Sofia, Nicholas is a Valwood eighth grader. He has performed in Little Actors Theatre shows, including “The Big Bad Musical” and “Murder is in the Heir,” as well as “Gypsy” and “The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon.” He studies piano, plays violin with the South Georgia String Project and played on the JV Valwood soccer team.

Maggie Tarpley: The daughter of Brad and Mary Clare Tarpley, Maggie moves from home school this coming academic year to being a fifth-grader at Westside Elementary School. She has performed in several Gingerbread Players of Theatre Guild Valdosta productions including her recent role as Ladybird in “James and the Giant Peach,” as well as roles in “Seussical: The Musical,” “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” “Pinocchio.” She has also had musical training through First United Methodist Church.

Elle Scruggs: The daughter of Mr. & Mrs. James Kenneth Scruggs Jr., she is a Valwood second-grader. At school, Elle is a member of Valwood Voices and a cheerleader mascot. She studies voice, dance and modeling. She has many interests from bike riding to crafting to cheering and baking cookies.

Sofia Paoletti: The daughter of Karl and Ronda Paoletti, and younger sister to fellow castmember Nicholas, Sofia is a Valwood first-grader. The show’s youngest cast member, “The Sound of Music” is her second stage role. She played a clown in her kindergarten class’ play last fall. She also sings, plays piano, and enjoys her cats.

PSST!’s “The Sound of Music” continues this weekend with performances scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 8, and 3 p.m. Sunday, June 9, Sawyer Theatre, Valdosta State University Fine Arts Building, corner of Oak and Brookwood. The show continues on various dates through July 14. Times, dates, ticket prices, more information: Visit www.valdosta.edu/psst Box office: Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m., call (229) 259-7770. 

 

 



 

1
Text Only
Features
  • 140418-AR_Paul_Townsend001.jpg Graphic novelist draws on inspiration

    A few moments with graphic artist Paul Townsend is all you need to understand that his mind swirls with stories that he’s willing to explore on paper – no matter where they take him.

    April 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Pompeys Pillar.JPG Pompeys Pillar

    Along their journey west to the Pacific and return east to St. Louis, Lewis and Clark left numerous marks recording their presence in order to validate a claim to the land for the United States.

    April 20, 2014 5 Photos

  • 1vsusr2014.jpg seen.yer-shoh

    Two of the most revealing exhibits each year at the Valdosta State University Fine Art Gallery are the fall and spring senior art shows.

    April 20, 2014 4 Photos

  • Film Review Draft Day_Rich copy.jpg ‘Draft Day’ scores a field goal at the theater

    Our reviewer looks at the movies "Draft Day'" and "Rio 2."

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • emerging1.jpg Emerging Artists: VSU shines spotlights on student performers

    Three years ago, Valdosta State University Theatre & Dance created a twist on its seasons’ conclusions.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • bicycle safety.jpg SGMC, Kohl’s to host Bike Smart safety event

    SGMC, Kohl’s Department Store, Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department and Safe Kids Lowndes County will host Bike Smart!

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140410-AR-Wake_Compound001.jpg Bringing wakeboards to Lowndes

    In college, many dream of their future career paths and, while some may seem far fetched, some people are able to make theirs a reality. Luke Tilt and Quinn Silvernale were able to do just that.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140401-Ballet003.jpg Beautiful Dancers

    The Ballet School in Valdosta offers children with special needs the chance to live out their dreams of being a dancer. For many, this may have seemed like a far fetched dream given their physical limitations, but as the Ballet School proves, there is no such thing as a physical limitation.

    April 13, 2014 5 Photos

  • Dido and Aeneas 1.jpg VSU Opera, Chamber Singers Present ‘Dido and Aeneas’ April 19-20

    The Valdosta State University Department of Music will present “Dido and Aeneas” at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 19, and 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 20, in the West Hall Rotunda. Seating is limited to 100 people per performance.

    April 12, 2014 2 Photos

  • Film Review Captain A_Rich copy.jpg A salute to ‘Captain America’

    Our reviewer looks at "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," 'The Grand Budapest hotel' and "Bad Words."

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

Given the amount of rain recently, what's your favorite “rain” song?

Singing in the Rain
Purple Rain
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
November Rain
Rainy Night in Georgia
Other
     View Results