The hallways of the Franklin School for the Performing Arts (FSPA) were buzzing with excitement on Saturday, January 12 as some 150 area children ages 7 and older arrived with music in tow to audition for the roles of the seven von Trapp children in Franklin Performing Arts Company's upcoming production of The Sound of Music. The open auditions also cast a large number of ensemble roles. FPAC will present the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical theater classic, with professional orchestra, on Saturday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, March 3 at 2 p.m. at Franklin's Thomas D. Mercer Auditorium.

Delighting audiences for generations, The Sound of Music is based on the true-life story of the Austrian von Trapp family. Captain von Trapp's mischievous children are at the heart of this beloved musical. Singing the timeless classics "Do-Re-Mi," "So Long, Farewell" and "Edelweiss," the young performers enchant audiences just as the Governess Maria's love of music and song wins the hearts of the children and their father. In casting the seven roles, height was considered along with acting and singing ability. From 5-year old Gretl to 16-year old Liesl, the children must form an iconic ascending line.

"The extraordinary turnout for The Sound of Music auditions is a testament to the popularity of this musical theater classic," said Raye Lynn Mercer, FPAC Executive Director. "Our creative team and large cast of students and adults are excited to begin the rehearsal process as we prepare to stage this Rodgers and Hammerstein favorite with professional orchestra."

The talented cast of 111 performers comes from 21 area towns. Franklin's Erica Glenn and Bob Matson of Millis will perform the lead roles of Maria and Captain von Trapp. The von Trapp children will be portrayed by Sam Evans (Kurt) of Medfield, Michael Fajardo (Friedrich) of Hopkinton, Ali Funkhouser (Liesl) of Franklin, Teagan McStay (Louisa) of Franklin, Mairead Nee (Brigitta) of Walpole, Catherine Oliviere (Marta) of North Easton and Grace Tucceri (Gretl) of Franklin. Actors cast in featured roles include Graham Hancock (Rolf Gruber) of Franklin, Amanda Flynn (Elsa Schrader, the Governess) of Plainville, Nick Paone (Max Detweiler) of Franklin, Shauna Martin (Mother Abbess) of Franklin, Giovanna Ferri (Frau Schmidt, the housekeeper) of Franklin, Chuck Peters (Franz, the butler) of Franklin, Melissa Mandia (Sister Sophia) of Franklin, Alicia Rivera (Sister Margaretta) of Franklin, Kelly Sabini (Sister Berthe) of Franklin, Wendy Jones (Baroness Elberfeld) of Franklin and Ed Jones (Baron Elberfeld) of Franklin.

Performers who will appear as nuns and postulants or in the Children's Festival Ensemble or Men's Ensemble include Marissa Liotta from Cumberland, RI; Emily Buliung from Foxboro; Peyton Arone, Janene Asgeirsson, Madi Asgeirsson, Jason Barney, Lily Barney, Claire Bauer, Julia Buccella, Joe Byrne, Kendra Dombroski, Hailey Donahue, Liliana Duffy, Emily Dutton, Greg Dutton, Morgan Fitzpatrick, Mia Fleischer, Aaron Frongillo, Sandra Frongillo, Anna Grasso, Brandon Hancock, Melissa Hancock, Hannah Harris, Jocelyn Jones, Alexa Katsaros, Catherine LeClair, Tatiana McAlpine, Lucas Melfi, Madison Michenzie, Emma Nicholson, Michaela Olah, Jacqueline O'Neil, Cassidy Peters, Mackenzie Peters, Stella Regan, Guy Rezendes, Hannah Rezendes, Madison Rezendes, Deanna Rivera, Andrew Rizoli, Joshua Rocha, Giovanna Sabini-Leite, Olivia Sabini-Leite, Sophia Sabini-Leite, Emma Sbordon, Stephanie Schiavo, Lindsey Sparages, Katherine Waples, Emily Whalen, Mike Whalen, Abby White, Caitlin Woodcock and Delaney Zolnowski from Franklin; Nicolle Brooks from Gardner; Elena Howes from Holliston; Brittany Fox from Hopedale; Cassandra Clark, Teddy Edgar, Alessa Vanaria, Sara Weissinger and Tony Weissinger from Hopkinton; Jess Eklund from Medway; Julia Clifford, Katie Compson, Kelli Grafton, Alison Mandell, Angela Salisbury and Colie Vancura from Medfield; Matt BenDaniel from Medford; Alex Lowey, Alan Mercer and Maddy Williams from Medway; Sydney Cozzolino and Megan Mathieson from Mendon; Katie Gray and Bridget Madden from Milford; Jack Mullen from Millis; Abbey Citarell and Stephen McKinney from Norfolk; Emma Stott from Northboro; Hannah Ryan from Norwood; MaryBeth Rippberger from Plainville; Michaela Furtado from Seekonk; Laine DiMartinis from Walpole; and Mikaela Alioto, Brianna Connor, Madeleine Cron, Jenna McDermott, Ali Palmer and Elena Rouse from Wrentham.

Raye Lynn Mercer and Nick Paone co-direct the production, with musical direction by Hallie Wetzell, choreography by Mercer and Kellie Stamp, and costuming and production coordination by Tracy Lane.

A distinctive suburban non-profit arts organization founded in 1991, FPAC presents quality performances while offering opportunities for professional artists, community performers, families and students of the arts to work together in a collaborative and creative environment. Tickets for The Sound of Music cost $30, $28 and $26. To purchase tickets, call (508) 528-8668, visit the box office at The Spotlight Shop (34 Main Street, Franklin) or order online at www.FPAConline.com.

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