I’m currently sitting on the floor of the Sound of Music rehearsal space, listening to the scene where the children first get to know Maria, during the thunderstorm. In the movie, this is where they sing My Favourite Things, but in the stage production they sing The Lonely Goatherd as a distraction from the thunder and lightning.
Tonight is only the second time we’re running the show in costume from beginning to end. It’s really coming together well but there’s also those moments of “oh my goodness…our preview show is only just over two weeks away”. In a month, the whole thing will almost be all over. They’ve sold over 3000 tickets…I’ve never been in a show that could sell over 3000 tickets. It’s a far cry from the Figtree or the handful of seats in Studio One at UNSW!
I am so enjoying being part of this show. I’m in awe of Breanna, who plays Maria – she carries so much of the show. She’s onstage for the majority of the time, has a zillion fast costume changes, lots of big songs (that the audience knows very, very well) and has to have high energy the whole time. In contrast, us nuns have a lot of backstage time. We’re on at the beginning, middle and end, so our challenge is to keep our energy up and our voices warm while we’re sitting around backstage.
The other thing we’re all having to figure out is how to manage whatever we have on during the day – whether work, school, uni or looking after family – as well as having high energy for the shows in the evening. When I was at uni, obviously my days were a lot less full than they are now (and I was 20 years younger!) so it wasn’t as much of a daunting prospect. But I have actually found my feet at my new job, the routine has clicked in, and I feel like life is much more manageable than it was a few posts ago. It also helps that many of the things that were stressing me out have come and gone.
I know the key to maintaining stamina over the next few weeks is to be look after my health, tempting as it might be just to survive on coffee and chocolate (like I did 20 years ago…). I mean, they’re just logical things that I should be doing anyway – I’m trying to make sure I go for a walk at lunchtime, that I eat more nutritious things than I have been, and that I get plenty of sleep. There’s no shame in going to bed as soon as you’re able to! (The only problem is it’s finally starting to warm up in Tassie, so I’m in that phase of not having enough covers on/too many covers on and being restless at night. Hopefully that sorts itself out soon. Also I anticipate when the adrenaline of show week kicks in, I’ll find it hard to wind down when I get home.)
Everyone involved in the show is a volunteer – doing it for the love of theatre, darling! But not just the love of theatre, the love of creating something wonderful for the community. A thriving city needs a vibrant arts scene, it needs creativity and joy and fun and experiences that are more than just surviving, both for the people involved in making the art and those who come to see it. I’m really proud to be a part of this show and this town. I really feel like I’m at home.
Come to the show!
If you want to see me as Sister Berthe, pondering How do you solve a problem like Maria? you can book at https://theatrenorth.com.au/the-sound-of-music/. If you need somewhere to stay, we have a couple of spare rooms 🙂 (but you probably won’t see much of me!)