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posted: 2/25/2013 2:36 PM

Spotlight Youth stages 'The Sound of Music' in Batavia

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  • Kayla Nicosia as Maria, plays guitar and sings with the Von Trapps during a rehearsal for Spotlight Youth Theater's "The Sound of Music," which will be performed this weekend in Batavia. Clockwise, from Nicosia, are Jack Wartman (Kurt), Sydney Trotter (Liesl), Nathan Dille (Frederick), Delaney Wittlich (Marta), Sydney Olson (Brigitta), Ronni Fiedler (Gretl), Shannon McCoy (Louisa).

      Kayla Nicosia as Maria, plays guitar and sings with the Von Trapps during a rehearsal for Spotlight Youth Theater's "The Sound of Music," which will be performed this weekend in Batavia. Clockwise, from Nicosia, are Jack Wartman (Kurt), Sydney Trotter (Liesl), Nathan Dille (Frederick), Delaney Wittlich (Marta), Sydney Olson (Brigitta), Ronni Fiedler (Gretl), Shannon McCoy (Louisa).
    courtesy of Melissa Scheele

 
Spotlight Youth Theater Kane County

The Batavia Fine Arts Centre will be filled with "The Sound of Music" this weekend, when Spotlight Youth Theater Kane County presents its version of the classic story of Maria and the Von Trapp family.

"The cast has done an extraordinary job of bringing to life 'The Sound of Music,'" says director Melissa Scheele. "They are really doing a phenomenal job with this performance."

Scheele, who grew up in Kane County, performed with the Spotlight Youth Theater for over 10 years until graduating and studying musical theater at St. Clair College. She has also directed "Alice in Wonderland" and "Narnia" for Spotlight in 2012.

This endearing musical features an unforgettable Rodgers and Hammerstein score, including "My Favorite Things," "Do-Re-Mi" and "Climb Every Mountain." It is based on the true story of the Von Trapp family, and tells the tale of Maria, the young postulant, who is sent to serve as a governess for a widower with seven children. Her unorthodox methods quickly win over the children but clash with the regimental conduct of their father.

The tale continues with romance and heartwarming moments, that intensify with the foreboding rise of Nazi Germany and the Von Trapp's eventual escape from Austria.

"Audiences can't help but be touched by this classic story of Maria and the von Trapp family," said Scheele. "The story is presented in a new and fresh way with an astounding performance by area youth."

Parent volunteer Cynthia Stocksdale said several performers are of special note, including soprano Jack Wartman of St. Charles, who plays Kurt, and Amy Berggren of Pingree Grove.

"(Berggren) plays the Mother Abbess," said Stocksdale. "She is an example of overcoming adversity. Despite being wheelchair bound (from spina bifida), she is an incredible actress and vocalist. She is in the process of college vocal auditions this spring."

Performances are at 7 p.m. Friday, March 1; and 2 and 6 p.m. Saturday, March 2, and Sunday, March 3. Tickets, which range from $9 to $12, can be purchased at the door, or at www.spotlight.org. Batavia Fine Arts Center is at 1201 Main St., Batavia.

Spotlight Youth Theater is an after-school theater arts education program for kids ages 4-18, offering classes in the Chicago area. Spotlight offers students an opportunity to develop their talents, interact with friends and learn to be a positive member of their community.

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