Issaquah High School stage comes alive with ‘The Sound of Music’

November 27, 2012

By Lillian O'Rorke

Maria Rainer, played by Annika Dybevik (center), is surrounded by the Von Trapp children, played by (clockwise from lower left) Zoe McDowell, Reagan Panah, Elizabeth Moore, Daniel Repp, Rachel Panah, Jenni Young and Matthew Bratton, during the song ‘Do-Re-Mi’ from ‘The Sound of Music.’ By Greg Farrar

When Annika Dybevik, a senior at Issaquah High School, was younger, she had a well-worn VHS copy of the “The Sound of Music.”

“I’ve grown up with the movie,” she said. “My cousins would re-enact the show when we were little and watch it over and over again.”

So, when Dybevik was cast in the lead role of Maria Rainer in her high school’s production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s final collaboration, she already knew most of the lyrics.

That was also the case for much of the cast, which has been rehearsing since the middle of September for its Nov. 29 opening night. Along with 12 crewmembers, the cast of 35 is made up of mostly Issaquah High students with the exception of five Von Trapp children, who were cast from area middle and elementary schools.

Staying true to their characters, the older Von Trapp children and Maria help look after the younger actors, keeping them focused during rehearsals that can span several hours.

“It’s definitely a lot of hard work,” Dybevik said. “There is a lot of time spent at school, but it’s totally worth it.”

Her favorite part of the whole experience, she said, is learning the choreography with the seven children her character has been hired to look after.

“The kids have so much energy all the time,” Dybevik said. “They keep all our energy up.”

The Von Trapp children, from oldest to youngest, are Elizabeth Moore as Liesl, Daniel Repp as Friedrich, Rachel Panah as Louisa, Matthew Bratton as Kurt, Reagan Panah as Brigitta, Jenni Young as Marta and Zoe McDowell as Gretl.

If you go

‘The Sound of Music’

  • Issaquah High School Performing Arts Center
  • 700 Second Ave. S.E.
  • 7 p.m. Nov. 29-30 and Dec. 1, 6-8
  • $12 adults; $8 students; $5 Issaquah High School staff and students
  • 1:30 p.m. Dec. 1 sing-along matinee, $5 for everyone
  • Buy tickets at the door or at

At age 8, Jenni, who attends Endeavour Elementary School, is one year older than her character Marta Von Trapp.

“I like to sing. Since all the kids are a main part, you have to remember a lot of dances,” she said, adding that she isn’t nervous about performing in front of so many people. “Usually, when I talk in front of people I get scared, but when I act or sing I don’t.”

Jenni isn’t the only member of the Young family who is working to bring “The Sound of Music” to Issaquah High’s stage. Her sisters Savannah and Ashley, who are both in high school, are two of the production’s 12 nuns.

“We’ve always loved that musical,” said Savannah Young, adding that her family likes to call the sisters the Von Trapps because they all like to sing.

Bryan Hanner, a sophomore at Issaquah, is also no stranger to the musical; this is his fourth production of “The Sound of Music.”

“It’s hard to compare a Broadway tour with a high school production,” he said. “We have our own flavor and our unique style we add to the show.”

In 2008, Hanner traveled with Broadway Asia Tour, switching between the roles of Kurt and Friedrich Von Trapp. This time around, his character Rolf Gruber ultimately betrays the Von Trapp family. But it doesn’t matter which role he’s been cast in — Hanner knows all the lines and said he often shouts them out to his fellow actors if they get stumped during rehearsal.

“It’s a lot of fun. The cast is really cohesive,” he said. “They’ve bonded like a family rather than a group of employees.”

The curtain opens for Hanner and the rest of the “family” at 7 p.m. Nov. 29 at the Issaquah High School Performing Arts Center. The show is directed by Holly Whiting, the school’s drama teacher, and choreographed by Sheri Lewis, owner of Westlake Dance center.

“Now that we have so much done already, it’s amazing to see how all of our work has brought us this really great show,” said Maddy Bennet, who plays head nun, Mother Abbess. “I’m excited to see what people think of it.”

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One Response to “Issaquah High School stage comes alive with ‘The Sound of Music’”

  1. Danielle on December 21st, 2012 8:31 am

    This was fantastic. I never did enjoy the movie, but these young people gave such an outstanding performance that I will definitely watch the movie now. I enjoyed this very much! It was much better than my expectations. Well done!

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