Performing as one of the von Trapp children in “The Sound of Music” has a true family feel for Claire Kauffman.
“One of my favorite things about this musical is getting to be a part of the von Trapp family,” Claire said. “Being one out of the seven siblings and getting to be in this with my sister, Cynthia, is not only fun on stage but also off stage. Playing Louisa is so different than any other role I have played, and her sneaky and upbeat personality is so fun to experiment with, too.”
Cynthia Kauffman plays Liesl in the Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre production of “The Sound of Music,” which will run from June 24 to Aug. 15.
Cynthia graduated from Zionsville Community High School in 2019 and is majoring in music theater at Indiana University. Claire will be a ZCHS freshman in the fall.
“This role will for sure be one that I will always look back on,” Claire said. “I’m not sure when I will get to be in another show with my sister. Playing Louisa in such a well-known show, with Cynthia and other friends in the cast, will be very memorable for me.”
Claire said the main challenge of playing Louisa is being part of the big family.
“The von Trapp children have different personalities, and finding those things that make Louisa stand out is a part of the whole acting process,” Claire said. “Along with making Louisa her own unique character, I take on different harmonies in multiple songs. One of the trickiest songs for me has been ‘The Sound of Music.’ Perfecting those harmonies will make the song sound as best as it can.”
Claire’s favorite number is “The Lonely Goatherd.”
“I love the fun, uptempo movements,” Claire said. “You really get a glimpse of how enjoyable it is to be on stage. Everything about the number is all about storytelling, and I think that makes it exciting to perform and watch.”
This is the first time either sister has appeared in the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical.
“This is a dream role, so getting to play Liesl has been such a joy so far,” Cynthia said. “What I love about ‘The Sound of Music’ is the fact that it is such a classic and fun for all ages. I love Liesl’s free spirit and her confidence as a young woman and getting to portray that on stage.”
Cynthia said her favorite numbers are “Sixteen going on Seventeen” and “So Long, Farewell.”
“I have loved being able to do some partner dancing but also dancing with the von Trapp children,” she said. “I also enjoy learning the choreography to these iconic numbers.”
Cynthia said one challenge she faces playing Liesl is, although she is mature, she is still a child.
“Being able to find small moments where her naive and adolescent instincts can shine through is important to the story,” Cynthia said.
Cynthia has had a few opportunities to act since the COVID-19 pandemic caused a shutdown in March 2020.
“Since I am a performance major in college, it is pretty much my life,” Cynthia said. “Over the last year, I have had small performing opportunities at school, but being back in a real theater and on a stage makes me happier than ever.”
Clare got the opportunity to perform in a Zionsville Middle School play earlier this year.
“Life feels pretty boring without live theater,” Claire said. “When something you usually do every day gets canceled, it makes you realize how important it is. I got back in the mode of performing back in March when I got to start rehearsals for my school musical, ‘Singin’ in the Rain.’
“Playing Lina Lamont was a great way to get back in the swing of things.”
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