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Hartselle performers bring 'The Sound of Music" to Decatur Aug. 2-4

By By Tracy L. Brady, Hartselle Enquirer
Tracy L. Brady
Hartselle Enquirer
Forget swimming and sleeping late this summer. These Hartselle students would rather dive into a script and daydream of becoming stars.
Emily Williquette, Judith Roberts, Carson Land and Kassie Wayand will appear in "The Sound of Music" at the Princess Theatre Center for the Performing Arts Aug. 2-4, presented by Backstage Theatre and OnStage Entertainment.
Williquette, 12, used to write plays and, along with her three siblings, perform them for her family.
"This is my first big thing, though," Williquette said. "I've always been interested in acting, but I was really excited about this part."
Williquette is playing the role of Louisa. She was particularly excited about the role because her mother, Julie, played the same role when she was a student.
However, Williquette said she would not be interested in pursuing another role in "The Sound of Music" in the future.
"I would be older and have to play a teenage or adult role," Williquette said. "The teenage parts have to kiss a boy and I don't think I'd like to do that."
Roberts, 12, is playing the role of Brigitta. She has been acting in school and church productions since kindergarten, but admits this is her first big production as well.
"I've seen the movie a lot of times," Roberts said. "It's a great story and has really great songs. The stage production is fun because of the songs and choreography."
Roberts, who hopes to be a professional actress someday, said her interest in acting was sparked by director Darren Butler in a second grade production of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory."
Butler is also her director for "The Sound of Music."
"Mr. Butler is my favorite director," Roberts said. "He makes it fun, but teaches you things at the same time."
Land, 15, is playing the role of Liesel. Also an aspiring professional actress, she has been acting and dancing since the age of 4.
"I love musicals," Land said. "'Sixteen, Going on Seventeen' is my favorite song in this production. Probably because it means more to me right now."
Her father, Ed, agreed. He is also playing the role of Liesel's father, Georg von Trapp, in the production.
"I guess you'd say she pulled me into this," Ed Land said. "I've only been in two previous musical productions with the Decatur Community Chorus, but this has been great fun and a challenge."
Land is the librarian at Barkley Bridge Elementary School.
He and his daughter agree that choreographer Susan Kirkes has been a big help to the production.
"I do one little dance and it is tricky," Land said. "But I've had special help from Susan."
"Susan has done a great job" Land's daughter Carson said. "We're really happy she's been there to help."
Wayand, 17, is playing the role of a nun.
She also appears in the ballroom dance scene, which came natural to the seasoned dancer.
"I've been a dancer for 13 years," Wayand said. "I am planning to attend (the University of) Montevallo after graduation next year and major in musical theatre. I hope to continue my studies after that in choreography."
Wayand said the most challenging aspect of this role was learning to sing songs in Latin.
"Our voice coach is fluent in Latin," Wayand said. "She made it easier by teaching the songs in syllables."
According to Land, a few songs have been swapped to represent both the film and musical productions.
"The story and the music draw you in," Land said. "The songs represent courage, patriotism, intrigue and family. It's truly hard not to sing along."

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