The Hills are Alive with the World's Favourite Musical - Western Canada Theatre

The faces of THE SOUND OF MUSIC Cast, Musicians and Creative Team. Names list below.

The Hills are Alive with the World’s Favourite Musical!

WCT continues its family holiday musical tradition with The Sound of Music, November 28 to December 10 at the Sagebrush Theatre. For the world's most beloved musical, WCT is bringing together its largest cast since Fiddler on the Roof.

The role of Maria brings back to the WCT stage Kaylee Harwood, who captivated Kamloops audiences as Eliza Doolittle in the highly acclaimed My Fair Lady. Kaylee’s work across North America spans from Broadway and Radio City Music Hall to the Stratford and Shaw Festivals, as well as in the touring production of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. Also returning to WCT is Kamloops-raised Jay Hindle as Capt. Georg von Trapp. Jay, who last charmed us in the lightning quick The 39 Steps, works in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Los Angeles, Victoria and England on stage and in film and television.

Multi-award-winning Elizabeth Stepkowski Tarhan joins the cast as Mother Abbess, having just opened Theatre Calgary’s season with the classic British comedy Noises Off. Baroness Elsa Schraeder will be portrayed by Melissa MacPherson, who is coming off of the award-winning and critically praised The Invisibles: Agents of Ungentlemanly Warfare, while Max Detweiler will be portrayed by Vancouver-based actor Graham Coffeng, who was in the original Toronto company of Mamma Mia!. Montgomery Bjornson helped us all rock out in Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story last season and returns here as Herr Zeller. Edmonton-born, Toronto-based Cameron Kneteman debuts at WCT in the role of Rolf Gruber, the first love of Liesl, who is played by Kirsten Kwong, a graduate of the acclaimed Bachelor of Music Theatre Performance program at Sheridan College. The role of Frau Schmidt is played by Jessie Award-winning actor Susinn McFarlen.

The Sound of Music, the final collaboration between Rodgers and Hammerstein, also enables WCT to highlight outstanding Kamloops-based talent, including long-time audience favourite Christopher Weddell, who most recently joined us in last year’s record-breaking Elf – The Musical, as did Emily Whalen. Debuting at WCT is recording artist, performance teacher, author, and motivational speaker Tina Moore. Alex Mittelsteadt, who Kamloops audiences have watched grow up on the WCT stage, through A Christmas Story and The Christmas Carol, graduates to adult roles in The Sound of Music. We are pleased to be able to present several local artists in their WCT debuts, including Abbie Israel-Armand, Patrick Shepherd, Jessica Webster, Charlotte Wyvill, and Gerald Young.

One of our favourite parts of putting on the holiday shows is that we get to showcase the region’s stellar young performers alongside some of the most talented professional adult actors from across Canada. We welcome back Mandisa Volo, who played the central role of Michaela in Elf – The Musical. Mandisa, a year older—but still just 13 years old—plays Louisa. Also returning from Elf is Anna Hahn, 9 years old, this time to be Marta. Debuting is Cassius Ford, aged 11, who is coming all the way from Williams Lake to play Kurt. Another 10 year old with plenty of performance experience, Seren Williams will play Brigitta. Everleigh Rife, who has been taking dance classes for five of her eight years already, is in the role of Gretl. The eldest of this youthful group, Ivan Vutev plays Friedrich. Ivan already has considerable experience performing in Pantos and with KISSM. One thing that several of these performers have in common is experience in WCT’s Stage One Theatre School. We are so proud to have helped them grow as individuals and performers!

The local talent carries through on the Creative Team. Director James MacDonald, Costume Designer Marian Truscott, and Assistant Stage Manager Madison Henry all call Kamloops home and have multiple credits with WCT. Most recently, James, who is also WCT’s Artistic Director, directed The Drowning Girls and Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story. Marian designed the costumes for A Christmas Carol, and Madison worked on Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story. Returning to WCT are Musical Director Meredith Zwicker, whose latest visit here was for Elf – The Musical, Choreographer Valerie Easton, who was on Peter and the Starcatcher, and Apprentice Stage Manager Duston Baranow-Watts, who worked on the WCT season opener, The Drowning Girls. We are happy to be able to introduce Set Designer Hans Saefkow, Lighting Designer John Webber, and Stage Manager Laurel Oneil to Kamloops audiences.

In a musical this size, we have the opportunity to highlight the artistry of several local musicians. Working with Music Director Meredith Zwicker, who is also on Keyboard for The Sound of Music, are the Kamloopsians Susan Cottrell on Violin, Jason Staruiala on Percussion, Cvetozar Vutev on Alternate Violin, Jake Walter on Bass, and Alexander Ward, who was last with WCT on Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story, on Keyboard. We welcome Jillian Broughton on Flute in her WCT debut.

The original Broadway production of The Sound of Music won five Tony Awards in 1959 and then went on to cinematic history with Julie Andrews in the starring role of Maria. The show features some of the most delightfully infectious songs of all time, an endearing love story set against the looming Nazi cloud rising over the Austrian Alps and one of the most inspirational finales ever presented in the theatre. Come hear your favourites songs: “My Favorite Things”, “Do-Re-Mi”, “Climb Ev’ry Mountain”, and of course, “The Sound of Music” — the show is guaranteed to win your heart!

Given that our last two musicals – Mamma Mia! and Elf  The Musical – sold out, be sure to get your tickets early for the world's most beloved musical, The Sound of Music. Tickets at


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Cast, left to right, row by row:
Row 1-Montgomery Bjornson, Graham Coffeng, Cassius Ford, Anna Hahn,
Row 2-Kaylee Harwood, Jay Hindle, Abbie Israel-Armand, Cameron Kneteman,
Row 3-Kirsten Kwong, Melissa MacPherson, Susinn McFarlen, Alex Mittelsteadt,
Row 4-Tina Moore, Everleigh Rife, Patrick Shepherd, Elizabeth Stepkowski Tarhan,
Row 5-Mandisa Volo, Ivan Vutev, Jessica Webster, Christopher Weddell,
Row 6-Emily Whalen, Seren Williams, Charlotte Wyvill, Gerald Young

Musicians, left to right, row by row:
Row 1-Jillian Broughton, Susan Cottrell, Jason Staruiala,
Row 2-Cvetozar Vutev, Jake Walter, Alexander Ward

Creative Team, left to right, row by row:
Row 1-James MacDonald, Meredith Zwicker, Valerie Easton,
Row 2-Hans Saefkow, Marian Truscott, John Webber,
Row 3-Laurel Oneil, Madison Henry, Duston Baranow-Watts