Roane State Playmakers bring The Sound of Music to life on stage with memorable vocal performances

By Deborah Robbins, Roane State staff writer

The hills will come alive at the O’Brien Theatre this month as the Roane State Playmakers debut the spring theatre production and full-length classical musical The Sound of Music with performances scheduled April 11-14.

 Payden Bentley playing “Gretl” in the Roane State production of The Sound of Music.

In partnership with the Roane Choral Society, audience members of all ages are invited to be immersed in the heartwarming story and witness the magic of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s theatre writing in a live performance they won’t soon forget.

“The audience will recognize a number of familiar songs and will be introduced to some new favorites,” said Courtney Minton, Roane State assistant professor of theatre and theatre manager. “This is the perfect opportunity for local families to introduce their children and grandchildren to this beloved story.”

Set in the majestic beauty of Salzburg, Austria, The Sound of Music presents the spirited music-lover Maria Rainer as she is sent to serve as a governess to Captain Georg Von Trapp’s seven children. Hoping she will discover her true calling in this new role, she unexpectedly falls in love with the captain while global tensions heighten with the start of World War II.

Roane Choral Society members, Roane State alumni, and accomplished vocalists Robyn Maker and Clayton Scarborough will star as the beloved Maria and Captain Georg Von Trapp.

The production will feature more than 65 cast, crew, and musicians with backgrounds in opera and vocal performance to bring The Sound of Music to its fullest potential. A 15-piece orchestra, comprised of Roane State students and local professional instrumentalists, will also fill the halls with songs like “Do-Ri-Me” and “Edelweiss” that are guaranteed to sweep the audience away.

“I don’t think you can leave without a feeling of nostalgia and comfort, joy and happiness, and a sense of awe at the sheer talent that we have in our community,” Minton added.

The Sound of Music has been one of the largest community efforts in recent years with a dedicated music director, stage manager, costumers, technical director, theatre technician, and lighting designer. Countless hours of hard work and practice have been put into the production leading up to opening night on April 11. The curtain opens at 7 p.m. ET.

Minton hopes the production will spark interest among students who may be considering Roane State’s theatre courses and offerings.

“No matter your background, if you love theatre, we have a place for you,” Minton said. “We provide students and adults in our community the opportunity to connect with other art-loving, like-minded souls. Our courses range from Introduction to Theatre to Acting and Stagecraft. There is something for everyone!”

Students and community members are encouraged to audition for the Roane State Playmakers’ shows or volunteer to work backstage, as students can earn credit for their work.

Tickets for The Sound of Music are $15 each and can be found at

For more information on Roane State’s theatre courses, please visit

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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