When Mia Akers auditioned for Encore Theatre's production of "The Sound of Music," she had just one role in mind: Maria.
"I grew up with this musical in our home," said Akers, an eighth-grader at Oak Grove School. "I have a very musical family."
Akers said she has seen the movie version at least 10 times, in addition to stage productions.
"It's fun," she said of playing Maria. "It's fun to know how to portray her."
The Jr. Encore Theatre will open its 15th season Oct. 12-14 with "The Sound of Music." Performances will be at 7 p.m. each of the three days and will be held at St. Lawrence Episcopal Church, 125 W. Church St., Libertyville. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased on the Encore Theatre website or by phone at (847) 708-8880.
The Rodgers & Hammerstein musical tells the story of Maria, a postulant at a convent, who is sent to serve as a governess for the seven von Trapp children.
Rehearsals for the musical started in mid-August, said Trevor Evans, a seventh-grader at Highland Middle School. He has the role of Max Detweiler, brother to Capt. Gaylord von Trapp.
"I'm always at his house and mooching off of him," Evans said of his character, who also helps the von Trapp family escape the Nazis.
"He's very theatrical. It's a lot of fun," said Evans.
He has watched the movie version of "The Sound of Music," along with stage versions on YouTube, in an attempt to get to know his character.
"It's more of a fun role than a tough role," said Evans.
Zachary Ford, who has the role of Capt. von Trapp, said his part is a little more challenging.
"I learned that many times, he's orderly and wants things done, but he does have a good side," said Ford, a seventh-grader at Highland Middle School. The challenging aspect, he said, is von Trapp's "different personalities, going from mean to pleasant."
It is a role, however, that Ford is happy to have.
"I was very excited when I got the part," he said.
Though this will be his ninth production with Encore, Ford said he is "getting a little nervous, but mostly excited."
This final week of rehearsals is "tech week," when the actors and the lighting and sound crews put the finishing touches on the production.
"It's a little hectic," said Akers. She's excited, however, to present the musical to the community. "It's a little nerve-wracking at the very beginning, but then you just go."
"It's such a fun show," she added. "I love all of the songs."