Thirteen year old Megan Walstrom will be playing the role of Louisa Von Trapp when the musical debuts at Swope Park this Friday for a seven-night run. And while Walstrom may be a bit nervous about performing in front of so large a crowd, she’ll have a familiar face backstage: Indian Hills theatre teacher Cheryl Hodges-Thrutchley will be playing the role of a nun.
Walstrom has been active in the local theatre community for a few years now, playing role in productions at the Jewish Community Senter, the Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre and the New Theatre Restaurant. Last year she played Charlene “Cha Cha” DiGregorio in Indian Hills’ production of Grease.
Walstrom initially auditioned for the role back in January, and waited through several call backs before getting word that the part was hers in March while the family was on Spring Break in Florida.
“We had kind of given up hope because we’d heard that all of the other people we knew who auditioned had heard by that point,” she said. “We called the person who was housesitting just to check one last time if there had been a call, and it turned out there was a message on the machine.”
Rehearsals for the production have been rigorous — the cast have less than two weeks to put the production together, with sessions lasting as long as 12 hours. But Walstrom says she likes the intensity of theatre life, and she’s elated to take the stage on Friday.
“It’s the biggest audience I’ll ever have have performed in front of,” she said. “I’m just really excited. I’ve waited a long time to get to do it.”