The hills are alive with the sound of Catherine Coble’s voice

Pam Griffin
Those who will play the Van Trapp children in the Stagecrafter’s production are (back, from left) Joshua Riley (Kurt), Ryan Gillespie (Friedrick), Katie Dineen (Liesl), (front) Catherine Coble (Brigitta), Elizabeth Lawson (Marta), Caily Mitchell (Gretl) and Ellen Brown (Louisa).

What do young Eponine in “Les Miserablés,” Molly, in the Neil Simon comedy, “Jake’s Women” and Brigitta in “The Sound of Music” have in common? Catherine Coble, a 9-year-old fourth grader at Butler Elementary.

“When people ask me about Brigitta and I tell them who I am, most of them say ‘oh the book reader,’ ” Catherine told The Sun. “Brigitta is the nine year old who enters the scene reading a book and tells Maria that her dress is ugly when she introduces herself.”

Brigitta was played in the 1965 movie by Angela Cartwright, who also played the cute little stepdaughter on the TV series, “Make Room for Daddy” with Danny Thomas in 1953, and Penny Robinson on “Lost in Space” in 1965.

Winning the role of Brigitta meant Catherine auditioned against 54 other children. They sang as a group and also sang a short solo from “Do-Re-Mi,” in addition to reciting lines and learning some marching/dancing presentations.

“All the children had to learn these routines at the auditions to keep the playing field as level as possible,” Nancy Kruzek, director of The Sound of Music, told The Sun. “When producing a musical, the director, vocal director and music director are all involved in choosing the final cast. Catherine was our unanimous choice for the role of Brigitta.” 

“Catherine is an absolute delight to work with, extremely well behaved, and always attentive with a quick mind, incredible memory, and lovely singing and speaking voice,” added Kruzek.

Catherine’s confidence grows with each performance, and she says she is learning to harmonize better with the current show.

“I also think I have learned to be more grateful when I get a part. There are usually a lot of kids there.” 

One of the most popular musicals of all time, “The Sound of Music” will be presented by Stage Crafters Community Theatre at 7:30 p.m. March 14-15 and 21-22 and 2 p.m. March 16 and 23 in the Fort Walton Beach Civic Auditorium.

After performing in two of the most beloved shows ever produced, “Les Mis” and “The Sound of Music,” Catherine always looks forward to the next performance.

“I want to do more of it,” said the girl who is also vice president of the student council. “I want to be on Disney Channel, but my mom doesn't like that idea.”