If enthusiasm is the essential ingredient of a successful stage performance, the children in the cast of the Shepparton Theatre Arts Group production of "The Sound of Music" are assured of their audiences approval.
Twelve delightful youngsters, ranging in age from seven to 14 years, are rehearsing three or four times a week at STAGs home, "The Bakehouse."
For most of them, this is their first public performance.
However, watching them rehearse, it is obvious they have the talents that Director Nancy Kinmond was seeking.
These children were chosen from more than 80 young auditionees.
Because the season of "The Sound of Music" is a demanding one - consisting of eight performances - two casts of children were chosen.
They will perform on alternate nights.
Briolie Fitzgerald, Erica Hendy, Shona Ford, Kent Muir, Elain Guerra and Chris Eddy will appear on August 16, 18 (matinee), 24 and 25.
Nicole Tricarico, Marie White, Georgina Gaylard, Paul Marsden, Louise Carroll and Paul Calder will appear on August 17, 19, 23 and 25 (matinee).
The eldest child in the Von Trapp family, Leisl, will be played by Prue Ryan.
There is a very real spirit at rehearsals - and a great deal of warmth.
It is apparent that many friendships are in the making. The children are loving every moment of what promises to be one of STAGs best musicals.
If these children are an example of the talent of this area, amateur theatre in Shepparton is assured of a great future.
"The Sound of Music" will commence at the Civic Centre on August 16 - bookings open at Werner's Pharmacy on July 24.
Children in photo from top are: Paul Calder, Christopher Eddy, Louise Carroll, Elaine Guerra, Paul Marsden, Kent Muir, Georgina Gaylard, Marie White, Nicole Tricarico, Briolie Fitzgerald.