‘Charlotte’s Web’ to open at S.C. Children’s Theatre in Greenville


“Charlotte’s Web” set. Scenic design by Clint Walker.

“Charlotte’s Web” will be performed at the South Carolina Children’s Theatre in downtown Greenville on select days beginning Sept. 22.

Based on E.B. White’s classic book, the play follows the unlikely friendship between Wilbur the pig and Charlotte the spider. When Wilbur faces the threat of being sent to the butcher, Charlotte comes up with a plan to save him using her talent for spinning words.

“Charlotte’s Web” will run through Oct. 8 on the theater’s Bell Stage. The show is directed by Connor Vetter and stars Alex Byrd, Zac Cooley, Claire Quackenbush, Elijah Foulkes, Tesia Hennessy, Meredith Borden, Wesley Hix, Vi Hix, Quincy Adair, Jenn Januchowski, Anna Brown, Townsend Reynolds, Gloriana Howard, Charlie Johnson, Leila D. Rimes and Haleigh Roberts.

“We are thrilled to bring ‘Charlotte’s Web’ to our stage,” said SCCT Artistic Director Matt Giles. “‘Charlotte’s Web’ is one of the great classics of children’s literature. The unlikely friendship between Charlotte and Wilbur reminds us that when we are open to all the love and wonder the world has to offer, everything will be OK.”

The show is recommended for children in third grade and older.

Tickets are $22 per person and may be purchased in person at the SCCT box office at 153 Augusta St., by phone at 864-235-2885 or online at

SCCT Managing Director, Katie O’Kelly joins Leadership Greenville

SCCT Managing Director, Katie O’Kelly joins the 50th class of Leadership Greenville! Read about the 50th class in this article below, which was published by The Greenville Chamber of Commerce. Congrats also to SCCT board member Debra Alvarez!

Greenville Chamber Celebrates Leadership Greenville’s 50th Anniversary, Introduces Class Participants

Original article posted by: Anna Grace Galloway on Thursday, August 24, 2023 on The Greenville Chamber of Commerce’s website
The Greenville Chamber has accepted participants into its 50th Leadership Greenville class. Participants were selected based on a thorough application process including essays, professional resume and community involvement. To commemorate Leadership Greenville’s 50th anniversary, the Greenville Chamber will be celebrating the impact the program has had since its inception in 1973 and will be engaging Class 50 through a series of service events and celebrations throughout the program’s 10 months.

“We’re so excited to kick off Leadership Greenville’s 50th year,” said Dr. Cheryl Garrison, Executive Director of Greenville Chamber Foundation & Director of Talent, Education, and Leadership. “There is so much to celebrate about this impactful program and its history, and we’re thrilled to introduce this year’s class participants. Our hope is that, like the thousands of Leadership Greenville alumni before them, Class 50 will develop leadership skills and relationships that will last a lifetime in service to our wonderful Upstate community.”

Leadership Greenville is the Chamber’s premier leadership development program designed to develop informed, committed and qualified leaders for Greenville County. By taking an intensive look into the issues affecting the area, Leadership Greenville prepares and motivates graduates to provide quality, dynamic leadership. The program has graduated more than 2000 alumni since 1973, many of whom have served in key positions, including school board, city and county council seats, members of the General Assembly and Congress, judges, and business leaders. USC Upstate is the Leadership Greenville Class 50 Presenting Sponsor.

Class 50 Participants:

  • Ronald Acker, Countybank
  • Debbra Alvarado, Hispanic Alliance
  • Jessie Amos, The Children’s Museum of the Upstate
  • Martha Armstrong, Gateway House, Inc.
  • Bryan Baysinger, Maynard Nexsen, PC
  • Grant Blackwell, Candid Home Inspections
  • Braden Busold, Messer Construction Co.
  • Chuck Carnes, McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture
  • Nicolas Cherry, Fox Rothschild LLP
  • Robert Cooper, AcumenIT
  • Michele Covington, USC Upstate Greenville
  • Bernie Crawford, Mavin Construction
  • Clancy Crowley, Morgan Stanley
  • Kathy Dickson, Apprenticeship Carolina (SC Technical College System)
  • Marissa DiLoreto, LS3P
  • Andrew Eckenbrecht, Brasfield & Gorrie
  • Cody Edgar, Kopis
  • Emily Fournier, Emily’s Table
  • Stacey Franklin, The Hayes Approach
  • Michael Garren, Trehel Corporation
  • Michelle Guevara, VisitGreenvilleSC
  • Lauren Hilderbran, Lowe’s
  • Matthew Hubbard, Group Therapy Pub & Playground
  • Angela Jenkins, Prisma Health
  • Jay Jennings-Gresham, Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office
  • Sandy Jordan, Able South Carolina
  • Kayla Kernich, Thomas & Hutton
  • Rachel Lyons Sibilio, Bank of America
  • Jeb Maloney, Marsh Bell Construction
  • Rene McCurdy, Girl Scouts Mountains to Midlands
  • Cameron McDowell, YMCA of Greenville
  • Holly McKissick, Hughes Agency
  • C. Coley Mitchell, ITW Hartness
  • Kimberly Mogan, GirlUp GVL
  • Victoria Novak, Greenville Literacy Association
  • Katie O’Kelly, South Carolina Children’s Theatre
  • Crystal Pace, Pinnacle Partnership/ Pinnacle Hospitality
  • Erin Predmore, Greenville Connects
  • Kim Purdy, USC Upstate
  • JD Redman, International Transportation Innovation Center (ITIC)
  • Julie Selof, Truliant Federal Credit Union
  • Katie Smithson, Clemson University
  • Robert Stevens, Elliott Davis, LLC
  • Janell Strickland, Find Great People
  • Ebony Sullivan, Suga Pie Honeybun
  • Alan’a Thornton, Real Impact Technology Consulting
  • Amber Wilson, Fluor
  • Bethany Winston, Kidding Around Media
  • Scott Yandle, FORVIS, LLP
  • Michael Yearout, Greenville Police Department
  • Megan Young, City of Greenville

From Schoolhouse Rock to Broadway: Entertaining Kids and Former Kids

Tony Award-winning Broadway legend Lynn Ahrens calls her journey into musical theatre lyric-writing “dumb luck.”

Hoping to become a copywriter after her graduation from Syracuse University, the twenty-something New Jersey native moved with her then-husband to New York City. She answered two New York Times employment ads – one for an insurance agency, another for an advertising agency. “We were broke,” Ahrens told a reporter in 2014. “I would’ve taken the first job offered.” The ad firm struck first, so she joined the secretarial pool at McCaffrey & McCall.

Though it seemed inconsequential at the time, that job opportunity changed the course of Ahrens’ life.

She was “bored silly as a secretary.” To help pass the time, she brought her guitar to the office and played music on her lunch breaks. One of the firm’s creative directors took notice of her musical talent and invited her to write a piece for one of his artistic babies—an educational television program called Schoolhouse Rock. Ahrens leapt at the opportunity. Before long, she’d written – and recorded! – a number called “The Preamble.”

It was a hit.

Suddenly, Ahrens’ dreams of copywriting shifted to songwriting.  She fielded an increasing number of requests to write not only for Schoolhouse Rock but also for other children’s programming (e.g., Captain Kangaroo) and television commercials (e.g., Klondike Ice Cream Bars and Bounty Paper Towels).

Many successes and nearly a decade later, Ahrens needed a new challenge. She was aware that her composition skills were limited – she only knew five chords! – so she enrolled as a lyricist in the 1982 BMI Musical Theatre Workshop. Also enrolled was a recent graduate of the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music named Stephen Flaherty. Flaherty had written musicals—both composing the music and writing the lyrics—all through high school and college. The two became acquainted early in their Workshop tenure and admired each other’s work; however, it was nearly a year before they decided to team up.  As Ahrens recalls it, Flaherty asked her if she’d like to write their final assignment together-she’d set the lyric to his composition. Ahrens agreed. That class time collaboration never ended. They’ve been writing together ever since.

Interestingly, one of the pair’s earliest outings was a work for young audiences. New York’s TheatreWorks, a children’s theatre company, commissioned an adaption of The Emperor’s New Clothes. In addition to writing lyrics for Flaherty’s music, Ahrens was also called on to write the hour-long show’s libretto. Audiences of more than one thousand children at a time thrilled at the result of Ahrens and Flaherty’s labors. The two grew increasingly confident that their fledgling collaboration was one worth maintaining.

Next up, the pair created a show called Lucky Stiff. Based on Michael Butterworth’s book The Man Who Broke the Bank of Monte Carlo, the quirky musical was a farcical send up of a story about a shoe salesman who takes a dead body on vacation. It ran at off-Broadway’s Playwright’s Horizons for a limited engagement of 15 performances in the spring of 1988. Most importantly, though, it wet the team’s whistle for another project.


They found it soon after. Ahrens came across Rosa Guy’s 1985 novel My Love, My Love, or the Peasant Girl, which was a Caribbean retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid. First attracted to the book because of its colorful cover, Ahrens was further endeared to its story of an exotic island world very different from the one she inhabited. She immediately called Flaherty. “I think I’ve found our next show,” she reported.


He was thrilled.

Since its release, Flaherty had been captivated by Paul Simon’s 1986 album “Graceland.” Infused with the intoxicating rhythms of South African street music, “Graceland” won a 1987 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Flaherty was excited about the idea of trying his hand at music written with that sort of international flavor. He and Ahrens got to work.

For nine months, they joyfully labored over what would become Once on this Island. Calling it the “fastest writing they’d ever done,” Ahrens and Flaherty were nearly finished writing the musical before they secured its rights from the author of their source material. When they finally met with Rosa Guy, she agreed that the show could go on. It premiered at Playwright’s Horizons in May of 1990 – just two years after Lucky Stiff!

New York Times reviewer Frank Rich was effusive in his review of the production: “A 90-minute Caribbean fairy tale told in rousing song and dance,” he wrote, “this show is a joyous marriage of the slick and the folkloric, of the hard-nosed sophistication of Broadway musical theatre and the indigenous culture of a tropical isle.”

Theatregoers and, perhaps more importantly, producers took note. By that fall, Once on this Island had made the leap to Broadway, where it was honored with eight Tony Award nominations and ran for more than a year.  The show has gone on to great success in regional, community, and educational theatres, and even a Tony Award-winning Broadway revival (2018).


For their parts, Ahrens and Flaherty have gone on to become one of Broadway’s most bankable songwriting teams. In addition to Once on this Island, the team hit its stride collaborating on shows, like Ragtime (1998), Seussical (2001), and Anastasia, a 2017 adaptation of the 1997 animated film for which they also wrote the music. Their decades-long career, however, was jumpstarted by the success of their first outing on the Great White Way.

And according to Ahrens, Once on this Island is as relevant today as it was at its 1990 premiere.

She said, “There’s this timely quality to the show in a world that’s divided and that is in need of something to heal it as quickly as possible.”


Special thanks to Kristin Stultz Pressley, aka Dr. Broadway

Giving Matters: SCCT’s Debbie Bell Fund for Artistic Excellence to support bold initiatives

“In the early days, we would perform anywhere that would have us — churches, schools — until we became a resident company of the Peace Center’s Gunter Theatre. Even then we moved our administrative offices, classrooms and outreach programs from place to place without the synergy of having everything in the same building where we held performances,” Bell says. “Now the Children’s Theatre has a true home it can be proud of.”

Under Bell’s leadership, SCCT has become the state’s largest children’s theater, serving 50,000 children and their families every year through performances, special events, classes, residencies, school tours and outreach programs for underserved children and those with special needs. The theater has also developed programs to help young people face issues like bullying, gangs, drugs and alcohol. Pursuing these projects despite financial constraints was important to Bell, and their impact in the community remains a point of pride.

“SCCT has tremendous partnerships that the public may not be aware of. We’ve worked with everyone from Marshall Pickens (Hospital), Camp Courage, the Meyer Center, the Washington Center and Greenville County Schools Child Development Centers, providing theater-education classes for children who wouldn’t otherwise have that experience. That meant a lot to me,” Bell says.

Minor Shaw, who worked alongside Bell over the years, describes Bell as a tireless advocate for the South Carolina Children’s Theatre.

“Debbie’s passion and vision for what the SCCT could be have been the guiding forces for the volunteers, the staff, parents and children who have all worked together with Debbie to make the [SCCT] what it is today,” Shaw says. “Generations of children and families have benefitted from having this wonderful theater in our community.”

As she approached her 2022 retirement, Bell wanted to ensure that SCCT, now co-led by Katie O’Kelly, managing director, and Matt Giles, artistic director, would have the means to continue pursuing innovative ideas to advance its mission. She and theater leadership worked with the Community Foundation of Greenville to create the Debbie Bell Fund for Artistic Excellence. The fund is dedicated to supporting bold projects that might otherwise be beyond the theater’s reach.

“We always wanted to take what we were doing a step further, but we were limited in how far we could stretch our operating budget,” Bell says. “The Debbie Bell Fund really is designed to support artistic excellence, to make it possible to pursue initiatives like bringing internationally known playwrights to Greenville or organizing community-wide projects that bring together people from across the Upstate to produce joyful, life-changing theater.”

Bell hopes the fund will continue to grow, ensuring the theater’s legacy for future generations.

“I am so thankful to all the donors and friends who have already contributed to the fund,” she says. “I hope that others will join us in supporting the ongoing artistic excellence of SCCT and its mission to impact all children and families in our community through the transformational power of the arts.”

Donations to this fund can be made by visiting the Community Foundation’s website at and selecting “Debbie Bell Fund for Artistic Excellence at SC Children’s Theatre.” For more information on SCCT, visit

SCCT Voted Best New Play and Best Theatre for Young Audiences Production

BWW Regional Awards

Winners Announced For The 2022 BroadwayWorld South Carolina Awards

Thank you to all of the SCCT community and audiences for voting in the 2022 BroadwayWorld South Carolina Awards! Your nominations and votes won us the titles of Best New Play/Musical (Missing Moon) and Best Theatre for Young Audiences Production (The Sound of Music). See all of the winners here.

Missing Moon by Kerry Ferguson
Guillermo R Jemmott Jr. in The Sound of Music

A Miraculous Tale of Self-Transformation: South Carolina Children’s Theatre presents The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

Coming up next at South Carolina Children’s Theatre is The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, a play based on the children’s book of the same name by the award-winning children’s literature author Kate DiCamillo (of the Mercy Watson series and The Tale of Despereaux). The story follows a toy rabbit whose capacity for love grows through loss. It is an epic tale of resilience and empathy. The imaginative stage adaptation will run January 27th – February 5th on the SCCT Bell MainStage, and is directed by one of Greenville’s most accomplished directors, Jay Briggs. A skilled cast of 5 actors will bring to life over 20 characters with original music composed by upstate musician David Sims over 80 magical minutes. We sat down with director Jay Briggs to hear more about what audiences can expect from this magical production.

Director, Jay Briggs

SCCT: Is this your first time directing at SCCT?

BRIGGS: Yes! This is my first time directing for SCCT, and I was thrilled to accept the opportunity for professional and personal reasons. SCCT is an excellent, well-respected theatre, and I have several personal connections to the organization. As a high-schooler, I took classes with Betsy Bisson at Flat Rock Playhouse in North Carolina, and my eight-year-old daughter has been taking classes at SCCT since she was in pre-school. In my past experiences being a part of and directing theatre for young audiences, I’ve found that it is exciting and vital work. Then, when SCCT Artistic Director Matt Giles sent me the script for The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, the beauty and heightened theatricality immediately caught my interest.


SCCT: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is a popular book. Had you read it before signing on to direct this play?

BRIGGS: I had read some of Kate DiCamillo’s other works, but not this one. While I highly recommend the book, reading it to enjoy this play is not necessary. The theatrical adaptation is beautifully engaging and imaginatively tells the same story.

Scenic Designer, Genesis Garza leads the cast through a tour of the set (in process)

SCCT: How will the play’s scenic design help tell the story of Edward Tulane? 

BRIGGS: SCCT Technical Director Genesis Garza’s scenic design will set our actors in an old attic full of lost treasures and surprising stories. It is a beautiful representation of a child’s imagination, with endless possibilities for magic.


SCCT: What are the major themes of the story?

BRIGGS: The primary lesson in this play is the importance of resilience and that sometimes love deepens through loss. This is a critical message for young people, especially in light of the past 2-3 years. Kids and families have been through a lot. And there are a couple of different ways to react to the trials we’ve been through – either by closing off and convincing yourself that it is the best way not to get hurt or by keeping your heart open and allowing yourself to grow as a result of tough times.


SCCT: Why do you think families will enjoy this play?

BRIGGS: This play reminds families of what’s truly important – love and relationships through a story of resilience told dynamically with compelling performances, imaginative scenic design, and original music.


The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane opens Friday, January 27th and closes on Sunday, February 5th. The show runs for 80 minutes and is recommended for ages eight and up.


Tickets are $20 and can be purchased:

in person at the SCCT Box Office at 153 Augusta Street

by phone 864-235-2885

and online at

‘The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane’ to Open at SCCT was published in The Greenville Journal January 5, 2023.

Multigenerational Tale Told in a Fashionably Modern Way

Actors rehearsing choreography (L to R – Alexis Poole, Christina Yasi, Krissy Tucker, Morgan Goldsberry, and Choreographer Grayson Anthony)

There’s something magical on its way to Greenville’s West End. Rodgers & Hammerstein’s
Cinderella is the second production of the 2022-23 season at South Carolina Children’s Theatre
(SCCT) and opens Friday, November 18th on the Bell MainStage. This Broadway adaptation of
the classic musical features new characters, a hilarious libretto, surprising twists, and an
unforgettable score.

SCCT’s Artistic Director, Matt Giles (also the director of this production), wasn’t always a fan of
the classic musical. He and his brother grew up watching it on television.“The story of Cinderella
is ingrained in us all – it’s ancient and timeless. I wasn’t always a massive fan of this musical as
a kid. Every year I watched the televised version with Lesley Ann Warren – and I fell asleep. But,
after reading the updated Broadway script from 2013, I felt like the revisions gave the story new
life to speak to audiences of a newer generation. There’s still plenty of magic, but there’s also a
great sense of self-determination or magic of your own making. With the same beautiful music
and a few fun twists from our excellent design team, I’m confident this production will charm
audiences of all ages. I always love finding pieces that grandchildren will enjoy as much as
grandparents,” says Giles.

There are several versions of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, all of which were made for
TV: one in 1957 starring Julie Andrews, and another in 1965 starring Lesley Ann Warren (the
version Giles grew up watching), and the 1997 version starring Brandy and Whitney Houston.
This updated book by Douglas Carter Greene, gives Cinderella more agency and provides a
strong example of female friendship.

Costume Designer, Sarah Greene

Giles is also working with his production team to put a fashionably fun and modern stamp on the
design of the show. Costume Designer, Sarah Greene is busy at work upcycling and sewing
from scratch to create a unique take on 1700’s Rococo fashion that incorporates exciting colors
and textures from the 1980’s. “We are excited to reimagine Cinderella in this unique artistic
style. So while there will still be the frills and ruffles that everyone loves, the show will have a
new feel and flair that we know will delight our audiences,” says Giles.

Actors and Mother/Daughter – Krissy Tucker and Alexis Poole

Cast member, Krissy Tucker, plays Madame (the evil stepmother) in this production.
Commenting on how the updated version of the story, Tucker says, “This version has more
depth, humor, and a bit more sarcasm than the original. It doesn’t give way to the notion from
the original that one person has to be saved from their situation by any one person. Or that your
social status determines your value or worth.”

Tucker is also looking forward to playing Madame alongside her own daughter Alexis Poole,
making this a family affair. “This is our first time acting together onstage and playing mother and
daughter actually makes it a lot easier, says Tucker.“It allows me to pull from a real place and
hopefully will help bring an authenticity that is tangible to the audience. And most importantly it’s
so much fun. This experience is taking our relationship to a whole new level!”

In planning the Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella in SCCT’s coveted winter slot, the creative
team is excited to produce a show that will appeal to multiple generations. “The play still has the
sweetness and kindness qualities as seen in other versions that are geared mainly for children
but simultaneously includes humor and themes that adults will appreciate as well,” says Tucker.
“The show also teaches you that someone else does not determine your destiny but that you
possess that power within yourself. I also appreciate being a part of a production that is
inclusive of all races and is not bound by how roles were casted in the past. These are just a
couple of things that will resonate and feel relatable to all generations.”

Throughout the run of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, SCCT is also taking the opportunity
to give back during the holiday season. When attending shows, audience members can donate
gently worn pairs of shoes which will benefit Funds2Orgs, an organization that helps
communities in developing nations build small businesses. The theatre hopes to help facilitate
economic stability for these families abroad and promote a sense of gratitude and generosity in
its youngest patrons.

SCCT to present ‘Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella’ was published in The Greenville Journal on November 9th, 2022.

Katie O’Kelly Hired as New Managing Director of South Carolina Children’s Theatre; Eager To Build Upon SCCT’s Legacy

South Carolina Children’s Theatre (SCCT) is pleased to announce the hiring of Katie O’Kelly as the organization’s new Managing Director. Ms. O’Kelly will co-lead the organization with SCCT’s Artistic Director, Matt Giles, and will begin work at the theatre this September.

“The Board of Directors is delighted to welcome Katie O’Kelly to South Carolina Children’s Theatre,” says SCCT Board Chair Kathryn Freedman. “In her new role as Managing Director, Katie and Artistic Director Matt Giles will maintain the purpose, quality, and vision our patrons expect while adding their own energy and flair. The Board is confident that together they will build on the creative and transformative foundation established by Debbie Bell.”

Ms. O’Kelly hails from Florence, South Carolina and received her B.A. from Wofford College and her Master of Fine Arts at the California Institute of the Arts. She has worked nationally and internationally as a Production Manager, Producer, and Stage Manager for companies like Seattle Repertory Theatre, Spoleto Festival USA, CalArts Center for New Performance, REDCAT, Triad Stage, Charleston Stage Company, and Wuzhen Theatre Festival in Wuzhen, China. She worked as Producing Associate for the 8-time Tony Award winning Best Musical Hadestown through its pre-Broadway runs in Canada and London, and in its current run on Broadway. Most recently, Ms. O’Kelly was the Director of Operations and Production at Triad Stage in Greensboro, North Carolina, where she managed the business side of the organization and its $2.2M operating budget. Ms. O’Kelly has also served as an Adjunct Professor at University of North Carolina Greensboro teaching Stage Management, an Adjunct Professor of Theatre at Greensboro College teaching courses in Stage Management and Production Management, and the Producing Associate for the Tony Award winning Producer, Dale Franzen.

“I couldn’t be more excited to be joining the team at SCCT as its new Managing Director,” says Ms. O’Kelly. “I am passionate about the mission of the theatre and look forward to building upon SCCT’s 35-year legacy and creating more opportunities for young people and their families to engage with the theatre.”

SCCT’s Board of Directors led an exhaustive nationwide search for the role. “The search committee interviewed candidates from across the country, and we were very pleased to find a South Carolina voice to continue leading the theatre,” says Derek Lewis, SCCT board member and leader of the Managing Director search committee.

This September will start a year-long celebration of SCCT’s 35-year anniversary, and with a brand-new theatre facility in the West End, and Ms. O’Kelly now in place to co-lead the organization, the theatre is poised for its next stage of growth. “I am thrilled to welcome Katie to SCCT and to partner with her in leading the theatre,” says Artistic Director, Matt Giles. “She will be a phenomenal addition and her wide array of experience will be a tremendous asset during this period of exciting growth and change at South Carolina Children’s Theatre.”

Looking back on SCCT’s first 35 years, there is much to celebrate, especially for Debbie Bell who has been with the theatre for 34 years, with 23 of those years as Executive Director. Ms. Bell leaves behind an extraordinary legacy for SCCT and the City of Greenville, and says the future is bright for the organization. “Katie O’Kelly is a rising star in the theatrical field,” says Ms. Bell. “She and Matt will make a stellar team. I look forward to seeing how they will work with the Board and the Staff to grow the theatre to new heights. SCCT is in great hands and I personally can’t wait to see what they do next.”

Photo credit: Kris Decker/Firewater Photography

Founded in 1987 by Ric Standridge, South Carolina Children’s Theatre has impacted the lives of children and families in the Upstate community through theatre, educational classes and workshops, and accessible outreach initiatives. Each year, South Carolina Children’s Theatre produces and performs five high quality, live theatre performances featuring children and adults on its Bell MainStage. The theatre also produces three-four additional shows and other special events on its more intimate Younts 2nd Stage. Throughout the year, SCCT offers professional year-round education in the dramatic arts for children ages 3 to 18, as well as educational outreach to low-income and special needs children. For more information about South Carolina Children’s Theatre, please visit:


Contact info:

Kate Fowler
Director of Development & Marketing
South Carolina Children’s Theatre
[email protected]
Address: 153 Augusta Street, Greenville, SC 29601
Office Phone: (864) 203-1164


Sound of Music Trivia

by Margaret Butler

It’s easy to get the tunes of “The Hills are Alive,” “My Favorite Things,” “Do-re-mi,” and “Edelweiss” stuck in your head, but few people know the history behind the beloved story and music. The Broadway musical – which inspired the 1965 film – was based on the memoir “The Story of the Trapp Family Singers” by the real Maria von Trapp (Kutschera). We hope you enjoy these interesting facts and perhaps use them as a conversation starter before you see the live production at SCCT!

1. The Sound of Music was based on a real family!
Maria Kutschera was born in 1905. In 1926, she left her convent to live with the von Trapp family, where she was to tutor one of Captain von Trapp’s children, who was sick at the time. Contrary to the story we all know and love, she wasn’t originally hired as a governess for the family! (The Washington Post)

2. There were actually 10 von Trapp children – not 7!
There were 10 children, not 7, in the von Trapp family. Their names were changed, as well. The real von Trapp children were named Rupert, Agathe, Maria, Werner, Hedwig, Johanna, Martina, Rosmarie, Eleonore, and Johannes. (Biography)

3. No “do-re-mi” lessons for the real von Trapp siblings
Maria didn’t have to teach the von Trapp siblings how to sing. In fact, they were already accomplished singers and musicians before she arrived! Maria, however, did encourage them to share their talents by touring and performing in competitions. They won first place in the Salzburg Music Festival in 1936! (National Archives)

4. “Edelweiss” isn’t Austrian
“Edelweiss” is one of the most recognizable and beloved songs from The Sound of Music. However, it wasn’t an Austrian standard. It was written by Rodgers and Hammerstein for the musical. (Insider)

5. The von Trapps didn’t actually escape to Switzerland via mountain pass
In fact, they took a train to Italy! It would have been unsafe for them to cross over the Austrian mountains, as it would have landed them in Hitler’s Germany. (

6. The Singing Heart
According to The Sound of Music, originally went by a totally different name: The Singing Heart.

7. A Broadway Flop
The Sound of Music first opened on Broadway in 1959 and was slammed by critics for being too “saccharine.” The producers had already invested $2 million in advance ticket sales so it was able to stay open! It ran on Broadway for three years with 1,443 performances. (The Sound of Music)

8. Hammerstein’s final hurrah
Sadly, The Sound of Music was Rodgers and Hammerstein’s last collaboration. Shortly after the first Broadway premiere, Hammerstein passed away. This was his 8th and final musical. (

9. 6 Tony Awards and 5 Oscars
The Sound of Music on Broadway won six Tony awards, including Best Musical and Best Actress for Mary Martin, who played Maria. The movie adaptation won five Oscars in 1965, including Best Picture. (

10. The original cast recording was number one on Billboard charts for 16 weeks
The original cast recording was recorded a week after the show’s premiere in 1959. It was released by Columbia Records and quickly rose to the top of the Billboard album charts, where it was number one for 16 weeks! (

With your Sound of Music trivia now in hand, we hope you join us at SCCT to enjoy this classic story. Directed by SCCT Artistic Director Matt Giles and featuring performances by local actors, choreographers, and designers, this production of Sound of Music will be one to remember!

The Sound of Music runs at South Carolina Children’s Theatre from May 6th – 22nd with showtimes at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm, Tickets are $22. Get your tickets here.