(Note: The von Trapp children actors may be a few years older than their character’s ages. The important thing is to be able to portray the intended age effectively.)
Orphaned as a child, Maria is a spirited postulant at Nonnberg Abbey. She is warm and compassionate – a lover of music who doesn’t think twice about speaking her mind. Nearing the end of her novitiate, she is sent to serve as governess to the seven children of Captain von Trapp. Hoping to find her true calling in this new role, Maria faces a crisis when, unexpectedly, she falls in love with the Captain.
CAPTAIN GEORG VON TRAPP
A distinguished, retired Naval Lieutenant Commander whose stern, regimented disposition represses a deep sadness from the loss of his wife. Often away on business or spending time with Baroness Schraeder abroad, the Captain remains uncompromisingly loyal to his Austrian homeland as threats of Anschluss grow more serious. When Maria restores music to his household, the Captain reconnects with his children and falls unexpectedly in love with the governess.
16, going on 17. Liesl is at that awkward age between childhood and adulthood, and assumes a maternal role with her younger siblings. She is, however, still naïve and in need of her own guidance. She is secretly seeing Rolf, a young delivery boy who is on the verge of being swept up in the approaching Anschluss.
17, going on 18. Rolf is a delivery boy who is interested in Liesl. As an impressionable teen, he is aware of the growing political tension and is caught between his affection for Liesl and a need to prove his manhood.
A charming impresario and friend of the Captain’s. In his job as Third Secretary of Education and Culture, Max is looking for performers for the music festival. When he hears the family singing together, he knows they would be perfect. The Captain protests, but with the Anschluss approaching, he has no choice. Max realizes he can’t fight the new regime and agrees to go along with whatever is asked.
A beautiful, cosmopolitan woman, she has her eyes set firmly on the Captain. She is a businesswoman, president of her late husband’s corporation, who feels the way to deal with the oncoming political situation is not to fight it and let it pass. When she and the Captain realize they don’t see the future the same way, she knows the relationship is over.
The leader and superior of Nonnberg Abbey, Mother Abbess sees the novices through the process of becoming a nun, guiding and inspiring them as they weigh their decision. Firm and authoritative, but also warm and compassionate, Mother Abbess sends Maria to the von Trapp house, sensing that she would be a good fit in the role of governess. When Maria confesses that she has fallen in love with the Captain, the Mother Abbess assures her that love, marriage and motherhood can also be God’s will.
14. Friedrich is the oldest boy in the family and remembers what the von Trapp house was like before his mother passed away. He is learning to be a confident man, but with his father often traveling, he lacks someone to show him how.
13. Missing her mother very much, Louisa has become quite skilled at playing tricks on the governesses, hiding toads in their pockets or giving the wrong name during introductions. But with Maria, it seems she’s met her match.
10, but almost 11. The youngest boy, Kurt is sensitive and pretends to not to be hurt by his father’s absence. Though he misses his mother, Kurt greatly appreciates Maria from the start.
9, and keenly observant for her age. She is thoughtful and, as she says, “cannot tell a lie.”
7, very honest and forthright. Marta likes to enjoy herself and would like a pink parasol for her birthday.
The youngest of the Trapp children, Gretl is soft-spoken and shy, but sweet.
Sister Berthe, Mistress of Novices: A follower of strict tradition and not a fan of nonsense.
Sister Margaretta: An empathetic nun who sees something good in Maria.
Sister Sophia: Another sister who isn’t sure what to do with Maria.
Nun’s chorus (Sing in four part harmony)
Franz: The butler. A middle-aged man who was once the Captain’s orderly in the Imperial Navy, Franz is nervous about the rising political tension in Austria but knows he won’t be able to fight it. (non-singing)
Frau Schmidt: The housekeeper. Efficient and professional, she may appear stern, but she cares deeply for the Captain and wishes only for the family’s happiness. (non-singing)
Ursula: The von Trapp family’s maid.
Herr Zeller: Appointed Nazi official who is to prepare Austria for the Anschluss. (non-singing)
Admiral von Schreiber: A German admiral who is now working with the Nazi party to recruit Baron von Trapp. (non-singing)
Baron Elberfeld: Neighbor and friend of Captain von Trapp. He is of the oldest family in the valley. (non-singing)
Baroness Elberfeld: Baron Elberfeld’s wife. (non-singing)
Nuns, postulants, partygoers, schoolchildren, concert performers and audience. (Singing and non-singing)