Maria von Trapp Comes to Life in a Lecture at the CAMP Community Center
The halls are alive—with the sound of music! The halls will be the ones found in the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center, as the organization kicks off its Fall Lecture Series with a presentation on Maria von Trapp. Organized by CAMP’s Programs Committee, the lecture is scheduled for Sunday afternoon, September 23, 2012 starting at 4 p.m.
“Is there anyone who hasn’t seen The Sound of Music?” asks Committee Chair Glen Pruitt. “It is the most popular movie musical of all time. We think we know the story of Maria’s life, having seen the movie. But do we really?” The answer is “no,” according to composer/ lyricist/playwright Evelyn Swensson. Mrs. Swensson is well-known in Delaware theatrical circles, having conducted over 80 theatrical productions, including more than thirty for OperaDelaware at Wilmington’s Grand Opera House. Her presentation at CAMP Rehoboth will be a monologue describing the times in which Maria von Trapp lived, and it includes the singing and playing of music that this famous woman loved. Evelyn will be dressed in authentic costuming, and her talk has been thoroughly researched to capture the personality of this beloved woman.
Portraying Maria was an easy choice for Evelyn, who met Maria von Trapp several times in real life. “I have many personal stories about Maria,” she explains. “I first heard the von Trapp Family perform in Nashville, Tennessee in 1943, shortly after their escape from the Nazis. The family sang in eight-part harmony, unaccompanied, performing classical and folk music. At that time they were well-known in Europe, but not in America.” Evelyn and Maria’s paths crossed again in the 1980s, when the von Trapps visited the Dupont Country Club in Wilmington, DE. Evelyn reminded Maria of their first meeting forty years before. Maria burst out laughing, so excited that Evelyn had heard (and remembered) the von Trapps before they were famous. During her presentation, Evelyn portrays Maria von Trapp as the eighty-year-old woman she saw in Wilmington that day. By doing so, she can speak as Maria looking back over her life, her travels, her fame, and even her time in Delaware. And don’t forget all those children, Heaven bless them! “Maria von Trapp became step-mother to seven children, as it was portrayed in the movie. However, most people do not know that Maria and the Captain went on to have three children together, bringing the grand total to 10!” exclaims Mrs. Swennson.
The presentation on Maria von Trapp is the first of three lectures being planned at the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center in the coming months. “We designed the series around the Arts,” explains Pruitt. “We wanted to offer programs that explore and celebrate, in turn, Music, Painting, and Literature.” The second program, scheduled for the evening of Tuesday, October 23, will focus on the life and legacy of painter Vincent van Gogh. The third program is entitled They Make Us Laugh: Humor through Literature, and it will be presented on the evening of Thursday, November 15. The speakers for all three presentations were provided through the Delaware Humanities Forum, a Wilmington-based nonprofit organization that has been in operation since 1973.
“If this series of lectures is well-attended, we would be excited at the possibility of organizing similar presentations on an on-going basis,” adds Pruitt. “We are always open to hearing the community’s suggestions for topics and possible speakers.”
All presentations are free and open to the public. Seating is general admission, and the doors open thirty minutes prior to the start of the presentation. No tickets are needed.