Los Fresnos News


Camille Playhouse Receives Positive Feedback on The Sound of Music

Emilio Flores
Los Fresnos News

Brownsville, Texas — Camille Lightner Playhouse in Brownsville showcased The Sound of Music these last to weekends sharing one of the many great classics, which has seemed to have great feedback. Artistic Director for this year’s season, Brandon Binder, share that this is something that hasn’t been put on since the 60s.

Binder admits it wasn’t his original proposal. He originally purposed the Christmas Show,
“We wanted something holiday oriented, but also that (would) bring in a lot of people and is pretty well known,” Binder shares there were a couple of others that were thrown into the mix as well, but after much discussion, the board seemed to keep coming back to The Sound of Music.

And It seems to have had great feedback, “We had over 60 auditions just for the sound of Music,” Binder shares during one of the Song of Music performances over the weekend.

After one of the Sunday performances, Binder shared “It’s been years since we’ve had some of these numbers,” he says, “And I’m just so excited for other people to feel more comfortable to come in, and I hope that we have these numbers every show from now on!”

Martie DiGregorio says, “It’s very encouraging,” She says that at Camille Playhouse they always give it their all. She says even from this last season they have seen an increase in numbers and it’s very encouraging. Currently, this is Camille Playhouse’s 59th season. Being the oldest community theater in the Valley! And DiGregorio adds the oldest south of San Antonio!

Emilia Flores, who is the lead role of Maria, in the Sound of Music, shares her reaction to finding out that she got the part was a reaction of overwhelming excitement.

“This is a dream role,” Flores says “I literally screamed,” Emilia explains that for being her first part there at Camille Playhouse was huge. “It’s been such a blessing and amazing experience.” She shares the great experience it’s been working with all the cast members and crew at Camille Playhouse.

Maria (Emilia Flores) and Liesl (Starlika Bauskar) singing at their last performance Sunday December 18th.

“So many sweet and talented people,” she says, “And I’ve made so many different connections and friendships every single time I go in!”

Being a full-time College student at UTRGV in Edinburg and living in Weslaco Emilia has made quite the commitment to all the rehearsals and performances in Brownsville, but that is her passion and what she is majoring in, Theater. Emilia shares how wonderful it is to hear and see people truly enjoy the show and see it draw out emotions from the audience.

“That’s what art is. Art is supposed to make you feel something and theater is art in action, it’s live and it’s beautiful.”

All of the individual cast members are volunteers donating their time and energy to such a big performance and Emilia says it’s really humbling to be a part of something like that.

Camille Playhouse also had different schools that were invited to enjoy these performances. Artistic Director, Brandon Binder explains, “This week we welcomed over 1,500 children, parents, and teachers to see our shortened version of the Sound of Music.”

“The majority of the audience had never been to the theater and were very excited to be in the building,” Binder says many had seen the building either on the way to the zoo or while in the park, but actually seeing a performance was a huge experience.

Binder says the audience was “roaring applause, the most genuine of laughter, cheers throughout the show, it is safe to say that the kids loved the show.”

Binder says that many were impacted by seeing kids their own age on the stage. And that he saw how it inspired many to come back again or to look into how they can participate in the theater too.

“Many made comments that they want to return, either to see another show or for the Summer Youth Program.”

Camille Playhouse hosted children from Rancho Verde Elementary, Veterans Memorial HS, Incarnate Word, Laguna Madre, Fig Tree, Jubilee Livingway, Benavidez, Lopez HS, Paredes, Kenmont Montessori, and more.

To stay up to date on where you can try out, or be involved follow Camille Playhouse on their Facebook and Instagram.