How do you solve a problem like Maria? The answer might come in the form of a young Nova Scotia actress.
Three Bluenose-born women are in the running for an opportunity to play the more-song-than-spirit novice nun in a Toronto run of The Sound Of Music.
“Being Maria, well she is such a classic character, and so many people forget she was a real person,” said Dartmouth’s Kyla Tingley. “That is why getting to bring her to stage is important to me.”
The Acadia University graduate — along with Truro’s Tamara Fifield and Middleton’s Michelle Langille — is among 48 Maria von Trapp-wannabes who will be featured on the first episode of How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? The new reality series, which premieres on CBC Television this Saturday, will see the actors put through their paces at Maria camp; an intense regiment of acting, singing and dance.
From there, 10 finalists will be selected by a panel featuring Andrew Lloyd Webber, with one actress earning a chance to become one of the most recognizable characters in musical theatre.
“It’s probably one of the hugest opportunities going on right now,” said Langille.
She said that during her boot camp audition, the judges wanted each of the young women to take their time and enjoy their moment in the spotlight — and in front of the TV cameras that were recording every minute.
“I was in the audition room, and I did my song, and they worked on it with me three times and it was really hard, and a blur,” Langille said. “I felt confident, but you are never sure what is going to happen. They said, ‘Do we like her?’ and one guy said ‘We love her.’”
Fifield, who applied on a whim while studying at Memorial University, said she has watched the movie version of the musical since she was a child.
“It was neat being there. I didn’t know anyone, but it was great to meet all these people who were passionate about the same thing I am passionate about,” she said.
“We told the producers, you aren’t going to see too much cattiness,” added Tingley.