Curtain call for Spring Lake senior

Marie Havenga • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:30 AM

Rebecca Hochhuth will be doing one of her favorite things this weekend when the Spring Lake High School stage comes alive with the “Sound of Music."

Hochhuth stars as Maria in the 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, with showtimes at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

It will be the final high school production for the senior before she says “so long, farewell” to climb bigger mountains.

Spring Lake High School drama teacher David Theune said Hochhuth is the first student in his eight years of directing to have been accepted into a college musical theater program. Hockhuth has been accepted at Central Michigan University and to the wait list at Western Michigan University.

“It would be like getting into an honor's program,” Theune explained. “I've had a lot of students go into theater programs, but she's the only one that I remember being accepted into a musical theater program. It's kind of the next level.”

Hockhuth has been playing lead roles since she was a freshman at SLHS.

“That's unheard of,” the English and drama teacher said. “It just doesn't happen. That's how special she is. I saw it her freshman year. She just fills the whole auditorium with her voice and it seems effortless. She's a real gift.”

Script lines are in Hochhuth's bloodlines. Her mom was a voice major and both her parents played lead roles in “Grease” at their respective high schools. The younger Hochhuth played Sandy last year in SLHS's production of “Grease."

Hochhuth has been studying under Grand Haven voice coach Carlos Seise since she was in second grade.

“I don't get nervous when I'm playing a character,” Hochhuth said. “It's really weird because, if I'm in a talent show, I'm nervous. It's like I'm a completely different person.”

Fellow senior Thomas Kramer stars opposite Hochhuth in "The Sound of Music," and five Spring Lake intermediate and elementary school students play the vonTrapp children.

“They bring a whole 'nother energy to the show that is refreshing for us high schoolers,” Hochhuth said of the vonTrapp kids. “Just the things that they say are so sweet. It's a lot of fun.”

Although part of Hochhuth wishes she was just launching her high school drama career, she said she hopes the best is yet to come.

“If I wasn't going to be studying music, I would be absolutely depressed right now because, in a week, all this will be over,” she said. “I hope to perform, teach and pass along what I've learned and be a voice teacher when I'm older. I just really want to be able to make a living off of what I love to do.

"Mr. Theune has taught me so much and encouraged me so much," she continued. "He has been so awesome.”

Besides Hochhuth, Theune has been directing 59 other “Sound of Music” cast members three hours a night, four days a week for the past eight weeks.

Everyone who auditioned made the show.

“It's nice to have all these kids get the experience of being on stage,” Theune said. “We wanted a really big nun's chorus and it doesn't have a specified number in the script. We made a collective agreement to amp them up and have really strong voices. The nun's chorus is phenomenal.”


WHAT: "The Sound of Music"

WHERE: Spring Lake High School, 16140 148th Ave., Spring Lake Township

WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday (SOLD OUT) and Saturday

TICKETS: $9; $7 for students and senior citizens. Call 846-5501 between 7:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. weekdays.

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