Olivia sings her way to The Sound of Music Malaysia

“It was an exciting and memorable experience, one that I would never forget and will always cherish.”

Olivia, a Year 5 rising star from Straits International School Penang, was one of the few selected children from 400 applicants to be cast as Marta, one of the famed von Trapp children in The Sound of Music International Tour. For the first time in Malaysia, the highly acclaimed original production was held in Kuala Lumpur’s Istana Budaya from December 2022 till January 2023.

Olivia shared with us her full experience and the journey on stage.

What is your experience to play a role in one of Broadway’s timeless classics.

“It was exciting, nerve-wrecking, and so much fun! I had the honour working with professional performer who were helpful, kind and patient to show us through the ropes.

The show was held in Kuala Lumpur but we managed to visit Singapore to catch the opening show at Marina Bay Sands. It was my first time visiting The Sand Theatre, and we were lucky to rehearse there before lying back to KL for our opening show.

I remember feeling jitters before our first show. But when I went on stage, I immediately felt relaxed and was able to give my best performance.

We also get the chance to take photo with Malaysia’s Minister of Youth & Sports, YB Hannah Yeoh, who is one of the audiences during our show.

How did you overcome the nervousness performing in front of a large audience?

It helps when I focus and tell myself that I’m going to be fine and stay calm. Many times, I found myself facing my inner fear, but by having positive mindset I’m able to overcome these challenges.

What was your favourite line as Marta?

“I love the part when I introduce myself as Marta in the beginning of the show. It is so much fun to say, ‘I’m Marta, and I’m going to be seven on Tuesday, and I’d like a pink parasol.’ The lines give a strong and great first impression to the audience.”

What are some of the important skills you have learnt to perform better on stage?

“To always become your character before you step on stage. You cannot just introduce yourself as the character and their name, you need to really show that you are that character – their personalities, their style; it is like becoming somebody else. I always remind myself that I am not Olivia when I am on stage to get into character. Also, you also have to be loud and clear on stage to be heard by the audience.”

What are your plans moving forward to pursue this dream?

“I hope to take up professional acting lessons to sharpen my skills, and I definitely look forward to starring in future productions. Most importantly, to have the opportunity to reunite with the friends that I have made throughout The Sound of Music production.”

Through sheer determination and her hardworking personality, Olivia also addressed her family, especially her mother in providing her the support and keeping her company throughout rehearsals. “My mother showed me the importance of discipline and ensured that we’re always on time. Her motivation has guided me to be the best that I can in putting on a great show.”

Olivia will also be starring in Straits International School Penang’s upcoming summer musical production: Aladdin, as Prince Abdullah, one of Princess Jasmine’s suitors.

Read about her pre-show debut here: https://bit.ly/3XlgxPF

Olivia at the front row together with the other von Trapp children
The performers together with YB Hannah Yeoh, Malaysia’s Minister of Youth & Sports.