In The Sound of Music the von Trapps are portrayed as the happiest family in the world. The Von Trapped Family, however, explores the darker side of the family spoken of by the real von Trapp children in their later years. Sweet postulant nun Maria actually had an explosive temper, whereas their father Georg - portrayed by Hollywood as a stern martinet - was in fact a loving, gentle father.

The play shows how Maria's initiative and will-power save the family after the 1932 bank crash and later when the family, fleeing from Hitler, arrive as refugees in America, but these very qualities which save the family, also trap them. Maria isolates the children, desperate to keep them as voices for the family choir which provides their income, and to work from dawn to dusk on their farm. Thus one daughter, Ingrid, is in her forties before she even enters a grocery store and another, Renata, is forced to elope when Maria locks her up.

Set against some of the most shattering events of the twentieth century, Trapped explores the continuum of exile, belonging and entrapment on a personal and political level as individual members of the family seek their place in the family and in America where they live in Amish-like isolation.

The more poignant moments of this story are balanced by the play's boisterous, non-realistic style, by adult or young adult actors playing the parts of even the youngest children, and by humour.

  • comedy
  • 100
  • 13 total
  • 8 female identifying, 5 male identifying
  • 3 to 8, 8 to 12, 12 to 16, 16 to 18, 18+
  • young adult, adult
  • Australian Script Centre


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