"I said, 'I am so not old enough for Mother Abbess,'" Gubsch, 51, recalls now. "He said, "That's what makeup is for.' So now I'm old enough, and I don't need so much makeup."
Gubsch stepped out of only one scheduled "Sound of Music" performance, letting her understudy take the Mother Abbess role while she attended her son's wedding. She also sat out the 2002 season so she could finish her master's degree, but still contributed to music direction.
Gubsch also acts as head dresser, managing the show's many costume changes, which keeps her busy during Mother Abbess' offstage time. During the academic year, she directs Cashmere school plays. The production of "Crazy For You" she and her students mounted back in February earned a special award for educational impact in
"The Sound of Music's" opening night on Friday will be Gubsch's 300th performance as Mother Abbess. She says the role tends to reinvent itself, which keeps her from getting bored.
"The beauty of the show, and I think the beauty of acting, is every performance has to be new. ... Good actors are active listeners, so you have to respond to what's happening in that moment."
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