By Arts Editor Doreen Jung. Leapin’ lizards! Little Orphan Annie is coming to town. Enjoy the wide-ranging adventures of Annie and her friends in Abbotsford Traditional Secondary’s Musical Theatre production of “Annie”.

Pictured at right: Annie, played by Lindsay Hughes

Plucky and optimistic, Annie faces down bullies and con men. Her strong sense of right and wrong is unwavering.

Grade 12 student Lindsay Hughes, one of the actors who plays Annie, has found the role to be a great experience. “I feel very lucky to be in this role and in this play,” said Hughes. “Annie is a lot of fun. Despite her hardships, she is upbeat which suits me.” One of her favourite parts in this role is the dancing. “The Hard Knock Life is my favourite song. We get to have a lot of fun with it and our choreographer, Mrs. Pitts is great.”

Annie 2There is great chemistry between the performers as they bring the story to life on the stage. Under the direction of teachers, Grant Gasser and Janet Wade, the musical is performed by 60 students from the Musical Theatre classes. The cast and crew have been preparing for the show since the end of October. Being able to perform the show at the Abby Arts Centre is a great opportunity for the students. “They are getting a professional level of experience in theatre, especially with the lighting and sound,” observed Gasser. “The staff at Abby Arts Centre have been second to none and it is a real tribute to the school district who owns and operates it.”

3. Miss Hannigan played by Melissa SalterMiss Hannigan runs the orphanage where Annie lives with other orphans. Her character is a fun role for Melissa Salter who has performed in musical theatre for four years.

Pictured at right: Miss Hannigan played by Melissa Salter

“It is interesting that Miss Hannigan is a warden of these orphans,” observes Salter. “She is really a selfish woman who wants a lavish lifestyle.” The dance numbers are a favourite part of the performance for Salter. “They are fun and goofy and you get to play around with it a lot.”

4. Daddy Warbucks played by Arjun GillArjun Gill has performed on stage since middle school. Now in grade 11, he is in his third year of Musical Theatre.

Pictured at left: Daddy Warbucks, played by Arjun Gill

He has performed as Tinman in the Wizard of Oz, a castle steward in Cinderella, and has played the role of Rudolph and Santa in Christmas productions.
Gill is enjoying the challenge of the role of Daddy Warbucks. “I am supposed to be really reserved and not show my feelings,” explained Gill. “Yet I still need to be able to act but to act within those confinements.”

The cast and crew are preparing a great show. Their dances are exuberant and well-choreographed and their songs are heartwarming and full of energy. The actors bring warmth and humour to the stage with their performance. It is unforgettable entertainment for the young and the young at heart.
Annie 5

by Abbotsford Traditional Secondary’s Musical Theatre

Abbotsford Arts Centre
School Matinee performances are on January 14th & 16th
Friday, January 17th & Saturday, January 18th at 7:30 pm
For more information please click here.

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