Last fall, students from Greenwood College School in Toronto performed the classic musical Annie. Here's a reflection on how the production went, from the teacher who brought it all together!
The Lodge was transformed into a performance space for our production of Annie. The show was a phenomenal success, and enjoyed by all in attendance.
Our Tuesday performance was attended by the residents of Claremont Retirement Residence, who thoroughly enjoyed the production. On Thursday, for the first time, Greenwood students got the chance to see the play, which was a great chance for the cast and band to showcase their hard work to their peers.
Finally—on both Thursday and Friday night—we held our evening performances, which were well attended by the Greenwood community. In fact, tickets to the evening performances were in such demand that we sold out in under three hours!
While the production ran for four days, the preparation lasted the entire fall term, starting with our auditions up at Kilcoo, and involving many different members of the Greenwood community. The production was directed by myself, Laura Vlahos and Ben Wright - though we certainly could not have brought the show together without the help of many other members of the Greenwood community.
The Grade 11 fashion design class, led by Jennifer Robertson, did a great job designing the costumes. Likewise, various members of the media arts classes helped to design the poster and program, led by Johanna Liburd. Finally, the props club, led by Margaret John, met each Thursday to design and create the backdrops for each scene.
For the first time in Greenwood history, our production had live music provided by the Grade 11 music class, led by Ben Wright. The band was a highlight for audience members, and reflected Greenwood's ever-growing arts program.
Of course, the largest level of commitment came from the cast. Throughout the fall, we rehearsed Monday through Thursday after school, and rehearsed on several Saturdays as well. During the process, students remained very committed to the production, always willing to put in the time and effort to improve their performance. It is worth noting that Frances Howlett '15, who starred as "Annie," was so committed to portraying her character that she dyed her hair and sported Shirley Temple curls for a week!
I remember one of our very first rehearsals for scene one. The group of students portraying the orphans were so excited to be a part of the production, and were already convinced it would be a success. In fact, one of the students suggested that they each add a note in their scripts to, "Pause for thunderous applause ..." after their song. That applause was certainly heard at the performances, and all students involved should be very proud of their hard work.
After the final performance on Friday, as students helped us to tidy up backstage, many words of praise and thanks were exchanged; however, the most common sentiment expressed by the students was a simple, "That was fun!" I couldn't have summed it up better myself.
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