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(Photo: submitted)

Maplehurst Middle School presents Annie Jr.

By Tara Clow Jun 9, 2023 | 1:34 PM

A musical drama performance is a first for Maplehurst Middle School.

Over 50 students in grades 6 through 8 auditioned for Annie Junior in January, and rehearsals and behind-the-scenes work have been underway since then.

“This is our first big musical production. We only opened in 2019, so this is really the first year we were able to do anything, post-COVID. It really shut everything down,” says Director and Music Teacher McKenzie Vienneau.

About 70 students are involved between cast and crew, many of them behind the scenes. “Moving props, making props in the woodshop and they’re painting set designs. They’re advertising, they’re selling tickets. There are a lot of students involved,” Vienneau adds.

Annie Junior is a shortened-down kids’ version of the original production. Some of the scenes and songs have been removed.

“We do have a few students who had a little bit of experience with musical performances around town, but for the most part, most of our cast is very new to drama productions in the musical world. It’s a great experience working with a big cast and introduction to singing and acting and it will help to peak interests early,” Vienneau says.

All of the money raised from Friday and Saturday night’s productions will support the music program at the school. It will help to buy new instruments, or repair or replace the current ones.

Vienneau doesn’t plan on doing a musical production every year, because of the amount of work involved, but it is something she’d like to see every two or three years, “You have the buy the rights to it and they have to approve it. So there’s a whole contract and applications, plus we’re renting costumes, so that is a huge cost. We’re making a lot of the props here but wood to make all the props and set designs is also costly.”

Tickets are still available for the production on June 9th and 10th at Maplehurst Middle School.

Annie Jr. cast and crew (Photo: submitted)


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