The hard knock life: GRC, Campbell to perform ‘Annie’

Under the harsh light on stage, students lined up to practice their bows.

“Did I shine my shoes?”

“Yes, I shined my shoes,” director Emily Jacobus and the cast repeat, trying to perfect the bow sequence for the upcoming GRC High School and Campbell Junior High’s joint production of “Annie the Musical.”

“Annie” will be GRC and RDC’s third joint production.

The show follows 11-year-old Annie’s journey from the orphanage to billionaire Oliver Warbucks’ mansion as she tries to find her parents in Depression-era New York, according to GRC’s website.

The Broadway hit won the 1977 Tony Awards for best original score, best choreography and best musical featuring a dog and a singing president.

Director Emily Jacobus said the directors chose “Annie” because of its message.

“It is a very hopeful story,” she said. “It’s great for all ages.”

Jacobus said the musical also has several colorful characters she thought the students could do an excellent job portraying. She said the planning started around this time last year.

“It’s a huge amount of work,” Jacobus said. “We start thinking about the next musical as soon as we finish the previous one.”

More people were involved this year than ever before, she said. Upwards of 100 people contributed to the making of the “Annie” production, with about 70 students as cast members.

“We have fantastic actors,” Jacobus said. “Amazing vocalists and wonderful artists and builders of our school have pulled together to make something that everyone is going to enjoy.”

Ella Cooper, who plays Molly in the musical, said this is her first theatre production. She has danced since she was three years old, but wanted to try musical theatre since it was a way to combine her passion for dance as well as her affinity for singing.

Cooper said she has made several new friends and has learned a lot about the work that goes into such a production. She said she is ready and excited to perform for the public this weekend.

“I think we’ve worked really hard on this show,” Cooper said. “It’s going to be a wonderful show, really entertaining. All ages will love it.”

About Lashana Harney

Lashana Harney is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. Her beats include schools and education, business and commerce, Winchester Municipal Utilities and other news. To contact her, email lashana.harney@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0015.

email author More by Lashana