The Bentley school Jr. High Drama Class Option students put on two per- formances of the musical “Annie Jr.” at the school on June 11 — one in the afternoon and one in the evening.
It was hard not to get emotionally involved with the characters when there were so many remarkable actors.
Marla Kolybaba, the fine arts academy/director/ teacher, was director and looked after the sets, music, and costumes.
She said she is very excited to see the interest growing.
“I’ve grown this option (the junior high drama option) from 17 (participants) the first year, to 24 the next, and now this year to 36. I’m very happy they’re so keen to get involved!”
Many students took on two different roles.
The main characters were Annie (the 11 year old orphan) played by Kelsey Vig, Oliver Warbuck (the billionaire) played by Riley Leclerc, Grace Farell (Warbuck’s secretary) played by Zoe Lorenz, and Agatha Hannigan (orphanage matron) played by Emma Nickerson.
There were two actors who played the part of Rooster Hannigan (bother of Agatha Hannigan). Austin Siebold was Rooster in the afternoon, and Faith Alexdandre in the evening.
Lily St. Regis (Rooster’s girlfriend) was also played by two different actors. In the afternoon Lily was Paige Skjonsberg, and Hannah Dojahn was Lily in the evening performance.
“The reason I had two actors for a few characters,” explained Kolybaba, “was that I had a lot of strong kids audition.”
This was so that I could give more kids a chance at having a role. Everyone who wanted to be on stage was.
“And of course if one of them twisted an ankle at soccer or whatever, I had a back up ready to go.”
Two were actually on crutches the day of dress rehearsal, but with tape and toughness they pulled through.
Many drama students also helped backstage, or with the sound system and music, lighting, set building and props, and more.
Talented choreographer was teacher Miss Courtney MacMillan.
Grade 12 student Vivien Schunk was a very great asset as the director’s assistant and did the girls’ hairstyles.
Miss Robyn Brown was stage manager and makeup. Mr. Joe Brown was vocal coach for Oliver Warbucks.
Two different full sets were incorporated. There was the orphanage, and the Warbuck’s living room, plus the stage with curtains drawn was utilized.
Jason Hazlett provided some of the items for the sets including a 1932 radio and a couch for the orphanage.
Some ladies had volunteered their sewing talents. Many helped out in so many ways.
At the conclusion, after Kolybaba had tried to recognize all those who had contributed to the great success, a bouquet of flowers was presented to Kolybaba by Courtney MacMillan in thanks for all her hard work.
Admission was a donation to help animals in distress.
At the school assembly on June 26, Kolybaba will present the Red Deer SPCA with what was donated — a lot of wonderful pet toys, dishes, towels, and doggie beds and a cheque for almost $500.