(The students of Sacred Heart High School performed an incredible production of ‘Annie’ to rave reviews from May 4-6, 2023. It was the students’ return to the live stage after two years. Photos: Sacred Heart High School and Erika Adams)
It’s been a couple of years since Sacred Heart has put on a musical and they jumped right back into it this year with a production of Annie!
The familiar play found a red-haired orphan, Annie, played by grade seven student Anika Danielsen, finding an unlikely friend in Mr. Warbucks, played by Matteo Bonetti.
The production saw dances choreographed by Mrs. Donaghy and grade 12 student Gabby Reitano, musical numbers conducted by Mrs. Clarke, tech support by Mrs. Spindler, and the whole production directed by Mrs. McFall. The teachers, student helpers, and cast members all worked incredibly hard to put this show together. They had weekend rehearsals, full-day rehearsals during the week, and after-school rehearsals for months leading up to opening day.
For seniors like Emilea Kavanagh, who played the lead role of Grace in the musical, getting to do one final show at the school is very special. Emilea says, “It means a lot to be able to do one last performance at Sacred. I’ve been a part of the drama program at the school since grade seven and I’m glad I get one more show before I graduate.” It might be her last production at the school, but Emilea is still recruiting for next year, telling her grade 7 and 8 castmates that they need to take over when she is gone and to get all their friends involved.
What is her main argument to convince them? Being a part of a production is like being in one big family. Cast members and people working behind the scenes spend so much time together that they really become quite close. This closeness was evident after Sacred Heart’s final performance of Annie when they all went out for dinner together and broke out into an impromptu encore of the show.
Students had been working on this show all school year and finally got to demonstrate their talents to friends, family, and members of the community. Over the weekend of May 4th-6th, the cast performed the show four times. Once on both Thursday and Friday night and twice on Saturday, once in the afternoon and once in the evening. It takes focus and stamina to be able to perform your heart out that many times in a weekend and our applause goes out to all the cast members who worked hard not only to get to show day but to perform their way through it!
It is safe to say the show was a success as there were nothing but glowing reviews from audience members. Many people spoke of the hard work and dedication the students had leading up to the show and how it so clearly paid off in their final performances.
One of the most exciting parts about Sacred’s production of “Annie” was the amount of grade seven and eight students in the show. The amount of talent they have for their age is incredible and will definitely make for more impressive productions in Sacred Heart’s future! Congratulations to the cast and crew of Annie, we look forward to what you will perform next Huskies!
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3 thoughts on “Sacred Heart’s production of the Broadway Classic “Annie” gets rave reviews!”
Thank you to the students and staff of Sacred Heart for their wonderful performances of Annie. I was thrilled to come from Manitoba to witness my granddaughter, Reese Halipchuk, having the opportunity to perform in a musical of this magnitude. Job well done to all! So enjoyed their efforts and the inclusitivity of all warmed my heart. Can’t wait for your next performance.
Thank you tenfold Linda, for both coming (from Manitoba!) to the show and for taking the time to pen such a lovely message; much appreciated! We were honoured to have Reese on stage as part of a great cast who did such a beautiful job! Looking forward to having Reese continue in Grade 8 as an active member of our Sacred Arts Performance Program…have a lovely day!
Theresa Clarke (Music Director: ANNIE).