By Matthew Pearce
It’s far from a hard knock life for students at Rockhampton Girls Grammar School, with their latest musical kicking off on Friday, Friday, 23 July.
Thirty-eight students from grades 4 to 12 will join in the fun as cast and crew for Annie Jr, which will be the third performed by the school in recent years, following Seussical Jr in 2019 and Alice in Wonderland Jr in 2020.
Based on the famous comic strip, Annie tells the story of an orphan in the Great Depression who finds herself living in the lap of luxury with billionaire Oliver Warbucks.
Arts teacher Laryssa Anger said the musical would be an exciting change of pace compared to previous shows.
“The last couple of shows we’ve done have been ‘cartoons’ in a way, with really fun, fantastical sets, but Annie is very realistic, it’s a different look for us but it’s really exciting,” she said.
“The girls are loving the sets, we’ve got whole walls that roll on and off the stage, dumpsters for the back alley that Annie runs away to and other things like street lamps and subways – everything that makes it look like a real New York city street.”
Laryssa said interest in performing had grown year on year among students as the school built up its ‘musical culture’.
“This is our biggest musical yet and we’re hoping that we’ll get more and more students involved in coming years after they see how fantastic it is and how much fun the girls are having,” she said.
“We’re doing junior musicals at the moment but we’re hoping to grow and expand to full length musicals next year.
“There are a lot of new girls involved this year because many of last year’s leads were in Year 12. This year the leads are Hannah, Cadence and Douce.”
Laryssa said Annie Jnr is a fitting musical for an all-female cast.”
While some of the students are playing traditionally male roles, IT Manager Matt Cook will take on the pivotal role of Oliver Warbucks.
“Mr Warbucks is such a large role that we figured it would be good to have an adult play the part, because he needs to be a father figure.”
Students have been rehearsing every Friday and Sunday since the start of Term 2 as well as at their recent ‘camp weekend’ at the school.
“All 38 of the girls stayed here for the last weekend of their school holidays where we spent some time together as a cast, rehearsing all weekend and doing some fun things as well,” Laryssa said.
“It really makes all the difference for the show, they’ve really come together after that.”
Annie Jr will be held at the RGGS McKeague Hall at 7pm, Friday, 23 July, 2pm and 7pm, Saturday, 24 July and 2pm, Sunday, 25 July.
The show will be at full capacity with 250 seats per showing.
Tickets are available through trybooking.com or through the school’s Facebook page.