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Wellington celebrates Performing Arts success with the musical Annie Jr.!

15 December 2016
December 2016, saw the lively and fun production of “Annie Jr.” the musical at Wellington College International Shanghai. Thirty-five young Wellington performers from years 6 to 13 transformed into the characters they passionately portrayed. Some of the greatest musical theatre hits such as ‘Tomorrow’ and ‘It's the Hard Knock Life’ captured the heart of the audience. The memorable and emotionally generous production received riotous applause from the audience and a well-deserved standing ovation. Orphan Annie played by Wellington’s own little red-head Kate was entrancing. We saw her character transition from an unhappy orphan under the neglectful orphanage care of Miss Hannigan played by Elisa, to the brave and positive young girl, who finally found family with Mr. Warbucks the NYC billionaire, played by Jackson, someone who really loved her. The audience was also amazed by the supporting cast including our young orphans who conveyed their understanding of the characters through their energetic and engaging performances. We even had a touching guest appearance from Sandy the dog. Through song and dance, the audience were transported through various scenes such as the orphanage, Warbuck’s mansion and Hooverville, with Annie meeting numerous characters along the way. Many pupils were involved behind the scenes, supporting the technical side of the production in stage management, theatre tech, designing costumes and props. It has been an opportunity for everyone who would like to learn about the creation process for a large production, whether onstage or backstage. The tireless commitment to weekly and weekend rehearsals over the past term did not slowdown the enthusiasm and energy of our young performers on stage. As Michael Larsen-Disney, our Director of Arts said, “I feel incredibly privileged to be directing ‘Annie’ for a second time in my career. We have a fantastically talented cast of young people who have worked extremely hard to bring this wonderful story to life on stage. Annie Jr. is a fantastic entertainment for the whole family and leaves the audience singing ‘Tomorrow’ for weeks and months afterwards.” Performing on stage is an integral part of learning for Wellingtonians, with chances to express themselves confidently in public being a tool in the overall development of any pupil. The performing arts and music curriculum are designed to help pupils have a better understanding of themselves and to appreciate how the arts connect with other disciplines. The values we insist on, and commit to, provide a holistic education for the pupils. Through performing on stage, rehearsing, acting, working backstage our pupils are able to strengthen multiple skills essential for success in an ever-changing world. Gerard MacMahon, Master of Wellington College International Shanghai said, “Annie Jr. was an exhilarating experience for the audience. Our pupils are showing me that great theatre is the result of exceptional choreography, acting and singing. All of which require generous, collaborative team work. I can’t wait for the next show.” Look out for our Bugsy Malone in June 2017.