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The Student News Site of Union High School - WA

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Titan Tribune

The Student News Site of Union High School - WA

Titan Tribune

Annie

Annie
Angela Pujol

The recent performances of Annie the Musical were unforgettable. Following the classic story of Annie, the actors from Union’s theater program and musicians from the pit orchestra came together to produce a show reminiscent of the Broadway production. It was set in present-day New York City around Miss Hannigan’s orphanage and Mr. Warbucks’ Mansion to fit the holiday spirit this time of year. The performance was heartwarming both in the story and the talent and commitment of the cast.

Behind the disguise of every character is an actor trying to immerse themselves in a role. One actor, Mackenzie Schmierer, a Union senior, gave their advice, “It sometimes is really hard for me to get into character based on the parts I’m playing. Our theater teacher every show gives us a worksheet to work on to really explain who the character is. Such as what’s our character’s biggest secret. Their friend. Even their enemy. It makes it so we can give a backstory and make the character really a person. For me that has made it so much easier to get into character, but it is not easy at all!” Another senior and cast member, Katie Connolly, said something similar. “I get into character by learning more about the character, diving deeper into aspects of them such as why they act the way they do, what they would be thinking, and also diving into the history of the character.”

Angela Pujol

Even though the parts are very challenging, being in the cast has many benefits. For example, Mackenzie shared that her favorite thing about being in the production was how close the cast members became with each other. She stated, “Especially leading up to the show with all the rehearsals and whatnot, it makes it so you really do grow close together and it becomes something really really special.” Katie added, “I love musical theater because it lets me share stories through song and dance.”

Angela Pujol

It’s not just the actors that have to go through so much to make the show magical. The pit orchestra (a small group of talented high school musicians) had only eight rehearsals until the cast joined them. According to Tim Siess, conductor of the group, the music was very hard. There were weird tempos and key signatures. Instead of being in a big orchestra or band where there are so many parts on each instrument, the players had to go solo. Mr. Siess said, “It’s one on a part, so it’s a you-by-yourself kind of thing. Except for some instruments were there two or three- everyone is just a single on their own part. You’re all alone.”

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From the overall authentic feeling of the music to the lasting benefit playing in such a tiny group had on the musicians, there were so many advantages the live ensemble brought. Mr. Siess also agreed. He said, “Live orchestras, things happen- which is a part of the excitement of it. The various timing things can happen differently- but it’s not as predictable as playing for a recording.” He added, “It’s more fun.”

Keenan Vu

Mr. Siess said that one of the most satisfying elements of being a part of the production was seeing all the little kids. Children from all ages and schools came throughout the whole running time of Annie on field trips. Siess exclaimed, “When the little kids walk in, just how excited they are to be here is fun.” Niall Seigler, a 5th grader at Illahee Elementary said after the show, “I was really surprised that the play was really good. It was really fun, the acting and jokes were great.” He explained that his favorite character was the dog, Sandy.

The production of Annie was one of the best Union’s theater has ever put on. From the talented musical actors and actresses to the musicians behind the scenes, the play was put together with outstanding hard work and dedication. It was noticeable that even the stagehands and special effects people who weren’t able to have an interview gave it their all. Although Annie is over, stay tuned for Union’s next performance, Vampires, Werewolves, and Zombies this upcoming spring.

 

 

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About the Contributor
Alina is a freshman at Union High School, she mainly writes articles for Titan Tribune.

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