The diverse cast and crew, featuring students in sixth, seventh and eighth grade, put on a dazzling display of charisma and talent. The hour-long performance tackled an ambitious song list effortlessly. Standout performers included Carol Cuadrao as Annie, Gabriel Salcedo as Oliver Warbucks, Jolie Arroyo as Miss Hannigan and Nicole Shivprashad as Grace Farrell.
For many of the students, “Annie Jr.” was an opportunity to experience working on a play for the first time. Despite the challenges of acting and putting together a musical, students said “Annie Jr.” was a chance to learn about one another in ways that they haven’t been able to in the past.
“I knew Carol for a little bit but we never worked this close together and had such a strong bond,” Shivprashad said.
“She’s the best and nicest person,” Shivprashad added about Jennifer Gildau, teacher and play director.
Another benefit of working together was learning teamwork, Gildau said, who confessed to being the group’s cheerleader throughout the whole process. Students and staff have all worked on the play about four times a week after school since January.
“The experience has been crazy and stressful but we love each other and it was all worth it in the end,” Cuadrao said.