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Cornerstone Christian students bringing Annie to the stage

It's been 11 years since Cornerstone Christian School has produced the famous musical Annie, but the show will be making it's return this November at the Mae Wilson Theatre
CCS Annie 2019
The cast of Annie going through a rehearsal, with their furry cast member on stage. (supplied)

Cornerstone Christian School is bringing the Tony Award-winning musical Annie to the stage of the Mae Wilson Theatre from Nov. 6 to 9, with a full-fledged performance from a hard-working cast and crew. 

This year, the team of directors decided on bringing back the beloved orphan’s story for the third time in CCS history — although it’s been a number of years since the last performance of the musical. 

Tanya Johnson, creative director for the show, felt like it was a great fit for this year’s drama crew. 

“For the past few years, we've been doing brand new productions, which is always exciting,” said Johnson. “We also wanted to make sure that during [these students’] time at Cornerstone, they also have the opportunity to be a part of classic shows.” 

It’s a classic story that Johnson knows everyone will enjoy, and she admitted that their rendition has a few personal touches. Because CCS is using what used to be the Capitol Theatre as a venue, the Sukanen Ship Museum has loaned the crew a set of original seats from the theatre for one of their scenes.

“We think that that's pretty special,” said Johnson. “The Mae Wilson theatre is just such a beautiful facility and the history of it, too, really works for the era of the play — the venue kind of matches the story, which just gives the audience a really, really cool experience.”

Alongside the 75 students are taking part in the show as cast and crew, from both high school and elementary grades, the cast also features a very unique star playing the part of Annie’s canine companion.

“We have a couple of amazing dogs involved that add a lot of personalities and a lot of joy to our show. That's something that people can look forward to,” said Johnson.

Working on the production, alongside Johnson, is a handful of teachers — Jasmine Stevens, choreographer; Scott Robertson, technical director; and Josh Carley, music director — to make the student’s performance the best it can be.

Johnson is excited for the show to debut at the Mae Wilson Theatre, as the experience is so unique for the kids — and perhaps even inspiring for those considering theatre as a future.

“[The facility] just adds a different level to the quality of the show that we're able to do and it really gives it a professional feel,” said Johnson. “When our kids get to work in a facility like this, I think it gives them more of an idea of what it might be like to do this professionally, too.”

Johnson encourages the public to come out to the show, and see how hard the students have been working to put everything together just right. 

“ They will enjoy themselves immensely. The singing, the dancing, the acting is really, really strong,” said Johnson. “It's just delightful to watch these young performers just do what they love and do it so well.”

Tickets for the shows are available through the Cultural Centre’s website, or at the Box Office either in person or by calling 1 (306) 693-4700. Curtains rise at 7 p.m. each night.

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