A moment to shine
A moment to shine
NORMALLY it takes weeks, even months, to rehearse a musical but in five days Jack Bradford will have a cast of young theatre hopefuls ready to perform the Broadway hit Annie. This is like a fast train and we all have to be on it together,’ says Bradford as he takes about eighty young theatre hopefuls through their paces for four performances of Annie for the Brisbane Junior Theatre company Bradford set up last year.
We're here to help the kids along but we do it all in one week. Its a bit like a three-ring circus really. We have three rehearsals going on simultaneously covering staging, dancing and music, divided into those who can sing. act or dance. The musical by Charles Strouse with lyrics by Martin Charnin from a book by Thomas Meehanis is based on Harold Gray’s Little Orphan Annie comic strip about 11-year-old Annie who wants to be rescued from an orphanage.
When billionaire Oliver Warbucks wants to adopt Annie, he has to deal with the mean-spirited matron Agatha Hannigan.
David Knijnenburg (pictured), the only adult in the show, plays Warbucks and helps with production and dialect coaching. We’re putting on a production in a week and that doesn’t detract from other things the kids are doing, their sport or their dancing lessons or whatever they would be doing for their school holidays,’ Bradford said.
We just want one week of their time, We really use it like a fast train. So for the first week of their school holidays from 8:30am to 5pm with a lunch and two tea breaks children aged 5 to 18 from all over Brisbane and Cairns are singing their hearts out and dancing their feet off to prepare for opening night.
Theatre is a great confidence builder for children, claims Bradford, who began working with children’s theatre soon after he came to Australia. He has a Masters degree in theatre and is currently now working on his Ph.D. at the Australian Catholic University and has performed and directed extensively in community and semi-professional theatre in Brisbane.
Parents want their children to be involved in something that has direction and goals and is artistic. They want to give them a sense of being involved in something of integrity. Something that will lift their abilities, to think and to communicate and to have a sense of value Bradford said.
There has been a lot of pre-planning for this show. Everything is double cast. We have two Annie’s, two of everyone. To give each performer the chance to memorize lines and have something significant to do, so every child can shine for at least one minute in the play,’
Edited from Patricia Kelly’s September 26th Article in the Brisbane Courier Mail
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With due recognition and appreciation of Paul Luckin's wonderful digital photography.