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The Seabury Tides

Inside works of Seabury Hall’s “Annie Jr.”

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Bryan Berkowitz photos

“This was the most kind, caring, and committed cast,” said Seabury Hall co-director Molly Schad about the cast of 51 middle school students who rehearsed, practiced, acted, and successfully pulled off three full shows of Annie Jr. the musical at the `A`ali`ikūhonua Creative Arts Center on Jan. 19 to 20. 

Rehearsals and preparation for the musical started at the beginning of the semester, including hours of practice, memorization, and design of the musical during their class time and even after school hours. Not only did this help them pull off the daunting task that is an entire musical, but they also improved, evolved, and grew as people during this production.

“Since our first day of class in August, this cast has wanted to be their best and was willing to try anything asked of them to get there,” said Schad last week. “This is our first production that has featured student choreography, and that’s not because we asked them to choreograph, it’s because they offered and were excited to take on a larger role in the show.  That tells you a lot about the kind of students we were working with.”

The CAC was packed full with students, teachers and families over the three evenings — all three shows were sold out and included standing ovations. Classic songs like “Tomorrow” and “It’s a Hard Knock Life” were performed.

“It feels so free for me on stage, like that’s my happy place,” said Calilynn Salzer, who played the leading role of Annie, after asking if it was hard for her to be in front of a big audience. 

Cali Salzer plays Annie during Seabury Hall’s “Annie Jr.” last week

Some of the cast included students who have been involved in other musicals before this. One actress said that she actually found her appreciation for performing on stage at Seabury and has been performing ever since.

Nikki Kayes as Ms. Hannigan

“I actually found my love for performing in 6th grade,” said Nikki Kayes, an eight grader who played the titular villain Ms. Hannigan in the musical. “Just thinking of how many kids in our cast that haven’t performed, haven’t been on stage their entire life, and to think how good it came out, like we had full sold out shows.”

The two of them also agreed that being onstage together and with everyone else made the experience enjoyable and fun the entire way through.

“Honestly, the easiest part of being in the musical was being on stage,” added Salzer.  “It was hard to be on stage, and look at Nikki, and it would be so hard not to smile.”

And Kayes, sitting next to her, agreed.

“When she would stand up from when I threw her on stage we would almost be laughing every time,” she said.

Schad, who was assisted in directing the production by Marsha Kelly and Andre Morissette, kept explaining how committed and evolutionary this cast was in improving and successfully cooperating with each other to get the musical done. Schad has worked on musicals at Seabury for more than three years.

She said that the musicals have changed the skills and minds of the entire cast “so much.” 

“There is a great responsibility,” she said when asked about how being in a musical affects the kids involved, “But also an incredible joy to be gained from knowing you are important and you are part of something larger than yourself.”

Stayed tuned for more performances this semester. Visit https://www.seaburyhall.org/arts for more information.

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About the Contributor
Andy Claybaugh, Staff Writer/ Graphic Designer
Andy is a Junior at Seabury Hall and has spent most of their life in Maui but had a passion for writing throughout their whole life and is excited to write stories wherever fun is present. They love making cartoons and writing stories in their free time as well as improving their skills for when they can do it as a career. They want to write more on the insides of productions at Seabury Hall as well as fun-filled student activities and events.