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The Annie Backstage Crew Experience

By Isla Williams

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved with Annie, the cast, the teachers, the orchestra and everyone else who took part in the production; It was a fantastic experience for all involved. I really wanted to showcase the hard work that went on behind the scenes in the Props department as it wouldn't have been possible without them!

Firstly from Isobel Faulkner in Year 12:

'Hi my name is Isobel and I was the head of backstage for the production of Annie. It was such an amazing experience where I have made some lifelong friendships and memories. Although it was very stressful and by the 3rd day we were all very sleep deprived, it was 100% worth it and I miss it all already! We started our ‘backstage crew journey’ in October where we were making the props and scenery and organising how the scene changes were going to be carried out. The set came in a week before the dress rehearsal but we all worked amazingly well with each other and within no time, the set changes looked seamless. One of the funniest moments that stands out for me is when Mr Parker broke a chair during one of the scenes where he was on stage. This then led to everyone before a show telling everyone to ‘break a chair leg’. Overall it was such a brilliant experience with some amazing people all thanks to the awesome Drama and Music Department.'

From Ollie Year 12 in Lighting:

‘As soon as I had heard the mention that a play was being put on after a three year delay I was eager to get involved! In October - I mentioned this to some of my peers who were equally as interested in joining in. From October, we have attended many after school rehearsals and have enjoyed seeing the play progress from the back of the hall. Over the time leading up to the play, I am grateful to have met so many friendly, like minded people who have 100% made the experience worth it! I have formed so many friendships with people in all years and for that reason I would absolutely encourage others to get involved. I also have to thank the teachers who put as much effort into helping us with queries and problems through the lead up to the official nights. Despite being a little stressful, the buzz we all experienced on the nights was fantastic - from ordering pizza to practising Scene changes - I am confident in saying that absolutely nobody who was involved has any regrets. For that I can only say a massive thank you to everyone who was involved.’

Similar words were spoken by everyone across the team:

'i was so happy that i signed up for it as i have made tons of new friends and there was not one second of it that I did not enjoy' - Lacey Year 10

'Before joining 6th form, I never really involved myself with many outside of lesson activities, however becoming a part of the backstage crew really showed me how amazing and rewarding it could be. I have made so many new friendships over the last few months and have had such an wonderful experience' - Elise Year 12

'From October until the last show was tiring but it was worth every second of it. When the set arrived, and we were finally able to bring the production to life, it was amazing! Seeing everything fit in place, the scenery and the props. When it was time to put on the show for the audience, it was so rewarding to see all the hard work from the cast, the sound team, the orchestra and for us, pay off in front of everyone.' - Anais Year 12

'There were so many good memories that I think we will hold onto for a very long time. My favourite part of the whole show was making all the new friends and enjoying some McDonald’s in the school. When we were making Annie, everyone had a role and mine was moving big props such as tables, chairs, radios, flags etc. It was very tiring but so so fun' - Emma Year 9

So many memories were discussed and laughed about (mainly involving Mr Parker!):

'I’ve got so many memories like Mr Parker dancing to ‘Easy Street’ with us behind the curtain or me, Jessi and Halle singing along to all the songs behind the set. I also remember Jessi and I dancing along to ‘We’d like to thank you Herbert Hoover’- that was our favourite song. Even though it was stressful and tiring at times, I would love to do it all over again!' - Amelia Year 12

'Mr Parker was the best teacher I could ask for to help us people backstage. He's so funny and so nice, the best part was his karaoke and dancing sessions. The dancing sessions and the karaoke sessions that I had with friends were amazing too! … Even when I lost my dignity pushing that dog Sandy and crawling like a dog, it was fun and was a really good laugh!' - Halle Year 10

'It’s clear to say that for those who witnessed our first attempts of the scene changes, it was nothing short of a disaster…thankfully due to a lot of rehearsals, patience from the cast and crew and Mr Parker, who strung everything together (including a door that broke not 10 minutes before the debut), we made it work and reassured the cast in preparation for the opening curtain. I would like to thank everybody who was involved in Annie, including the fantastic orchestra that really brought the action to life!' - Darcy Year 12

Jessi Year 12 mentioned the skills she developed while being a part of the show:

‘This experience enhanced my guidance and team-building skills; improved my self-esteem and self- confidence by being encouraged to work with people I'd never met before; and, undeniably, my coordination skills because I can assure you it was not easy trying to silently yet accurately move four enormous peri trucks across a stage without them falling onto the orchestra! Not only did the whole experience provide us as members of the team with points of character growth, I truly believe that this production has opened doors and has really acted as a turning point for all future productions of Bassaleg school. Having an assembled team each for lighting, scenery, props and marketing was a first for the school and it was clear when the equipment arrived that Thursday before the dress rehearsal that

we didn't know how effective this was going to be because it is safe to say that the scale of the equipment was rather daunting. Despite all doubts, however, we pulled together as a team and made it work, of course, and Mr Keates claimed that he had never seen a team act so collaboratively and productively; we are all very grateful for that comment.'

It's clear that Annie has brought so many people together and it is so lovely to hear about the fun the backstage crew had! Thank You again to everyone involved.


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