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Annie Jr.

annie jr

May 9 @ 7:00 pm May 11 @ 9:00 pm

Karamū High School’s production of Annie Jr will be a family affair for sisters Paige and Ella Mentzer, who will spend their final year together performing on stage. 

The sisters – in Year 10 and 13 – will take to the stage for three performances as part of the production next month, with Paige in the lead role of Annie, and Ella in a myriad of roles. 

Ella says she wanted to spend her final year at high school supporting her little sister, made even more special since finding out who Paige was cast to play. 

“We grew up dancing together, doing production and Art Deco together, so it really special to be able to do this together too,” Ella says. 

“It’s very special because our older sister Grace’s last year was my first year of high school in 2020 and I was unable to do anything like this with her, so this is very special.”

Their family, including Grace and their mum and dad, have been very supportive. 

“They’re so supportive. Very emotional but very proud,” Paige says. “Dad made us watch Annie together with him and he started crying.” 

They have also been able to practice at home, in front of their family. 

Paige says she has enjoyed being able to get into the character of Annie, as she is very musical and loves to dance. 

Asides from having her sister, Ella says it has been a different experience as a senior compared to when she was cast in her first production – Fiddler on the Roof – as a Year 10. 

“It’s a big step up from being a little year 10 to now being one of the leaders here so I’ve enjoyed working with the younger students.” 

The cast is predominantly made up of younger students. Alongside Paige, Year 11 Maaki Wairau (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāi Tūhoe) will play Oliver Warbucks, Year 12 Stephanie Thomson will play Miss Hannigan and Year 13 Bianca Giugliano will play Grace Farrell. 

Director and Drama Teacher Emily Miller-Matcham says they are delighted with the students who are involved this year both on stage and behind the scenes. 

“We have a very strong performing arts junior cohort, so thought it was fitting to do Annie Jr as a production.”

Karamu High School’s production of Annie Jr will be held at the June Clark Centre at 7pm May 9 and 10 and 2pm May 11. Tickets are available at the school office for $10 (children) and $20 (adults).

901 Windsor Ave
Hastings, Hawke’s Bay 4130 New Zealand
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