Thanks to Gig Harbor High School Drama director and English teacher Kristin Zetterstrom, I got to wander about the school auditorium as she put her student thespians through their paces of a dress rehearsal for the school’s upcoming production of “Annie Get Your Gun.”
Doors to the GHHS auditorium open in plenty of time for you to acquire tickets for the 7 p.m. performance Thursday through Saturday and March 14-16. There also will be a matinee at 3 p.m. March 10. Cost is $10 for adults, $8 for students and senior citizens 65 and older.
One of Irving Berlin’s most enduring musicals, “Annie Get Your Gun” creates a Wild West show within a show that tells the story of Annie Oakley and her rival and beau, Frank Butler.
The sardonic, feisty Oakley, a backwoods sharpshooter, is picked up by Buffalo Bill’s traveling variety act and quickly outshoots Butler, the current star attraction.
Zetterstrom expects everyone to hum along to timeless tunes like “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” “I Got The Sun in the Morning” and “Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better” as Annie and Frank vie for one another’s hearts and the title of best shot in the land.
The cast is made up of GHHS students, from freshmen to seniors, and from youngsters from elementary and middle schools as well.
Members of the GHHS orchestra are involved, too. Braden Allen, on bass, and Cooper Turberville, on percussion, both will be in the pit.
“We both joined because our passion for music led us to expand into other genres, such as the jazz band and musicals,” they said.
Sophomore Ben Martin, who plays Pawnee Bill, does theater because he loves the experience and the rush that comes with a performance.
“Opening night is my favorite experience,” Martin said. “Seeing all of the work we’ve done finally come together is a great thing.”
Classmate Jacob Powell, who plays in the cowboy ensemble, also likes the sense of accomplishment.
“I like learning new skills, talents and meeting new people,” Powell said.
Junior Lucas Batanian was in the orchestra last year and wanted to try acting.
“My favorite part is the unicycling and juggling stunts I get to do on stage,” he said.
And he does them very well, thank you.
“Going through making a show with all these new people is most rewarding,” sophomore Mariah Squires said. “The best part is ‘tech week,’ when you see all the pieces come together, and the thrill when the show kicks in.”
Junior Jake Choate plays Chief Sitting Bull and likes the people in the drama program.
“Performing what I’ve been working on for so long is my favorite part,” he said.
Sophomore Bridget Feuquette, who plays Annie Oakley, loves “meeting people who share my love of singing and acting and getting to play all the different kinds of characters and entertain people.”
Junior Jensen Bond enjoys it because he gets to make people laugh. He likes “hanging out with the cast and the feeling you get when you do a scene really well.”
“I love the atmosphere and seeing the crowd’s reaction,” said Tristan Smit, a sophomore who plays Charlie Davenport. And, “being backstage with all my friends, sharing stories and jokes (add to the fun of) getting into costume and being able to be someone different and taking on new personas.”
Me? I like being around and sharing the energy of these wonderful young people.
It’s going to be a great show. Y’all come.
For more information, visit https://sites.google.com/a/edtools.psd401.net/ghhs-drama.
Hugh McMillan is a longtime freelance writer for The Peninsula Gateway. He can be reached at 253-884-3319 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.