Brookwood prepares for 32nd school musical

Thomasville Times-Enterprise, Staff Report
In just a few short weeks, actors and actresses from Brookwood School will once again take the stage in front of a live audience for their production of “Annie.”

This year’s musical will be led by seventh grader Reagan Burrus as Annie. This will be her seventh Brookwood show. “I always loved ‘Annie,’” Burrus shared. “I grew up watching it and even wanted Brookwood to do the production when I was older so I could be in it. The music has always been fun for me to sing and dance to.” 

The performers will be accompanied by an orchestra conducted by Gerry Nielsen, while former Lower School music teacher, Barbara Lee, will play the piano. The audience can look forward to old familiar favorites such as “Tomorrow” and “Hard-Knock Life.”   

The production consists of several groups and ensembles spanning all school divisions. From the spunky New Yorkers to the refined Warbucks Mansion staff and Annie’s friends, it is a significant cast of characters that help tell a moving story of perseverance and positivity.

While a large cast works to memorize lines and choreography, important work is happening behind the scenes as well. Art teacher Trellis Payne works with her art students to make sure the set pieces are painted to perfection. 

Director Jimmy Kontos looks forward to showcasing a cast spanning a wide age-range. “One of the many wonderful things about ‘Annie’ is that it provides an opportunity to highlight lead performers covering a wide age group. One of the elements that sets the Brookwood musical apart is that we get to see our performers truly grow through the ages. So many of our performers begin participating in the musical at a young age and continue through their time at the school. It has been a real joy to see our younger performers share in the spotlight and to witness how supportive our Upper School actors continue to be and how instrumental they are in fostering this continuing tradition.” 

Senior Elise McPherson will take on the role of the villain, Agatha Hannigan. “I’m extremely excited to play Miss Hannigan, because I’ve never really portrayed a villain in my dance performances or in theater. It has been a new experience, but I think it has made me a stronger actor and helped me learn to tap into my training in doing something so far out of my comfort zone.”

This will be McPherson’s 13th and final school musical. She has portrayed a variety of characters on the stage for Brookwood including Jojo in “Seussical,” Peter in “Peter Pan,” and Sebastian in “The Little Mermaid.” “Brookwood's Drama Program is one of my favorite aspects of my education, because it has truly been that—an educational experience. From figuring out how to play a little boy in Neverland to playing a Jamaican crab to simply being part of a cohesive ensemble, I’ve had as many learning experiences here as I’ve had in the classroom.” 

The annual Brookwood All-School Musical is a tradition that is in its 32nd year. Health safety measures have taken place throughout the entire process, such as wearing masks during practices. 

Brookwood’s production of “Annie” will take place at the Thomasville Municipal Auditorium on Friday, February 4 and Saturday, February 5, both at 8:00 p.m. There will also be a Sunday, February 6 matinee performance at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are available now and can be purchased using this link
Located in Thomasville, GA, Brookwood School is a private school for grades JK-12. Students benefit from a challenging academic program, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.