New opportunities are enjoyed by Middle School students who prepare for "Annie Jr."

New opportunities are enjoyed by Middle School students who prepare for "Annie Jr."


Sofia Mathew and Samantha DeWacker best exemplify the opportunity that is presented to the Bridgewater-Raritan Middle School students who will perform on stage and back stage for the musical “Annie Jr.”

These two 8th Grade students may be responsible for opposite roles and tasks but they sum up the energy and enthusiasm that is being shared by their Middle School mates.

The musical is scheduled  to be performed on Friday, March 31, in the Middle School auditorium. The curtains will rise at 7 p.m.

Sofia is on center stage where she will focus on her major role as the leading character, Annie.

Meanwhile, Samantha is behind the scenes and a valuable member of the stage crew with her position as the Student Director.

Each is occupying a new task.

“Last year I had two lines in our play “Law & Order: Fairy Tale Unit,” but now I have this new part and a lot of lines,” Sofia revealed. “This shows that you can improve if you try hard enough. It helps when it is really fun and the people you are with are so nice.”

Samantha reported that she had previously been an actor during past performances but she was anxious to accept a new challenge.

“I love that I can be in charge, help out and make a difference,” Samantha said. “I used to be on stage but I wanted to try something different and gain more theater knowledge.”

Their paths to both new and expanded roles are matched by many other Middle School students, according to Olivia  Matko, who is serving as the co-director of the musical with her co-advisor to the Middle School Musical Club, Morgan Weinrich.

“This show is the first for a lot of our kids who are working in this ensemble,” said Ms. Matko, who is the Theater Arts Teacher for 7th Grade at the Middle School. “ This is what makes this so much fun because it is exciting for our students who are doing this for the first time.”

Fun is joined by a productive backstage crew under the guidance of a teacher who is a valuable contributor to the Middle School—Ms. Weinrich. She is a Special Education Teacher during the day and also the advisor to the Middle School’s student newspaper club.

On this Friday afternoon of March 10, Ms. Weinrich and her hard-working stage crew were on the stage of the empty auditorium preparing for the props and background images, including a design board.

Next door in the Middle School’s main cafeteria, Ms. Matko was directing the cast through various routines. 

“There is so much going on here in the school that we just sometimes rehearse in the cafeteria,” explained Ms. Matko. “But we all make it work.”

What they---an estimated 60 students are involved-- are preparing for is the popular comic strip, which is adapted from the Tony-Award winning Best Musical, with a beloved book and score by Tony Award winners, Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charmin.  “Annie Jr.” features everyone’s favorite little redhead in her very first adventure.

That summary was according to Music Theater International, which also presented more insight on this musical.

With equal measure of pluck and positivity, Little Orphan Annie  charms everyone’s hearts despite a next-to-nothing start during 1930s New York City. Annie is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of an orphanage that is run by the cruel Miss Hannigan. Annie eventually foils Miss Hanningan’s evil machinations, finding a new home and family in billionaire Oliver Warbucks, and his personal secretary, Grace Farrell, and a lovable mutt named Sandy, according to the report by Music Theater International.

“This is a popular play for all ages,” Ms. Matko said. “ Adults will love it, it is a show for everyone.”

Sofa, who said that she was “quite grateful to have her role,”  was not acting when she shared her feelings about this opportunity she worked at achieving. 

“More people should try out. It is a great environment and we are all having fun.”



Latest News


BRHS Incoming 9th Grade Parent Orientation Information 2022-2023

The presentation from the incoming 9th grade parent orientation and information about scheduling for 9th grade can now be found on the BRHS website under Counseling Department 

Click on the following link: