The sun has certainly come out for Stockton Riverside College students who are living their dream of performing on a professional stage.
The Musical Theatre team are once again bringing some festive magic to ARC in Stockton with their performance of the musical classic, Annie.
“Our production has a cast of more than 100, which includes students from our level 2 and level 3 musical theatre courses,” said the college’s Creative Director of Performing Arts, Sara Durkin.
And this year, the up and coming performers are joined on stage by dozens of local schoolchildren. The college held open auditions to find three talented youngsters to play the part of Annie and a young cast to join the dance ensemble.
Sara said: “Our Christmas performances are always a highlight of the year for all of our students. It is fantastic to be able to invite some of the area’s youngest performers to share the experience.”
Returning once again to ARC, the show follows in the success of the musical theatre students’ previous Christmas shows including Miracle on 34th Street and Oliver.
Offering a spectacle of lively dance routines and musical hits, the students will cram in 28 back-to-back shows in a two-week run.
Sara said for audiences it is a great opportunity to catch a glimpse of some of the stage stars of the future.
Already an amazing five students from the show have been offered places at some of the UK’s top stage schools. Among them Jack and Max who are off to Laine Theatre Arts with full scholarships.
Jack said: “At the college we learn in a similar way to how they do at Laine which is one of the best theatre schools in the country. We are treated like we are professional performers, not students.”
The duo both now have their sights firmly set on their futures, albeit slightly different directions.
“I’d love to work as a choreographer, either on TV or in music videos. That’s my dream at the moment,” said Jack, 17.
While Max, 18, added: “For me, it’s slightly different. I’m focusing more on being in a West End show as a performer. That’s been my goal, and hopefully, I can see it through.”
For now they will be getting some great hands-on experience of the demands of a real theatre run with Annie.
Sara said: “We are very proud of everyone who has been involved. The students have worked exceptionally hard and we know people won’t be disappointed.”
Annie is now showing at ARC, Stockton, until Thursday December 19. For tickets and details visit: https://arconline.co.uk/whats-on/community/annie