A musical powerhouse is combining their talents to give the Annie audience a show full of musical brilliance to remember.
Annie is the next show to be put on by Hāwera Repertory, and the team is hard at work as opening night approaches.
With a talented cast of singers to work with, the super trio of Shaun Campbell, director, Charles Pittams, musical director and Shane Burgess, vocal coach have been busy pushing the leads and ensemble to new highs in their quest for musical excellence.
Shaun directed Little Shop of Horrors for Hāwera Repertory in 2012, and was most recently musical director of Beauty and the Beast in 2017. On stage Shaun has played Fagin in Oliver in Hāwera and he has performed in many New Plymouth Operatic shows, including three productions of Les Miserables.
Having both children and adults in the cast is something Shaun says he is enjoying while also directing the show.
Having two Annies and two sets of orphans, Shaun says this was to spread the load for the children but it also meant more children could be involved in top quality theatre.
When Shaun's busy theatre life allows him some time to work, he is HOD of music at Hāwera High.
Charles is a musical icon in the Taranaki theatre community. He is also a Life Member of Hāwera Repertory and a committee member.
Having been involved in theatre for over 50 years Charles has covered nearly every role both on and off the stage. Audiences may have seen Charles on stage in Beauty and the Beast in 2017 as Maurice and some of his recent shows as musical director include Oliver and The Wizard of Oz, both for Hāwera Repertory.
Locals may know Charles from his work at the aquatic centre but he is also a former music teacher.
The third musical wizard, Shane, had the idea to do Annie and convinced the other members of the committee to audition and produce the show.
Shane started with Hāwera Repertory in 1992 in South Pacific and has also performed in other New Zealand centres in various roles. By day Shane teaches Te Reo and music at Tawhiti school and at night he runs his own vocal studio and enjoys helping students improve their confidence, vocal and performance techniques.
Choreographer for Annie is Michelle Glover.
Michelle has performed on stage with Hāwera Repertory many times with My Fair Lady been her first show. Michelle has also been choreographer before in Nunsense and Wizard of Oz.
As well as her day job, Michelle runs her own dance studio, the Michelle Glover Academy of Dance. Teaching adults is quite different from her younger students, but Michelle says she enjoys the different approach that musical theatre requires, and the fact that in a show everyone is playing a part, meaning people will push themselves to do something they may not normally try.
The combined experience, knowledge and enthusiasm these four creatives bring to Annie would rival many New Zealand productions and it will be the audiences who reap the benefit of the level of talent driving the cast and crew to deliver outstanding theatrical entertainment.
The show runs from Friday, June 7 to Saturday, June 15 in the Hāwera Memorial Theatre and includes four matinee shows.