Home' Nonahood News : NONA 030116 Contents Moss Park Players Pesent Annie!
On March 3, the Moss Park Players will open
their latest musical Annie! at Moss Park Elementary.
Directed by MPE kindergarten teacher (and theatre
lover and former actress) Diane Jacobacci, the Moss
Park Players are a troupe of student actors who put
on a new musical each year.
The Moss Park Players began in 2007 under the
direction of Miss Jacobacci and assistant director Sta-
cy Ayala. Throughout the years, the productions have
varied and grown. A few years back they did Annie!
Jr., a kid’s version of the musical. However, this year,
the bar has been set higher, with the students doing
the full-length version of Annie.
I visited rehearsal February 11 and realized this
isn’t your usual “elementary school play”; it closely
resembles a community theatre production. The set
was created and painted in collaboration with Sa-
mantha Langford, the MPE art teacher. The students
use wireless microphones and a professional audio
system that are borrowed from community members.
Year after year, parents and community members
volunteer to paint, sew, take photos for headshots and
collaborate on anything the musical may need. Miss
Jacobacci said, “This is what I am most proud of, next
to our amazing kids—I have help from cast families,
colleagues, and community members. The number of
people ready and willing to drop everything and work
on ‘show stuff ’ is so humbling. We are also fortunate
enough to have families whose children graduated
from Moss Park years ago still come back to help. It is
such an honor to know that though they do not HAVE
to help, they do.”
Notes and a pep talk were given to the students;
it was a busy rehearsal day for them with costume
fittings, act 2 run-throughs and photos shoots. Miss
Jacobacci stressed the importance of their academic
achievement and that it comes first. The students lis-
tened and took in every word. She laughed with the
students, and you could see how much each one ad-
mired her. Shortly afterward, they had a small circle
to reign in focus and begin rehearsal.
The students expressed the huge honor it is to par-
ticipate in the yearly musical. Auditions are held, and
those who are cast understand the privilege it is to
be a part of the show. A few students had auditioned
three times and were finally cast. Others were excited
to see their role grow. They were happy to be a part
of the great show to come. I spoke to Kennedy M., and
she said, “This is a really fun role. I’m a lead this year!”
Miss Jacobacci isn’t just teaching acting and sing-
ing, however. Life lessons are taught during their re-
hearsals. She mentions that when mistakes are made,
to “just go with it!” The students said participating in
theatre helps them overcome embarrassment and
fear of speaking. For most students in Annie!, this is
their only place to express themselves dramatically.
Bradley F. said, “The show gives me confidence to be
able to sing and act better in front of people.”
The students were nearly off script and fine-tun-
ing their songs and dance moves. Miss Jacobacci says,
“They are truly a delight to watch, and they know that
when I bring my pink director’s chair to rehearsals
they’ve got it down—that chair means that now it’s
time to take the show from your typical elementary
school show to a Moss Park Players show! It’s a privi-
lege to watch the kids go on to roles in the middle
and high school shows, knowing that in some way the
Players started a love of theatre and performing!”
Annie! will have three performances: March 3 and
4 at 6:30 p.m. and March 5 at 2:00 p.m. at the Moss
Park Elementary School Cafetorium. Tickets are $7
and can be purchased at the door or by calling Moss
Park Elementary at 407-249-4747.
REHEARSALS for Annie aren’t your typical “elementary school play” rehearsals. It closely resembles a community theater production with set creation,
wireless microphones, and a professional audio system borrowed from community members. It was a busy day with costume fittings, running act 2
and photo being taken. However, there isn’t just teaching acting and singing, life lessons are learned as well.
8 MARCH 2016
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