Reese McGarvey ’30 stars in KHS production of ‘Annie’

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Photo by Demi Sasson ’25

Reese McGarvey ’30 played Annie in the KHS production of ‘Annie.’ Amy Laurino, the KHS Chorus Director, borrowed the materials from Bedford Middle School. Laurino has been a music teacher in Westport for 18 years, teaching vocal music at Coleytown Middle School, then moving to KHS, where she has been working for seven years.

*Disclaimer: The writer attended the second cast’s show*

House lights dim and stage lights shine as the curtains open, revealing fourth and fifth graders at Kings Highway Elementary School’s production of “Annie.” After months of preparation, the cast, starring Reese McGarvey ’30 took to the stage with a smile on their faces on March 29. 

Since December, KHS students have been practicing two mornings a week preparing for “Annie” under oversight of Amy Laurino, the KHS chorus director. McGarvey, who played Annie in one of the casts, had a fantastic time working with Laurino and loved being on stage.

“It was awesome. I have a wonderful cast, and Mrs. Laurino really helped me through it,” McGarvey said.

The cast dedicated time before school twice a week for three months to help them prepare for their big day.

“We did auditions in December and have been practicing two mornings a week for 45 minutes since then,” Laurino said.

Over those months, the kids dedicated their time to Laurino, and she was committed to helping them and building a relationship with the students in the cast.

It was awesome. I have a wonderful cast, and Mrs. Laurino really helped me through it. ”

— Reese McGarvey ’30

“I really enjoy these children; they’re super talented, very creative, easy to work with, they follow directions really well,” Laurino said.

Not only does theater serve as a passion, but it can also help young kids gain confidence in themselves, a lesson applicable to many areas in life, according to The Barrow Group.

Outside of school, McGarvey sings and dances. So when auditions for Annie arrived, her entire family was hopeful she would get the lead role.

 Brian McGarvey, Reese McGarvey’s father, has supported his daughter through her journey.

“One of her passions forever has been singing and dancing and acting, and she’s been in plays before,” Brian McGarvey said. “We thought that she had a good chance at being Annie.” 

Reese McGarvey hopes to continue her passion for theater as she enters sixth grade at Coleytown Middle School, with the encouragement of her family.

 “I love theater; it’s my passion,” Reese McGarvey said.