This past weekend the Anna Middle School theater group presented “High School Musical” for the public. Under the direction of Kristy Marshall, Anna Independent School District technical theater director, the middle school theater group had a performance Thursday and Friday night. The students practiced four to five times a week since the beginning of November — three days at the high school, the rest in the theater production class — to make sure the performance was as close to perfect as possible. The theater group also built the sets and technical elements of the show.


Marshall said she loved being able to work with a dedicated group of students.


“They learn and grow so much with each show,” Marshall said. “Every show is a challenge. We have to pool all of our ideas together to bring the show to life. The students learn so much about working together with so many different personalities. But on show night, when all those different aspects come to life, it is magic. It is exciting and wonderful creating life-long memories and a love and appreciation of the arts.”


The Anna ISD Theater program has grown greatly in the past year. The program has rotated more than 700 students this year. Janie Breor, Anna ISD Theater director, said the influx of new theater students has warranted the addition of another theater teacher.


Breor said she is looking forward to the extra teacher, since currently, it is just herself and Marshall.


“We are very excited about that,” Breor said.


The Anna theater group so far has placed well in the past University Interscholastic League, a Texas based contest for theater, choir and sports. The Anna Middle School theater group won UIL 1 this past year.


Gabe Silva, a middle school student who played Ryan in “High School Musical,” won best actor for a one act play.


The high school group also has a few accolades in their portfolios, which include making it to regionals this past year and participating in state competition twice. Breor said she is getting the high school group ready to start practicing for the next big public performance — “Shrek the Musical.” The tentative dates for the high school performance is May 11, 12 and 13.


Breor said she enjoys watching the personal progress of each student involved in theater.


“Anna Theater is very invested in the growth of each and every student,” Breor said.