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The Lantern

The Student News Site of CFHS

The Lantern

The Student News Site of CFHS

The Lantern

Same theater, new director

Director Annie Pedersen took on a new role by directing this year’s fall musical.
Annie+Pedersen+contemplates+stage+directions+for+her+actors.
Staff
Annie Pedersen contemplates stage directions for her actors.

The Cannon Falls Theater Program is known to put on unique and fun plays for people to come and watch. They have a fall musical, a spring play, and a One Act play which are all held at the Cannon Falls High School. To make these come to life on stage, the program needs a director to help navigate the team and manage the play. This year, the program got a new director, Annie Pedersen. Although Pedersen directed the spring musical and the One Act play last year, this is her first full year directing the theater. Having the spotlight on her, It’s interesting to know what she did before directing.

Annie Pedersen wasn’t always at Cannon Falls. In the late 90s, she went to Beulah High School in North Dakota, living not so much of a different life as a student. Pedersen’s high school also had a theater program which she was a part of, either as an actor or tech. When asked what she did before directing, Pedersen said “We didn’t produce any musicals but we did full-length plays and [also] had a One Act Play competition team.” After High school, Pedersen directed the Christmas musicals for her church. Eventually, all this experience led to where she is now, the Cannon Falls Theater program.

Originally, Annie Pedersen never actually planned to direct the Theater program in Cannon Falls. However, as it turns out, they didn’t have anyone to direct the One Act Play last year after the old director, Vienna Qualey, left. Pedersen has three kids who were involved with the Theater program in Cannon Falls at some point, so she had a personal connection to the club, and offered to direct. As it turns out, she ended the play on a positive note. “We had so much fun doing it that I decided to do the spring play as well.” This year, Pedersen will be directing the fall musical, which will be quite different from what she did before.

For the fall of 2023, Annie Pedersen decided to do the Beauty and the Beast musical. This will be new for her since she never directed a musical before. “I never thought that I’d be directing a musical since I’m not great at music myself.” However, Pedersen isn’t alone. Both the new vocal director, Michelle Braun, and assistant director, Cannon Quade, have been helping her out with the music portions. She’s also been getting a lot of support from parents, her husband, workers around the school building, and students in the program themselves. For this year, Pedersen pointed out that she has around thirty actors and ten tech crew members. With a lot of crew members, it’s interesting to see what they think of the new director. 

Having a lot of crew members is great for the show, but also a lot of people with their own opinions on the new director. When asked, there was nothing but positive feedback. A senior, Piper O’Gorman, who is involved with tech, really likes the new director. “She listens to people’s thoughts well, and makes everyone feel like they’re a part of a bigger project, because we are.” This shows that the crew loves working with their new director which is great news for Cannon Falls, as it shows that they chose a good director.

Having a new director for the Cannon Falls Theater program is quite a new change. However, Annie Pedersen has had experience, and most crew members have had positive thoughts about her. By the sound of things, the theater program is in good hands. A great way for anyone to show support for Annie Pedersen and the crew, is by coming to watch their fall musical this November. After all, one thing that Pedersen hopes for this year is that it ends up being great.

About the Contributor
Cara Erickson
Cara Erickson, Features Editor
Hello, my name is Cara Erickson. I am the Features Editor for Lantern and a part of Interact. I am such a huge reader, that I've been caught reading in the lunch line. I also love writing stories that probably shouldn't see the light of day.