High School Actor Shines On

By Sandra Zunino

Kent Island High School Student Reed Bjornvedt was shining in more ways than one last Saturday night. Starring in the role of Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks in the KIHS musical, Annie, not only did Reed’s acting talent prevail, his shaved head lent an undeniable reality to the role.

“People have told me I look like I’m 30,” says the sixteen-year-old junior who shaved his head specifically for the part a week before opening night. “Even before I got the role, I knew I would do it,” says Reed. “I thought a skull cap would look ridiculous.”

Reed says he wanted the part of Warbucks when he auditioned for the play last December. Reed has appeared in Kent Island High School productions A Christmas Carol, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Imperfect Proposal, Fools, Fifteen Minute Minimum, 42nd Street and Harvey. Additionally, as a fourth grader he appeared in Oliver presented at Queen Anne’s County High School and The King and I at Anne Arundel Community College.

While he enjoys stage performance and plans to incorporate theater into his career goals, Reed says ultimately, he wants to write and produce television shows. “Acting is definitely integrated into all of that,” he says.

Aside from the theater aspect of the performing arts, Reed is also an accomplished musician, studying piano for nine years and bagpipes for seven. Coming from a large Irish family, Reed recalls a bagpipe performance at a family gathering in Chicago inspired him to learn the unorthodox instrument. “I told my mom that it was something I wanted to do,” he says. “When we got home we found a teacher in Annapolis.”

Reed not only plays in a bagpipe band along with his bagpipe teacher, but also delivers live performances including an annual appearance, dressed in traditional attire, in the high school every St. Patrick’s Day.

Reed says he has been very happy to work with the cast and crew in the Annie musical. “Everyone here is so talented, even if they don’t see it in themselves,” he says. “All the directors, Mr. Regan (Producer), Mrs. Butler (Musical Director) and Ms. Wright (Choreographer) are so phenomenal.”

Reed says his mother, Annette, has been the driving force in his drama and musical career and his biggest supporter.