Goshen News, Goshen, IN

January 30, 2014

'Annie' Arrives

Three-day run of performances begins Friday

By SCOTT WEISSER scott.weisser@goshennews.com
Goshen News

---- — LIGONIER

Hannah Harper was trying out for any part at all in the show.

“It really didn’t matter if I was an orphan or not,” the West Noble Middle School sixth-grader said. “I just really wanted to be in it.”

Harper got what she wanted, to say the least. The show is “Annie,” and Harper is portraying an orphan. Actually, she’s the orphan.

“It was the most amazing feeling ever,” she said of landing the title role. “I was jumping up and down screaming. It was amazing.”

Hannah will be “Annie” when the show is performed on the Theatre33 stage at West Noble High School this weekend. The Friday and Saturday shows are set for 7 p.m. and the Sunday showcase at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $5 for students and $6 for adults. There will be general seating, and “Annie” will be performed “in the round” in the school Auditoria.

“Annie” is set in New York City circa 1933, when the Great Depression has left many families without a place to live. Many children call an orphanage home. Annie lives in an orphange with 12 other youngsters, and dreams of finding her parents.

In a bid for positive publicity, Daddy Oliver Warbucks invites an orphan to spend the holidays in his mansion. Expecting a boy, he instead encounters Annie, who ultimately wins his heart.

Harper is a fan of the girl she’ll be portraying at West Noble this weekend.

“My character is very, very, very perky,” she said. “She always tries to cheer everybody up. (She’s) always so optimistic about life no matter what’s coming her way. Every song that she sings is optimistic. It’s really fun to be able to play her. It’s so fun to be able to be so happy. It makes everyone around you happy.”

Harper’s previous experience with Theatre33 was as an extra in “Seussical” three years ago. After “Annie,” she plans to stay involved in theater.

“I’ll definitely be doing a lot of plays,” Harper said in looking ahead to high school.

The cast

In order of appearance, the cast of “Annie” includes:

Molly — Lucy Gensch

Annie — Hannah Harper

Pepper — Madeline Plank

Duffy — Stephanie Mendoza

July — Lydia Lowe

Tessie — Erin Shoemaker

Kate — Shuli Sheeley

Additional orphans — Payton Eash, Jocelyn Flores, Daniela Gomez-Miller, Misty Hernandez, Thalia Parson and Emma Wilkins

Miss Hannigan — Amber Wilkins

Bundles — Carlos Medina

Apple seller — Loren Vance

Dog catcher — Kody Leitch

Assistant dog cather — Emily Morren

Hooverville dwellers — Marcus Henderson, Travis Lee, Eduardo Aranda, Emily Durham, Amelia Kurtz and Kitty Sheeley

Sophie — Cassidy Arnold

Lt. Ward — Beck Groff

Grace Farrell — Lauren Durbin

Drake — Travis Lee

Cecille — Grace Ness

Annette — Sarah Buchanan

Mrs. Greer — Tessa Hartman

Mrs. Pugh — Kristen Alcala

Oliver Warbucks — Skylar Denman

Star To Be — Kitty Sheeley

Cop — Carlos Medina

Usherette — Kaeli Hart

Rooster Hannigan — Marcus Henderson

Lily St. Regis — Tiffany Jaramillo

Radio station people: Sound effects — Emily Morren; Jimmy Johnson — Beck Groff; Fran McCracken — Amelia Kurtz; Connie, Bonnie and Ronnie Boylan — Sarah Buchanan, Kristen Alcala and Grace Ness, Bert Healy — Eduardo Aranda

Cabinet: FDR — Beck Groff; Ickes — Kody Leitch; Perkins — Emily Durham; Morganthau — Travis Lee; Howe — Carlos Medina; and Hull — Loren Vance.

“Annie” is being directed by Justin Lortie, Cliff Schwartz and Amy Dreibelbis. Pianist Julie Price wil accompany the cast and orchestra.