West Grand thespians have bright ‘Tomorrow" ahead
The sun’ll come out this weekend for several West Grand thespians through two different productions of the popular Broadway play “Annie.”
Today and tomorrow, students from West Grand Middle School’s drama club will take to the stage. To give many kids a chance to perform, instructor Ken Cotter organized two groups for the famous play.
“Double-casting the play is a nice solution when you have lots of students with talent,” he said.
The young thespians have been working hard to produce the Broadway show, which teaches that even though life can be tough, there is always a new day. Once a week, when the school is closed, they have been practicing their roles and learning about theater. Cotter said the young actors have really “stepped it up” as their performances near.
The play is based on the popular comic strip and shares the story of a “spunky” Depression-era orphan abandoned on the doorstep of a New York City orphanage run by the cruel Miss Hannigan. As part of a publicity stunt, Annie is invited into the home of Oliver Warbucks, and his house and world are turned upside down.
The upbeat plot, “flamboyant” characters and catchy score have made the theater production one of the most beloved musicals in history. Popular songs from the score include “Tomorrow” and “It’s a Hard Knock Life.”
Leading Friday’s cast is Katie Sanford, playing the lovable, freckled, red-headed handful, Annie. This is the fourth play for the eighth grader, who was happy for the opportunity to play one of the leads.
“There were a lot of good girls trying out for the part,” she said.
Sanford said it’s a fun part to play. Her character learns a lot throughout the story and “becomes a little more grown up it seems.” She said Cotter has been doing a great job too, and that they learn a lot of new things about acting during the club meetings.
The actors helped choreograph the play themselves, something that Sanford is very passionate about. This is her 11th year learning dance (ballet, jazz, tap and hip-hop) and she hopes to add on point technique. Like Annie, she also loves to sing. She sings at church and home a lot and also takes voice classes.
“Music is a huge part of my life,” Sanford said.
Also blending their talents into Friday’s show are Kristina Ekren, Shawna Rule, Wes Romero, Kaitlyn Adams, Rudy Garcia, Joanna Raecke, Kelly Palmer, Lonie Ragsdale, Hayley Rohr, Krysten Garcia, Laura Billington, Shay Rule, Alex Schultz, Jazmyn Pasillas, Bibiana Stubbs, Raelynn Tyrrell, Sky LePage, Jackie Adams, Charlee Manguso, Alex Schultz, and Mitch Cunico.
Sarah Vance, who plays one of the Lovely Boylan Sisters in the radio scene Friday, takes the lead Saturday as Annie. The seventh grader said she tried really hard to get the part, was “totally excited” she got it, and guesses her work “definitely paid off.”
Other talents making up Saturday’s cast include Shay Rule, Veronica Jacobi, Krysten Garcia, Rudy Garcia, Raecke, Anna Cunico, Teresa O’Neill, Hayley Rohr, LePage, Tyrrell, Molly Scruggs, Jackie Adams, Charlee Manguso, Alex Schultz, Mitch Cunico, Schultz, Pasillas, Stubbs, Ragsdale, Scruggs, Adams, and Palmer.
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