2018-11-08 / Front Page

Little Theater will produce ‘Annie’ in 5 shows during early December


Director/Choreographer Jason LeBlanc (foreground) gives instruction during the opening dance, “Hard- Knock Life,” to orphans (l-r) Bailyn Roberson, Madison Locklair, Gianna Bacino, Lindsey Pruitt, Sarah Morris, Aubree Wilkerson (top), Ruby Cullars Arthur, Grace Bunnell, Sophia Eligio, and Hally Wheatley. Director/Choreographer Jason LeBlanc (foreground) gives instruction during the opening dance, “Hard- Knock Life,” to orphans (l-r) Bailyn Roberson, Madison Locklair, Gianna Bacino, Lindsey Pruitt, Sarah Morris, Aubree Wilkerson (top), Ruby Cullars Arthur, Grace Bunnell, Sophia Eligio, and Hally Wheatley. During the first two weekends in December, the Washington Little Theater (WLT) will present the family favorite musical “Annie.” “Audiences are going to love this show,” said Director Jason LeBlanc. He added that he expects all five performances to sell out quickly and he encouraged people to buy their tickets online now and not wait until the last minute.

The play features a cast of over 40 people from Washington, Rayle, Harlem, Lincolnton, and Greensboro, and brings to life the story of Little Orphan Annie, whose pluck and positivity charms everyone she meets. She is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of a New York City orphanage, run by the cruel, embittered Miss Hannigan. With the help of the other girls in the orphanage, Annie escapes into New York City where her adventures include meeting billionaire Oliver War- bucks, his personal secretary Grace Farrell, a lovable mutt named Sandy, and even U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt.

The role of Annie will be played by 11-year-old Sarah Morris who first joined the WLT in 2017’s Summer Youth Drama Camp, and also sings in First United Methodist’s Emmanuel Singers children’s choir.

Jeremy Bunnell fills the role of Oliver Warbucks. In real life, he’s pastor of Lincolnton’s Hephzibah Baptist Church and also serves on the WLT board as theater house manager. Earlier this year he performed in the WLT’s “The Last Supper,” but “Annie” is his first leading role. The role of Grace Farrell, Warbuck’s personal secretary, is played by Alicia Madden, who has performed in several WLT productions over the years.

Versatile WLT veteran Angie Bailey returns to the stage as the cruel Miss Hannigan, which is the exact opposite of the loving Mrs. Cratchit she played in last year’s “A Christmas Carol.” Also returning to the stage is Scott Brown, who plays slick con-man Rooster. Rooster’s Jersey-city girlfriend, Lily St. Regis, is played by Breckyn Hudson, owner of the Washington Dance Academy.

“The very talented actor and singer April Morrison has done a fabulous job leading and teaching the musical score to the cast,” said LeBlanc. Morrison also serves as the play’s assistant director. Juilliard trained pianist Sherri Bowers will provide musical accompaniment.

“I am really enjoying working with everyone involved in the show,” said LeBlanc. “About a third of the cast – both onstage and backstage – are new to WLT, and we hope they continue to be involved in other productions.”

Show dates and times are December 1, 7, and 8 at 7:30 p.m. with matinees at 3 p.m. on December 2 and 9. Ticket costs are $15 adults and $7.50 for children 12 and under. Attendance is expected to be heavy so patrons are strongly encouraged to buy their tickets in advance online.

To select your seats, go to the WLT website at washingtonlittletheater.org and click on Order Tickets, or visit the WLT Facebook page. Patrons who absolutely do not have access to the internet may call 706-678-9582 and leave your name and phone number. You will be contacted to process your order. This option will be available until 5 p.m. the day prior to show date. Based on availability, you may also purchase tickets at the box office, which will be open 45 minutes prior to showtime.

As an added incentive, every “Annie” ticket holder will receive a special “buy one get one” holiday coupon redeemable at one of four Washington businesses.

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