A relative newcomer will get to teach everyone “The Sun Will Come Up Tomorrow” and “It’s a Hard Knock Life” as the Surry Arts Council’s production of “Annie” opens Saturday at the Andy Griffith Playhouse.
The role of Annie will be played by 11-year-old Madison Lawson, in her first performance with the Surry Arts Players. In fact, she said has never even seen Annie and would not have known about auditions if she had not been visiting Flat Rock Baptist Bible School.
Hannah Lichvar, who plays one of the other orphans in the show, had auditioned the day before and mentioned it to Madison, who has participated for three years in the local Missoula Children’s Theatre Drama Camp. Madison asked her mother, Shanda, if she could audition and true to the traditions of the stage, the rest is history.
In addition to Missoula Children’s Theatre, Madison has performed in “Beauty and the Beast” and “Cinderella” with a school group at Millennium Charter Academy. She credits her third grade teacher, Beverly Edwards, for helping her realize that she loves acting. However, she’s not certain that would be her career choice.
“I don’t know. I love acting but I love singing, too. And I love to write poetry,” Lawson said.
Joining Madison in the cast of Annie is Todd Gerber as Oliver Warbucks, Jasmine Hagwood as Miss Hannigan, Rebekah Taylor as Grace Farrell, Scott Carpenter as Rooster Hannigan, and Rachel Miller as Lily St. Regis. The orphans are played by Raegan Amos, Elizabeth Carson, Hannah Chamberlain, Abigail Gerber, Emma Rose Hutchens, Sophie Hutchens, Kynzee Jenkins, Hannah Lichvar, Peyton Martel, Caroline Moledor, Kyah Rehberg and Riley Stanley.
The ensemble plays many roles, and includes Andy Atkins, Emily Brim, Scott Denson, Caleb Gerber, Beverly Hagwood, Amber King, Melissa Lawrence, Susan Lawrence, Greg Matthews, Jim Shover and Kady Ann Tilley. The role of Sandy, the iconic dog, is being played by James Moledor.
Council Program Director Heather Elliott said the show is one of the most beloved musicals in America. The lead character, Annie, is determined to find her parents, who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of a New York City Orphanage run by the cruel and embittered Miss Hannigan.
Tickets are still available. Performances are set for Aug. 2 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, Aug. 3, at 3 p.m. and Monday, Aug. 4, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person. For additional information, persons may contact the Surry Arts Council at 336-786-7998 or firstname.lastname@example.org.