Just right for the role
Although this is her first "big" production on stage, 11-year-old Sailor Peterson of Alexandria says she's been acting since she was 8.
The red-headed Peterson will be playing the role of Annie in the Andria Theatre's upcoming production of "Annie." The play opens this Thursday, Nov. 30, at the downtown theater. It runs through Dec. 10. Thursday through Saturday shows are at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays are at 2 p.m.
When asked why she wanted to play the role of Annie, Peterson quickly quipped with a huge smile on her face, "Doesn't everyone want to be Annie?"
During auditions for "Annie," more than 50 girls tried out for all the parts.
"There were many talented girls to choose from but Sailor's spunky personality seemed to be exactly right for the role of Annie," Director Sharon Thalmann said. "Sailor has been a joy to work with. She's worked very hard and always takes direction to improve her performance. She is the heart of our play."
The sixth-grader at St. Mary's School has taken other roles in productions at the theater. "It's been fun so far and this is probably my favorite role I've ever played," she said.
She said her favorite songs are "It's a Hard Knock Life," and of course, "Tomorrow."
Thalmann is no stranger to the Andria Theatre and this production. She played the role of Miss Hannigan the last time "Annie" was at the Andria Theatre more than a decade ago when it was known as the Alexandria Area Arts Association.
As for directing a cast with more than 35 members, Thalmann said the key is communication and making sure everyone is on the same page. She also said that directing a musical, like "Annie," is a little bit different in that the characters learn the music and dance routines first. In addition, she said with musicals, the cast gets two more weeks of rehearsals.
"It's really magical to see it all come together in the end," she said.
So, which role does Thalmann like more — director or actor?
She said each one is very different and that it would be hard to choose because each one has its own perks.
She did note that with directing, she doesn't have to learn any lines.
"Directing and acting are both wonderful in their own ways," she said. "But I do like directing a lot. I can see the whole vision. I see it come together."
About the play
Based on the popular comic strip by Harold Gray, "Annie" has become a worldwide phenomenon and was the winner of seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The book and score by Tony Award winners, Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin, features some of the greatest musical theatre hits ever written, including "Tomorrow."
With equal measures of pluck and positivity, little orphan Annie charms everyone's hearts despite a next-to-nothing start in 1930s New York City. She is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of a New York City Orphanage that is run by the cruel, embittered Miss Hannigan. With the help of the other girls in the orphanage, Annie escapes to the wondrous world of NYC. In adventure after fun-filled adventure, Annie foils Miss Hannigan's evil machinations — and even befriends President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
She eventually finds a new home and family in billionaire Oliver Warbucks, his personal secretary, Grace Farrell, and a lovable mutt named Sandy.
If you go
When: Nov. 30 - Dec. 3 and Dec. 7-10, Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m.
Where: Andria Theatre, 618 Broadway St., Alexandria
Tickets: Go to www.andriatheatre.org or call the box office at 320-762-8300.
Annie — Sailor Peterson
Molly — Lily Eken
Pepper — Jordan Rymer
Duffy — Parker Zwach
July — Roxanne Sweetwater
Tessie — Malorie Raether
Kate — Jeryn Drewes
Mary — Allie Trombley
Jane — Abigail Nelson
Miss Hannigan — Cathy Snyder
Bundles McClosky, Howe — Nick Segaar
Rooster — Randy Martin
Lily St. Regis — Karmen Lemm
Grace Farrell — Paige Knorek
Drake — Jeff Roste
Cecille — Amara Henneman
Annette — Hannah Rinicker
Marie — Shayla Hollenbeck
Mrs. Greer — Kristi Greathouse
Mrs. Pugh — Ruth Blom
Manservant, Bert Healy — Jake Stone
Manservant, Eddie, Hull — Jon Provance
Oliver Warbucks — Allen Alvig
Bonnie Boylan — Sarenity Klein
Connie Boylan — Kathryn Tomoson
Ronnie Boylan, Usherette — Madeline Dudley
Suzy McCracken, Ensemble — Beth Odden
Lt. Ward, Morganthau, Announcer, Jimmy Johnson — Scott Giannone
Sound effects lady, Ensemble — Sarah Biver
Roosevelt — Chuck Grussing
Ickes, Ensemble — David Conover
Perkins, Sofie, Ensemble — Rachel Barduson
Judge Brandeis — John Thalmann
Apple seller — Pat Finnestad
Newspaper boy — Jonah Heidelberger
Street boy — Addison Randazzo
Star to be — Katy Robinson
Ensemble — Andree Brown, Dawn Houska, Emily Kaatz, Meagen Lindberg and Amelia Meier
Sandy — Eddie
Director — Sharon Thalmann
Assistant director/stage manager/props — Hilary Ninman
Assistant stage manager — Ailee Valazquez
Set design and construction — John Thalmann
Costumes — Janet Baker and Nancy Berns
Hair and makeup — Katelyn Niemeyer
Vocal director — Dedra Zwieg
Conductor — Mark Graf
Choreography — Jackie Noetzelman and Karmen Lemm
Lights and sound — Quincy Roers