The Young Artists Repertory Theater Co. is preparing to bring a favorite orphan back to the stage.
The musical Annie will hit the stage Friday through Sunday at Augusta Preparatory Day School's Goodwin Commons at 285 Flowing Wells Road.
"It has been quite a challenge," said John Greene, the company's co-founder and production director, adding that a recent John S. Davidson Fine Arts School graduate, Samantha Bass, is choreographing the numerous dance sequences in the show.
Annie is a spunky, Depression-era orphan determined to find her parents, who abandoned her on the doorstep of a New York City orphanage run by Miss Hannigan, a cruel woman. Annie foils Hannigan's evil plans and finds a new family in billionaire Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks.
Performances are scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday and 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Annie will be played by 10-year-old Sydney Hillman. Joseph Wilbourne, a 2006 graduate of Davidson, will play the role of Oliver Warbucks.
"She's a delightful child," Greene said of Sydney, adding that the main cast of more than 30 people is between the ages of 8 and 26, except for a few guest appearances from adults.
The show, based on the Harold Gray comic strip Little Orphan Annie, includes well-known songs such as Tomorrow and It's a Hard Knock Life. The cast has been working on the musical for nearly three months.
Greene said he tries to expose the child actors involved in Young Artists Repertory Theater Co. productions to different types of material that will allow them to stretch as actors.
"One of the things we are doing with this production of Annie is our program is going to be very heavy with background information," Greene said.
"I have actually stopped rehearsals to tell them about the character or the event which they are portraying because it takes place during the Depression ...there are a lot of topical references that they don't know about, so it will be a learning experience for both audience and actors."
Tickets cost $10-$12 each, and are available by visiting www.yart.org.
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