“Annie” re-imagined for young actors
By Terri Spilman
The Christian Youth Theater is putting their spin on one of America’s most beloved Broadway stage characters, little orphan Annie with their production of “Annie, Jr.” playing May 15 through May 18 at the Marian University Theatre in Indianapolis.
Differentiating the versions of the play “Annie” from “Annie Jr.” is that every “Jr.” show is specifically adapted for adolescent voices and is shorter in length, making it better suited for the attention span of younger audiences.
The theatre group’s twist on the play will include an added array of nostalgic music.
“Our director, Ryan Shelton, had an amazing idea to add more music to the show to allow the audience to feel that they were really going back to the 1930s,” said Krissa Hatfield, a Christian Youth Theater board member. “Ryan and our musical Director, Breanna Campbell, joined together to find hit classics that the kids could perform and rock out to. It’s been challenging for the kids because it’s such complicated music, however, it’s really added a special feeling to the show. They’ve worked hard and it’s really something that we can call our own.”
Several cast members reside in Carmel including the oldest cast member, 17-year-old Connor Tomlin who plays the role of Miss Hannigan, along with Carmel High School Student Jarrett Yates, 16 who plays Rooster Hannigan.
Other area students include, Grace Dearing, 14, who stars as Lily St. Regis, Elle Nichol, 12, who plays Pepper and MacKenna Mitchell, 9, who plays Kate.
“In addition to these kids, there are many ensemble and crew members that are a part of the vibrant and talented Carmel community,” Hatfield said.
In the play, Annie’s dog Sandy is the first thing the orphan can really call her own and they develop a special bond. In this spirit, Christian Youth Theater is joining the Humane Society of Indianapolis to spread the word about pet adoption season and is collecting donations dog and cat treats to benefit the Humane Society.
“Annie Jr.” • Marian University Theatre in Indianapolis • 7 p.m. May 15 and 16; 11 a.m. 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. May 17; and 2 p.m. May 18 • Tickets start at $12 • For more information visit www.CYTindy.org