Over­all mes­sage of ‘An­nie’ is never-end­ing hope

Kutz­town High to present ‘An­nie’ on Nov. 16 to 18

The Community Connection - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Porter Holt For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

A story of love, be­long­ing, and ever­last­ing hope is set to grace the stage at Kutz­town Area High School on Nov. 16, 17 and 18 in Kutz­town’s pro­duc­tion of “An­nie”, the hit Broad­way mu­si­cal.

The mu­si­cal tells the story of An­nie, an or­phan who wants more than any­thing to meet her bi­o­log­i­cal par­ents. Soon af­ter at­tempt­ing to es­cape the or­phan­age where she has spent her child­hood, An­nie is adopted by the wealthy Oliver War­bucks, who ad­ver­tises na­tion­wide to of­fer a large re­ward for any­one who can find the or­phan’s par­ents. Fraud­u­lent claims be­gin to arise from con artists who scheme to col­lect the re­ward by pos­ing as An­nie’s mother and fa­ther, and all are left won­der­ing where An­nie re­ally came from.

The lead role of An­nie is to be played by Morgan Clay­poole, a ju­nior at Kutz­town. Clay­poole has worked with a dif­fer­ent di­rec­tor for each of her three years in the high school, but she is con­fi­dent that this year’s change in lead­er­ship was a good one.

Ac­cord­ing to Clay­poole, first-year di­rec­tor Suzie Ligam­mari “is re­ally re­spon­si­ble. She has re­ally done her best, and she cares so much about us as in­di­vid­u­als, as well as the mu­si­cal as a whole.”

Ligam­mari di­rects a cast of 43 stu­dents, but many more stu­dents, par­ents, and vol­un­teers also come to­gether to as­sist with the stage crew, pit orches­tra, sound and light­ing crew, set de­sign, ticket sales, and much more that hap­pens be­hind the scenes.

“What you don’t see as an au­di­ence mem­ber is the amount of time and ef­fort that the par­ents have put in. You can see how elab­o­rate our sets are, our cos­tume de­sign­ers have been hard at work, and all of that stuff has been com­pletely han­dled by the par­ents,” said Ligam­mari.

Even with the help of so many self­less vol­un­teers, di­rect­ing a mu­si­cal is no easy task, and di­rect­ing a high school mu­si­cal is even harder. Ligam­mari, though, has em­braced the chal­lenge.

“I can gen­uinely say I have loved work­ing with ev­ery sin­gle stu­dent, and I’ve en­joyed get­ting to know all of their per­son­al­i­ties, all 43 of them in the cast, and even more in the crew and pit.”

Par­ents aren’t the only ones putting in work be­hind the scenes; ac­tors put in even more time and ef­fort that the au­di­ence doesn’t see. Al­though each per­for­mance lasts just two and a half hours, the cast re­hearses for months be­fore reach­ing the fi­nal prod­uct.

Se­nior Madi­son Wolf, who por­trays the role of Grace Far­rell, War­bucks’s sec­re­tary, strug­gled to put into words the amount of gru­el­ing ef­fort that goes un­no­ticed when putting on a pro­duc­tion of this scale.

“Well, I’m tempted to say blood, sweat, and tears! Be­cause it re­ally is a strug­gle both for each of us as in­di­vid­u­als, as well as work­ing to­gether as a group,” said Wolf, who has par­tic­i­pated in the high school pro­duc­tions since eighth grade.

The hard work pays off when it comes time for the per­for­mances, though. Eve­lyn Mace, a ju­nior who plays the role of Miss Han­ni­gan, the al­co­holic or­phan­age di­rec­tor, al­ways most looks for­ward to per­form­ing the show for an au­di­ence.

“There’s noth­ing like the end when you bow and ev­ery­one’s clap­ping and you just feel like ‘We did it!’ It’s the great­est feel­ing, the best feel­ing in the world. You know you did it, you know you made peo­ple happy, and you know you stole them from their world for two and a half hours and put them into a new place that was fun and en­ter­tain­ing,” said Mace, whose sis­ter, Mered­ith, por­trays Ce­cile, one of War­bucks’s maids.

Wolf re­it­er­ated. “It’s a lot of hard work, but com­ing to­gether and see­ing the fi­nal re­sult is just so re­ward­ing.”

Ju­nior Owen Kulp, who plays the role of Oliver War­bucks, added that the ex­pe­ri­ence of pre­sent­ing to an au­di­ence is so spe­cial be­cause “with be­ing able to tell the story right to a per­son’s face, you get that raw emo­tion right there, as op­posed to see­ing a movie or some­thing like that.”

Both the cast and di­rec­tor agreed that the mes­sage of “An­nie” is one that any au­di­ence mem­ber can re­late to.

“The over­all mes­sage of ‘An­nie’ is just never-end­ing hope, and that even if things don’t seem like they are go­ing well, there is al­ways some­thing to look for­ward to,” said Ligam­mari, “And it’s true. Even if things don’t work out ex­actly the way that you thought they would or that you in­tended, there’s still hap­pi­ness to be found, and you just have to be able to em­brace that.”

“An­nie” will be pre­sented in the Kutz­town Area High School au­di­to­rium Nov. 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 18 at 2 p.m. Tick­ets are avail­able on­line at kasd.tix. com/. Email box­of­fice.kahs.mu­si­[email protected] for ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing ticket reser­va­tions.


“An­nie” will be pre­sented in the Kutz­town Area High School au­di­to­rium Nov. 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 18 at 2 p.m.

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