Rehearsals are moving along! Everyone is having fun and sounding great!
Rehearsals are moving along! Everyone is having fun and sounding great!
In your opinion, what do you think Annie can teach young girls today?
Samantha: I hope they can learn a good lesson from Annie. She is always optimistic through out the play, no matter what the circumstance. She is a good role model for anyone when life gets tough.
What have you learned from performing in this play?
Samantha: The hardest part for me was figuring out how I was going to play Annie. Her character was complex and I thought I had it all figured out. The directors wanted me to play her more like a little girl. I was like, “What, I am a little girl,” and Annie is supposed to be tough and sing strong. It was hard for me at first but I learned I can not always do what I want. In the future, I know I will be able to take on any acting challenge whether it is in my mind or that of another. I have learned that I can act!
What is your favorite comic book villain?
Samantha: I do not have a favorite comic book villain because I feel that no evil is right in any sort of way.
Who is your favorite comic book hero?
Samantha: My favorite comic book hero is Spiderman because he is interesting in so many ways. He can always come up with a joke in the worst of times. Just like Annie he is optimistic.
What has been your favorite experience so far?
Samantha: My favorite experience is acting along side with Boyd Barrett again. My first musical, EVER, was with him. It was Fiddler on the Roof. He was Tevye the father. I was Bielke the youngest daughter. I had a small part while he had the lead role. EVER since then I have looked up to him. That is why I am excited about being “Together at Last” along side him in a Lead role.
What do you like about acting and/or musicals?
Samantha: Acting helps me get my stress out. It is a way for me to allow myself to be happy. I like both acting and musicals because they allow me to be comfortable. I like both, but if I had to choose one I would chose musicals because it gives me an opportunity to sing and dance, too.
What experience do you have performing?
Samantha: I have been in several plays produced by KAPS and directed by Lynette Zuber. I have performed in several musicals produced by Roswell Community Little Theatre, “Fiddler on the Roof” and “The Wizard of Oz” both directed by Edie Stevens and WayWayOffBroadway, “Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and “Suessical the Musical” directed by Summer Souza. I have been in a short sci-fi film directed by Robert Mendoza, called “Elsie”. I won a best actress award for this film because my director made it fun and easy even though it was a lot of hard work. I had so much fun voicing Eleven in Boyd Barrett’s audio drama called “Roswell B.C.” Which stands for Before the Crash. I have been in two dance recitals with direction from The Studio Plus. I have performed in several vocal recitals. My last was my favorite. With the guidance of my vocal coach Devon Bullock I got to sing Don’t Rain on my Parade which my family posted on Facebook. Recently I was able to give back by acting in a commercial for RCLT to help raise funds for building repairs. This is very near and dear to my heart so please donate. Someday I hope to work along side my new mentors Jenci Huebner and Meryl McNally.
What is your favorite version of Annie?
Samantha: I do not have a favorite but I like that a young girl can be a hero. You can overcome adversity with faith, hope and justice. However, I do like that I resemble the pony tail, blue jean Annie, who rises up to fight against things that are wrong in the world. I just want to say thank you to Louise Montague for believing in me, Zach Anderson for encouraging me and everyone who prayed for me.
The 92 year old story of Annie is an American classic that never really gets old. It is a story that epitomizes the American dream. “Anything is Possible” including going from rags to riches.
From the moment Mr. Warbucks walks on to the stage the scene begins to depict the bridge that ties the past with the future.
In the comic book series, his age is around 52 years old. Warbucks is the world’s wealthiest person. However, he puts on no heirs.
Although he is a wise billionaire, he learns the most from an 11 year old child. She makes it known that she needed him for him. She helps him understand that something (someone) was missing. For this reason, he extends an offer of adoption to her with a promise of unimaginable riches. Yet, she must choose to accept it in order for it to be official.
Warbucks undergoes the greatest transformation. By accepting and giving he is made new…”Daddy” Warbucks. He will stand beside Grace. He will lift up more than Annie. He will lift us all up with his performance.
Warbucks is as fascinating as the man who is to take on the challenge…Boyd Barrett.
Thanks for meeting with us today. Can you please share with us some things about Warbucks and yourself?
How many musicals have you performed in?
Boyd: My first musical was one I co-wrote for my high school senior class. It was called “The Ebony Blade” and was a commentary on the problems we faced as our school was integrated in the racially tense central Texas of the 60’s and 70’s.
In college I was in “Hello Dolly” and “Man of La Mancha”. I wrote and performed several one-man musical productions, including “Trouble in Lincoln County”.
In the past few years, I’ve been in “Fiddler on the Roof”, “Les Miserables”, and “The Little Mermaid”.
What do you do to get into character before the show?
Boyd: I get pretty quiet as I prepare for a show. I do a lot of pacing as I get my body into whatever character I’m playing. Visualizing scenes and going through major lines helps me a lot.
What do you like about Warbucks character?
Boyd: Warbucks is one of those rare musical male lead roles for a man my age. Tevye was also one of those. It’s fun to try to show how a man like Warbucks could be so affected by an 11 year-old girl that his whole approach to life changes.
What is something men could learn from Warbucks?
Boys: Men could learn to not be closed off so much that relationships don’t touch them and help them to change and grow.
Do you have anything in common with Warbucks?
Boyd: Too many times I allow my work to keep me from growing the relationships with the people I love.
What would Daddy Warbucks make of the current economic situation in the US?
Boyd: I’m sure Warbucks would remind us of the Great Depression and explain how it affected everyone.
What is your favorite part in the play?
Boyd: I love singing “Something Was Missing” to Annie.
If you were a very rich man what would you donate money for?
Boyd: I don’t think the amount of money makes any difference. I would give to the same things I do now – spiritual ministries and the arts, specifically theatre.
What do you think Warbucks finds so charming about Annie?
Boyd: I’m sure he finds it refreshing for someone so powerless to be so bold.
The director of this play is Louise Montague who’s last directorial brought down the house with laughter in My Fatal Valentine and raised money to support Roswell Literacy Council. She is also known for several other theatrical hallmarks with RCLT including: Small Talk and Devel Divas.
The Assistant Director, Zack Anderson is very talented. It is hard to pick a favorite performance since he has so many voices and so many talents. He did a fantastic job in his performance as the Mayor in Whoville in WayWayOffBroadway’s Suessical the Musical. He also portrays many of the vocal talents in the successful Roswell BC podcast written/produced by Boyd Barrett. He got to live his dream when he portrayed the Tin Man in RCLT’s The Wizard of Oz.
Jenci’s outstanding and powerful performance as Urusla made her a crowd favorite and the perfect selection for mentoring young girls in a musical that requires the same talent on a much smaller scale. In addition to teaching vocal lessons, Jenci’s big heart made room in her busy schedule to volunteer in helping to lead this play as the music director.
Maryl McNally’s many talents as a singer, dancer and performer made her job as the comical French Chef Louis look easy. This will lend itself nicely in creating a dramatic stage presence requiring so many little and adorable orphan girls to do the same, along with a host of many other cast remembers. Some of us were not blessed to see her performance as Patsy in Patsy Cline that was selected to show at the Spencer Theatre in beautiful Ruidoso NM. You do not want to miss out on her talent as this musicals choreographer.
The title role of Annie is played by Samantha Thorsted, an eleven-year-old, who shows her pure excitement and love for performing every time she steps onto the stage. She is experienced in theatre, vocal, dance and film.
The play is blessed that Lucy Badger was cast as the understudy for Annie since she will steal the heart of the crowd quite easily. If you saw The Little Mermaid you will remember Lucy. She was delightful in her performance as Flounder. She will also be playing an orphan when she is not playing Annie.
Boyd Barrett will honor us again with a heartfelt performance as Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks. His ability to play the role of a great father figure will forever go unmatched. All you theatre lovers will remember his performance as Teyve in Fiddler on the Roof directed by Eddie Stevens.
In the role of Miss Hannigan is Lynetta Zuber, who never fails to make an audience laugh and she will no doubt surprise many with her other talents. She is partially responsible for many of the theatrical talents of the kids in this play as she has served as the KAPS director since their. Her love for theatre is portrayed in her everyday life, but her performance in this play will make you love theatre too!
Giana Montague will literally grace the stage, as always, with her presence as Grace Farrell, the private Secretary to Oliver Warbucks. She was recently brilliant in her performance as Glenda the Good Which in The Wizard of Oz.
Rooster will win you over with his handsome yet devilish ways and will be played by none other than William Atkinson who just finished playing the lead role in Sherlock Holmes The Final Adventure. Yes he got to be the good guy. However, watch your hearts and purses ladies. He might just steal them, too, when he’s not trying to steal Annie’s heart and a whole lot of money from Mr. Warbucks.
Abbi Roe will be playing Lily St. Regis. She played Dorthy in RCLT’s The Wizard of Oz and Aquata, the 3rd and meanest sister in The Little Mermaid. She is also the current Miss Roswell’s New Mexico Outstanding Teen. If that is not enough, she is also the student body president at Goddard High School.
Also starring in this Annie ensemble are:
Tango, a 7-year-old Golden Retriever owned by Marilyn Cozzens, stars as Sandy. He might just possibly steal the show.
Randy Nolen will be playing Mr. Bundles, the laundry man, and Franklin D. Roosevelt, the President. Talk about rags to riches.
The Orphans are played by Raelene Hartwell (July), Bennett Roehlk (Pepper) (with Eko Brooklyn Sanchez as her understudy), Madeline Hicks (Tessie), Aubrey O’Connor (Kate), Mason Deen (Molly) (with Madeline Williams as her understudy) and Zelia Santos as (Duffy). These kids will make you want to adopt an orphan.
Derek Palacios is a kid with a set of skills that makes him the perfect announcer, Bert Healey. His last performance as the Munchkin Coroner in The Wizard of Oz had everyone applauding, every time, after he had sung. He is one to watch for in this play and hopefully in years to come.
Julianne Martinez is playing the Star to Be in NYC. She was last seen in WayWayOffBroadway’s Suessical the Mussical as one of the Bird Girls. The role fits her well for she is a star to be.
Nate Banks is playing Luetinant Ward. He was last seen making an audience laugh as Sebastian in The Little Mermaid.
Kendra Jones, Michele Carter, Mary Alice Balderrama are the Boylin Sisters in addition to many other roles.
Jose Perez is playing Drake the Butler.
Connie Hester is playing Ms. Pugh.
There are several other equally important cast members: Brooke Flowers, Tara Jones, Matthew Perez, Gillian McFadin, Hugh Taylor, etc… Some are experienced and some are new. Either way they will bring their own creative talents to the stage and the play will only be better for it.
We saved the best for last. The very talented and amazing music for Annie will be played with the piano accompaniment of Kathy Cook. She brings that delicate balance of music that helps the characters come to life. She shared this same skill as the piano accompaniment for The Wizard Oz.
The story of Annie is amazing.
One characters role stands out. Miss Farrell is private secretary to Oliver Warbucks. She brings Annie and Warbucks together using her character traits of: professionalism, loyalty, maturity, honesty, and nurturing.
Grace saves Annie!
Miss Grace Farrell is played by none other than Gina Montague. Thanks for speaking with us today. Tell us about your character.
Gina: Grace is a kind-hearted person who is a little infatuated with Mr. Warbucks. She enjoys her job and is good at what she does.
What do you like about Grace’s character?
Gina: I like that Grace is smart, hard-working, efficient, and somewhat vulnerable too.
In your opinion, how does Grace’s character relate to women in our current society?
Gina: Grace is very much like a lot of women in our society today and throughout history, putting others needs above her own and taking care of everyone and everything.
What has been your favorite experience so far?
Gina: My favorite experiences with this play have been seeing the little orphan girls grow into their character.
Having fun with rehearsals!! Y’all do not want to miss this! This picture of Annie (Samantha Thorsted) and “Sandy” was taken after costuming today.
Denise Samuels has been a member of RCLT since 2012, either helping in the lobby or acting on stage. Her most recent role was Miss Stephanie in To Kill A Mockingbird. She has enjoyed getting to be a part of this play with her husband and friends.
Thanks for taking time to speak with us today. Tells us about your character, Madge Larabee.
Denise: There is more to Madge than is first seen. She is definitely not your “warm and fuzzy” type. She is very cold and determined. I think it’s due in part at least to a sad childhood. I mean, anyone who tells their own child that they aren’t worth a bucket of spit, well that’s just horrible parenting! So Madge has developed that same hard edge herself. She is extremely frustrated with her bumbling brother and really wishes he would just let her settle things her own way. She would never let some stupid emotion get in the way of what needs to be done.
What are some of the challenges you have faced in portraying this character?
Denise: It’s been fun playing someone so different from myself, but I’ve had to work on my facial expressions. Madge is bitter and angry all the time. I never get to smile as her, the closest I get is a smirk, and I’ve had to remind myself to keep that scowl on my face and stay in that frame of mind.
What do you hope audiences will take away from this production?
Denise: I hope the audience enjoys the story, it’s a great one with some twist and turns. I love the theatre because you can really get pulled into the story. With movies you can sometimes zone out to an image on a screen, but theatre is real live people performing right in front of you, and it’s enchanting. I hope people enjoy our interpretation of Sherlock Holmes because its been a blast to bring to life!