ACT IX will hold auditions for the upcoming production of Annie, on Monday, Jan. 16, from 4-6 p.m. at the Warrenton Cultural Center, 226 S. Gibson St. in Warrenton.
The group is searching for actors between the ages of 8 and 19. Anyone interested in auditioning should prepare to perform a song that is not from the musical. The song can be sung with or without accompaniment. Performers who desire to be accompanied should bring sheet music for the pianist.
There are also several speaking-only parts, in addition to background and extras parts. Anyone interested in one of these parts should attend the auditions and be prepared to read a simple monologue/dialogue. Those interested should bring a monologue/dialogue of their choosing, but also expect to be able to read one of the director’s choosing.
The Annie production calls for a cast of at least 29 actors with singing, speaking-only and background-only roles. There are seven lead roles: Annie, FDR, Grace Farrell, Lily, Miss Hannigan, Oliver Warbucks and Rooster. Each of these roles needs a strong actor/singer. There are also six orphan girls’ roles to cast, and they will sing mostly as a chorus. There are also at least a dozen minor characters to cast. The director said that because they have limited the total number to 30 cast and crew members, there will be kids doubling some of the minor characters to cover all of the parts. She said they would need at least three on the crew.
ACT, which stands for Area Children’s Theatre, was founded in Warrenton in 2006. The acronym is borrowed from the ACT (Area Community Theatre), a children’s theatre troupe in Milledgeville that was founded by Ruby Werts.
The troupe has performed comedies, mysteries, dramas and Shakespeare and is in its ninth season, hence ACT IX will be the next production.
“We have had amazing turnouts for the auditions and productions, and have yet to have difficulty casting the next play,” said ACT Director Cindy Rivers. “As more and more kids find out about this opportunity, they are eager to join the troupe. I hope that casting Annie will be no different.”
ACT’s casting policy that states that actors from the most recent ACT season get top choice for their role in the next ACT. After those choices are made, auditions for competing roles within the troupe are completed before auditions are opened to fill the remaining roles.
ACT chooses productions with large casts and many opportunities for learning in other areas of theatre, such as set design, costume design, sound and light management, staging and script prompting.
Rivers said that, at this point, all of the roles are available. Children who participated in ACT VIII who show up for the audition on Jan. 16 will get first refusal for roles the director feels suit them best.
“We have always conducted casting this way, and we have not yet encountered any problems with it, because there have been new kids to audition and fill in any and all gaps,” she said.
Rehearsals will be Mondays from 4-6 p.m. at the Warrenton Cultural Center. Extra rehearsals are scheduled for Thursdays, March 8 and 15, from 4-6 p.m., and Saturdays, March 10 and 17, from 10 a.m. to noon.
Performance dates for Annie are March 20 and 22 at 7 p.m. There will also be a possible matinee on March 25.
Rivers said they plan to have online and advance ticket sales available by Feb. 1. The notice will be in the February ACT Newsletter. Ticket prices for adults are $5 in advance, $7 at the door. Student prices are $2 in advance and $4 at the door.