Annie wannabes should mark Aug. 21 on their calendar. Paper Mill: The State Theatre of New Jersey will hold an open call to find young girls to play the role of Annie in the theatre's upcoming production of the Tony-winning musical. The New Jersey theatre will search for Annie's orphan friends that day as well.
Nine girls in all are needed to play the seven orphans and the title role plus one understudy. Paper Mill is seeking both Equity and Non-Equity girls, ages 6 to 13, who are no taller than 4'10" (58 inches). All must be excellent singers, dancers and actors, and all ethnicities are highly encouraged to audition. Auditioners are expected to have learned two songs from the Annie score, "It's the Hard-Knock Life" and "Tomorrow"; aspiring young actresses should supply a headshot/snap shot with a resume or list of recent experience. Everyday, casual dress is encouraged; dance auditions will only be conducted at callbacks.
Auditions are scheduled for 10 AM at the Paper Mill theatre, which is located on Brookside Drive in Millburn, NJ. Sign-ups begin at 9 AM and continue to 11:30 AM; no one will be admitted after 11:30 AM. Those cast will begin rehearsals in New York City on Monday, Oct. 7; some school will be missed.
Featuring a book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin, Annie will begin performances at the Paper Mill on Oct. 30 and will run through Dec. 8. Directed by Greg Ganakas — with choreography by Linda Goodrich and musical direction by Tom Helm — Annie is based on the famed comic-strip character who begins an orphan and ends up the daughter of a billionaire. The original Broadway production opened in April 1977 and made a star out of its first Annie, Andrea McArdle. The show won the Tony Award for Best Musical.
—By Andrew Gans