The Franklin School of Innovation (FSI) Middle School Drama Club presents Annie Jr. on Friday and Saturday, December 10 and 11, at 7 p.m. at FSI. The show is performed live for families of the cast and crew. Community members may access a recorded production via the school’s website. Ticket proceeds and donations benefit Western Carolina Rescue Ministries.
“Even though Annie Jr. takes place in the 1930s during the Great Depression, the show relates to the current pandemic and the effect it has on jobs and stability in our society,” says director and FSI middle school theater instructor Chris Martin. “It ties in with our focus at FSI on service learning with its connection to homelessness and the Western Carolina Rescue Ministries.”
Annie Jr. is an original Broadway production based on the comic strip Little Orphan Annie and directed by Martin Charnin, shared by permission of the Tribute Content Agency, LLC. The show features more than 30 actors, most of them middle-schoolers, with two high-school students. The cast began rehearsals in August.
“Being part of such a big production allows me to see everything you don’t see sitting in the audience,” says Marisol Brown, who plays the role of Grace Farrell. “Acting has taught me so many different things about myself and what I can do.”
An additional 15 students make up the set crew. The set is designed and painted by FSI 8th-grade art students with art teacher Kati Robbins. The production also includes two student stage managers as well as a high-school student assistant choreographer.
“My hope is that the audience sees how much work these kiddos have done and the fun they all had,” says music director/choreographer and FSI director of instrumental and vocal ensembles Sandi Wilson. “We have seen so many of them come out of their comfort zones to try something completely new and they have been incredibly brave.”
Learn more at FranklinSchoolofInnovation.org. For more about Western Carolina Rescue Ministries, visit WesternCarolinaRescue.org.