Ross students to present the musical ‘Annie’

Students from Ross Local Schools will bring the musical “Annie” to the stage on Thursday, May 7 through Saturday, May 9 at Ross High School’s Performing Arts Center. With four performances scheduled, show times are at 7 p.m. nightly. There will also be an additional 2 p.m. performance on Saturday, May 9.

“ ‘Annie’ is a great show that a lot of people know. It’s a very family-friendly production, and we do have a lot of girls in our school that are able to fill the roles,” said Sterling Finkbine, director of choral activities for Ross Local Schools. “We were able to incorporate students from Ross Middle School as well, and there are over 70 students that participate in this production.”

Freshman Hope Cornelius will star in the role of Annie. Other roles include Averie Townsley as Molly; Ellie Naehring as Kate; Andrea Kaufhold as Tessy; Nikki Sundrup as Pepper; Claire Hughes as July; Lauren Booth as Duffy and Adreon Clark as Warbucks, among others.

Along with the 43 cast members, band students will play in the pit, other students will be a part of the crew, and more students will have roles working with sound and lighting, Finkbine said.

“I’m excited about the amount of student support we have in the show, and the hard work that they are putting into it,” he said.

“Annie” is the story of a young girl who is living at an orphanage. As the scenes unfold, 11-year-old orphan Annie and her dog Sandy are placed in a luxurious lifestyle for a week as a part of a promotional campaign for “Daddy” Oliver Warbucks. Set around 1933, Annie is much more than anyone had ever hoped for or imagined. Throughout her stay, she makes her way into the hearts of everyone.

The school held auditions for “Annie” in February. Rehearsals started late in February, and students have been rehearsing three days a week to prepare for the show. Scott Christian serves as the show’s director. Finkbine acts as the vocal director/producer. David Eschenbrenner is the choreographer and Richard Roemer is the musical director.

“We have a great staff and a wonderful costume person this year. We’ve also been giving the students some opportunities to create their own costumes. They’ve had the chance to research what the time period was like during ‘Annie,’ so they can develop their own costumes and character. I think that’s been beneficial for them,” Finkbine expressed.

Audiences can expect to hear musical numbers like “Tomorrow,” “It’s the Hard Knock Life,” “Maybe,” and “Easy Street,” among others.

“This is just one of those shows that has carried on throughout the years. They continue making more of it, and remaking the movies. It’s good for getting the whole family together for entertainment. Overall, it’s a happy show. It’s a roller coaster of emotions. You go from highs to lows. The characters are really intricate and interesting. It’s one of those shows everyone is drawn to. At the end of the show, the outcome is what everyone was hoping for,” Finkbine said.

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