Little Orphan Annie and her hard-luck pals will be charming audiences this spring at the Empress Theatre.
The plucky orphan and her scruffy friends will bring this classic rags-to-riches tale to the Empress stage during the fifth annual musical theatre production June 1, 2, 3, 8, 9 and 10.
“It’s an original script of the 1977 Broadway musical that was based on Little Orphan Annie, a comic strip from the 1920s,” says Dona Guyette, who is making her directorial debut with Annie. “We chose this play because it’s classic family entertainment that’s familiar, fun and heartwarming.”
The cast and crew are all volunteers from around southern Alberta. “Our cast of 20 actors, plus another eight crew members, are a mixture of experienced and fledgling actors, technicians, sewers and craftspeople hailing from Fort Macleod, Claresholm, Stavely and Granum,” says Guyette.
Preparing for the play takes hundreds of hours for the cast and crew alike, including auditions, rehearsals, building and painting sets, as well as organizing costumes and props. In addition, the cast members spend dozens of hours memorizing lines and learning music outside of rehearsal times.
Guyette anticipates audience members will love the intimate feel of the production. “We are adapting a huge production to fit on the small Empress stage, so we will be drawing the audience into the story right along with us,” she says.
The annual production is a fundraiser for the small prairie theatre. “A large part of the Empress’ annual budget is raised through events run by volunteers,” says Guyette. “I hope audiences will leave with a renewed sense of what it means to be part of their community and this little theatre.”
The show is a family-friendly production. Evening performances begin at 7 p.m. Matinee performances take place on Saturday, June 3 and Saturday, June 10 at 1 p.m.
Tickets are $20 for adults; $10 for children and seniors, available at MacleodEmpress.com or by calling 403-553-4404 (toll-free at 1-800-540-9229).