We would like to tell you the story of our Annie because we believe that it’s a wonderful story about an extraordinary girl.
Gwyneth Fahy has been a part of the Spring Lake Community House since she was five. She took dance class at first. She played Gretl in our 2011 production of The Sound of Music. That was her theatrical debut. She joined our theatre workshop program, played several different roles in Scrooge, as well as Oliver!, The King and I and Seussical. She is 12 years old and a student at H.W. Mountz School.
She is a very unusual young lady. She has more spirit and enthusiasm than twenty people. She is kind and very generous with her time. She volunteers as an usher, teacher’s assistant and never misses a hip hop class on Wednesday afternoons to guide one of our very sweet students with special needs through the movements of her class.
During our 2015 production of Scrooge, we distributed a survey to our patrons. We asked them to check off which shows that they would like to see on our stage. Gwyneth was doing double duty as an urchin in Scrooge and an usher. It came to our attention that while showing people to their seats, she asked them very politely to check off Annie as a choice. Once her little conspiracy was discovered, she promised to refrain from future campaigning. Annie was the highest vote getter in 2015. Unfortunately, the rights weren’t available to us at that time. When we knew that we would be able to add Annie to this year’s lineup, Gwyneth was the first one to be told the good news.
It never occurred to any of us that Gwyneth would be Annie. We thought that she just wanted to be a part of Annie. We were wrong! Unbeknownst to anyone on staff, Gwyneth began taking voice lessons in Red Bank. She made a copy of the script and practiced very hard. We had 99 very talented children audition for roles in Annie and The Music Man on May 20th. The choice is always so difficult because we really wish that we could cast everyone. We called back 32 possible orphans. Each of those girls were fantastic. They had to sing, dance and read their lines. Eventually there were six possible Annies. Gwyneth was still in the running. All of the girls did very well. Gwyneth, however, blew the production staff away. This happened because a little girl worked very, very hard to accomplish a dream. We are very proud of Gwyneth. We always knew that she had the perfect “spunky” personality of Annie. She proved to everyone that she can fill all of Annie’s shoes.
Annie opens on July 6 at 7:30 and continues July 7, 8; 14, 15; 21, 22 at 7:30 and July 9, 16, 23 at 2:00.
Tickets can be purchased at the box office or by phone Monday through Saturday 11:00 to 5:00 or online at http://www.springlaketheatre.com.