Showtime! "ANNIE JR."
“Annie Jr.” Character Descriptions
Annie: Annie is a complex little girl. She needs to act and look like she is 10 years old. She is a tough, streetwise urchin who is nevertheless vulnerable when she thinks she might lose what has become most important to her: a newfound "family" who loves her. She has to be motherly in scene one, independent in scene two, overwhelmed in scenes four and five, needy in scene seven, and hopeful for the future in scenes ten and eleven. The actor who plays Annie must be strong vocally and musically. She must be capable of vocal projection without strain. She also needs a good understanding of subtext so she can act appropriately during the various scenes between Warbucks and Grace, and Miss Hannigan and Grace. Although she is at times aggressive or crafty, the audience should never doubt Annie is a friendly and caring child; she will go to any extent to gain the love of a family to which she can belong.
The Orphans: Molly, Tessie, July, Duffy, Kate and Pepper. These girls are gritty, neglected and vulnerable, yet basically honest and potentially lovable. The actors portraying them must be able to have mischievous fun with each other as well as "sibling-style" fights. Each student should be able to create and shape her own character. Students auditioning for these roles need to have vocal strength and be visually expressive. All of their blocking and movements must appear motivated and strong. These characters will win over your audience by the end of scene one. Each cast will have about 20 orphans girls cast who will be strong singers/actors/dancers. Height will play a part in casting these characters. Orphans will range from smaller looking children to orphan teenagers.
Miss Hannigan: This woman is definitely a "has-been." Her distaste for her job and the children that are part of it should be obvious in every line she speaks, every song she sings and every move she makes. The student who plays her must have an excellent sense of comic timing. The acrid delivery of her lines and the torch-like rendition of her songs must distinguish her from the other characters in the show. Strong singer/actor/dancer.
Grace Farrell: Grace is mature, calm, cool and "together." She is classy and businesslike when dealing with Miss Hannigan and Warbucks, yet maternal toward Annie. The student playing Grace can set herself apart from the other characters simply by the sophisticated way she walks. Grace should seem ready with an answer for just about anything. Each dramatic situation should seem to come "under control" the moment she glides into a scene. The student playing Grace must be able to negotiate the challenging intervals in "N.Y.C."
Rooster: Rooster and Lily are quite the team -- "team" being the operative word, as the characters play off each other constantly. These characters can be different heights to make it more interesting. Rooster can even be shorter than Lily; after all, these two are not to be taken too seriously! Rooster is flashy and self-assured. His "moves" should be as smooth as a gambler's, as should be the message he sells in "Easy Street." "Easy Street" is the most challenging number in the show, in terms of vocal range. The students playing Rooster and Lily are strong both vocally and visually and the audience will feel like joining them in "Easy Street"!
Lily: Rooster and Lily are quite the team -- "team" being the operative word, as the characters play off each other constantly. Students of contrasting heights may be cast in these roles. Rooster can even be shorter than Lily; after all, these two are not to be taken too seriously! Lily (airhead that she is) is always distracted, although she manages to pick up on any conversation involving money. She never acts as the leader, always bringing up the rear while tripping over her own feet (it is difficult to walk and check your makeup in a compact at the same time). "Easy Street" is the most challenging number in the show, in terms of vocal range. If the students playing Rooster and Lily are strong both vocally and visually, the audience will feel like joining them in "Easy Street"!
Warbucks: This may be the most challenging role for a student in this age group. He must appear middle-aged, self-assured and confident. At first awkwardly affectionate toward Annie, he soon finds himself completely charmed by her. He begins his transformation when he views "N.Y.C." through Annie's eyes and falls in love with the city again...and with her. The student who plays Warbucks will need to be extremely focused throughout the show. His posture, walk and speech patterns are very important. This actor might be asked to shave his head for rehearsals, if he feels comfortable doing so before the performance dates; it can really help mold his character!
Bundles: The Laundry Man: This male character can steal the show as he arrives to pick up the laundry at the orphanage and he and Miss Hannigan "tease" each other, taking the spotlight off Annie so she can escape and once again be on the streets of NYC. Bundles helps Annie and loves her just like everyone who meets this delightful little girl. Bundles must be a strong character actor that can play the part of the "teasing" between himself and Hannigan.
Servants (Drake, Mrs. Greer, Mrs. Pugh, Annette, Cecille): From the moment these characters enter the acting area, their presence, posture and speech should suggest the most fastidious of domestic help. (Actors will have fun perfecting the precision steps, nods and curtsies.) Their heads are always held high and they rarely show their emotions. These roles have lines and/or solos and creative students will have many opportunities to create charming characters of various adult ages.
Dogcatcher: A slightly scraggly/rougher character who is always scrounging the streets of NYC looking for stray dogs. He catches Sandy and Annie convinces him that Sandy is her dog!
Lt. Ward, Policeman: Strolls the streets of NYC. Catches Annie after she escapes from the orphanage and Miss Hannigan. Must have strong posture/character/authority on stage.
Apple Seller and Newspaper Boy on streets of New York City: These actors could be boys or girls, BIG voices to sell their wares to all the NYC people on the streets in the big opening scene.
Stars-to-Be: Big solo opportunity for great singers! There will be 2 singer/actors who have just arrived on the train to NYC, hoping for their big break into Broadway!
Bert Healy: The Oxydent Hour of Smiles Radio Host. This character must have a big actor's voice, ready to sell the public through the radio wires. Will sing BIG solo, "You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile."
Sound Effects Man: This actor works at the Radio Station with Bert Healy.
Boylan Sisters: These 3-6 strong female singers will be featured on the Oxydent Hour of Smiles radio show, singing and dancing.
President FDR: This actor will arrive at the end of the show on Christmas morning in his wheelchair. He is delighted by Annie and yet strong to deliver the news that Ralph and Shirley Mudge are not who they appear to be. This actor will also be in the NYC ensemble and a servant in the mansion.
Louis Howe: President FDR's Secret Service bodyguard. Must be a strong character that arrests Miss Hannigan and the Mudges.
Usherettes: These actors work at the fancy movie theatre where Oliver Warbucks and Grace take Annie.