Girl Power at NEYT

‘Annie’ opens on Dec. 6

BRATTLEBORO — The sun will come out tomorrow. Bet your bottom dollar.

Proving the point are the nearly 50 member cast and crew of New England Youth Theatre, staging a holiday production of the musical “Annie” opening Dec. 6 at New England Youth Theatre.

Tickets are $12 to $14.

“Annie,” based on the popular American comic strip “Little Orphan Annie,” which debuted Aug. 5, 1924, in the New York Daily News, follows the adventures of a scrappy, red-haired 11-year-old girl who escapes into the wondrous world of New York City with the help of a slew of girls in her orphanage.

On a quest to find her parents, Annie ends up foiling the evil machinations of the cruel Miss Hannigan, and befriends President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. She finds a new home and family with billionaire Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks, his personal secretary Grace Farrell, and a lovable mutt named Sandy.

The show is directed by Rebecca Waxman, also an educator with an extensive background in theater, film, and television performance. She served as NEYT's executive director for two years.

“This was the first show I ever saw on Broadway, and I absolutely fell in love. I chose this show because it is a perfect vehicle for a large cast with lots of girls, including my own,” she says.

Choreographer Jennifer Moyse is an actress, singer, and dancer who's performed from New York City to Los Angeles in theater, musicals, film and television. She is the new owner of The Brattleboro School of Dance.

“I'm so amazed at the dedication of the students playing our orphan girls. We cast them in June, and they've been dancing with me since September, getting ready for the show,” explains Moyse.

Musical director is Becky Graber, who as a school music teacher, musical director for countless productions, and director of the Brattleboro Women's Chorus, has made her mark locally in the 30 years that she has lived here.

Rounding out the list of leading ladies are costumer Sandy Klein, NEYT and Youth Services Toy Drive organizer and NEYT parent Barbara Guerino, and assistant director Juliet Avelin.

According to NEYT board president Bari Shamas, “Annie” fits the bill for NEYT because “NEYT is in a way like a Daddy Warbucks: We offer a home or a second home to students who need it, and this is a place where they build the confidence so can really shine, just like Annie.”

The show runs Dec. 6 through 16. Times are Thursdays and Fridays at 7 p.m.; Saturdays at 2 and 7 p.m.; and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $12 for students and $14 for adults.

Tickets may be purchased in advance at, or at the NEYT box office in person, or by phone 802-246-6398, from noon to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays.

The show plays at New England Youth Theatre, 100 Flat St.

At evening performances, look for the NEYT and Youth Services Toy Drive, and please consider bringing a wrapped gift for girls and boys.

New England Youth Theatre is a handicapped-accessible theater also offering assistive listening devices for patrons who are hard of hearing.

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