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Make Room In The Orphanage

December 17, 2011 by Leah Baker

It’s a long way from the 1930’s, but we do have an orphan in the house! Hooray! The cast list has been posted and the roles for the FMCT’s 2012 production of Annie Jr. have been decided. On Wednesday night Tessa was privileged to join seven other girls in the callback session for the role of Annie. They ran through a few lines of the ballad, “Maybe,” as a group. Director Scott Brusven gave them a few tips and then they each had to sing it on their own. It was a closed audition, but out in the hallway where parents waited, voices were sometimes audible and you could make out some beautiful voices behind the doors. When Tessa came out she admitted she was in some very good company.

Tessa and Brooke strike a pose before callback auditions.

All eight girls were asked to stay for the next round of callbacks, which was for the orphans. They joined 22 other girls in learning a few bars of the rousing, “It’s a Hard-Knock Life.” Tessa was really excited for this session since it included a friend of hers, Brooke, who had also auditioned. They practiced several times and were asked to sing in varying groups. Parents hung out in the hallway while their daughters were singing away in the next room. Some of the parents might even have been more nervous than their daughters. Before he closed the door, Brusven gave a final glance back at the anxiously awaiting moms and dads and said, “Don’t worry. Just relax, they’ll do just fine!” I will admit it is a little nerve-wracking not being able to see and hear what’s going on and just hoping it’s going well. Tessa and Brooke both came out and said they had a great time! We weren’t out the door and she was already wishing for it to be the next day so she could know the results. I assured her that she had fun, did her best and that was all she could do. But, still waiting is agony!

The cast list was up by Noon the next day. I knew Annie would be a long shot. We were just really proud that she had even made the callbacks. There were 120 kids who auditioned and only 40 were cast. She was one of the lucky ones to be named an orphan! Adding to the excitement, her friend Brooke was listed as an orphan too. I’m sure by the end of the production they’ll have many new orphan friends. Tessa had already begun making making acquaintances during auditions, and said everyone was really nice. It seemed too that she agreed with the director and had already pegged the girl who earned the role of Annie. “I knew she was going to get it! She’ll be great.”

Tessa was a tad disappointed at first, not to have gotten “an orphan with a name,” but quickly got over it as she realized what an honor it was to have earned a part out of the many talented children who auditioned. I told her I couldn’t wait to see her up on the stage. She grinned and said, “I can’t wait to be on it!” I know she’ll have a great experience being an orphan. There will be many rounds of “It’s a Hard-Knock Life,” sung around the house as we gear up for the show. Hhmmm, now, if only I could get her to scrub the floors….


  1. Jill and Jay says:

    CONGRATULATIONS TESSA!!!!!!!! I absolutely love that show…….and Leah if she starts scrubbing floors send her over I have a few she can scrub also…lol

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