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Local “Annie” stars offer viewpoints on new local production in Annapolis

On May 6, two weeks from this coming Friday, the classical American musical “Annie” will be coming to the stage of the Children’s Theater of Annapolis. The engaging tale tells the story of down-on-her-luck orphan girl “Annie” (played by 12-year-old Addison Bartels from Bowie) during the Great Depression, as she suddenly finds herself mixing it up with Daddy Warbucks, one of New York City’s richest men (played by 14-year-old Justin Porath from Annapolis.)

Bartel’s theater dreams were put on hold due to the pandemic, but when she got the chance to try out for Annie this spring, she jumped at it.

“I like the character of Annie because she seems kind and caring, but also very daring and fun,” Bartels responded in an email. “I hope to embody that in my acting. The thing that got me interested in trying out for Annie was the fact that I am in a performing arts school for the chorus. I have always liked the different Annie movies, so I decided to try out for the play.”

Bartels, hasn’t had a lot of experience in theater. She considers herself more of a singer. But she did act in her 5th grade performance of the online production “The Show Must Go Online.”

“I got some fun singing and acting parts in that,” she noted, “But the only difference was that I got to do multiple takes since it was pre-recorded!:

As for Porath, he wrote in an email that he was intrigued by the character of Daddy Warbucks.

“I was very excited after learning I got Warbucks, as it would be the first time I had received a lead role in any production.,” he wrote. “I like how Warbucks changes throughout the show. In the beginning, he is a sullen and cranky tycoon who doesn’t like to associate with anyone, but over time, he changes into someone who is grateful for those around him, someone who can love.”

Both actors are looking forward to continuing to work with fellow actors, crew and staff at the children’s theater. Annie runs from Friday May 6 to Sunday May 22

"The other actors at CTA are some of the kindest people I know," Porath wrote. "They make sure everyone feels welcome and accepted no matter what. Everyone at CTA learns from each other and grows as a cast. The artistic staff, producers, and directors all enable us to grow as actors."

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