Aug. 31—The life and times of a young orphan girl will be presented onstage at the Temple Theatre, next week, kicking off their fall schedule of theater productions.
The Temple Theatre, 120 Carthage St., will be presenting its production of the musical play Annie. The first performance will begin at 2 p.m. Sept. 7 and performances will run until Sept. 24.
The musical stage play Annie is based on a comic strip created in 1924 and tells the story of a young orphan girl's journey from being abandoned at an orphanage in New York and her time there to eventually being taken in by a wealthy family. The musical performance highlights Annie's adventure, with its highs and lows and her loyal companion, a cute dog named Sandy.
Gavin Pamer, the play's director, choreographer and musical director said Sandy's real name is Focus. The dog is a Berger Picard breed and is originally a French herding dog
He said the dog has been trained for the stage and has appeared in many plays, movies and commercials.
Pamer said the dog, along with 32 actors, 14 of which are girls, will work together to bring the play to life.
"It's a great cast and the show is excellent," he said. "All 14 girls are members of out Temple Academy and have taken (acting/performance) classes here."
Two actresses will alternate playing the main character.
Isabel Iatauro, 12, who lives in Sanford, has been acting since she was in the second grade and is looking forward to taking the stage as the lead character. This
"I am over the moon about it," she said about performing in this play. "It's been a bucket list item for me and doing it at the Temple Theatre is like the cherry on top."
Although she has played the role before this will be her first time doing it on a more professional level.
"It's been going amazing," she said about how she has been preparing.. "I've been having a blast. Everyone is so amazing."
"Annie is such an aspiring character," she said. "She can be super sweet but she can be tough. She stands up for herself all of the time and it's really cool. It's a fun show to do and I love all the songs."
Despite her young age, Iatauro believes she has found her calling and performing this role is just the beginning.
"I want to be on Broadway one day," she said. "It's my dream."
Also performing the lead role is Cora Stumpf, 12, who also lives in Sanford. She's excited about taking the stage as the lead character as well. She started taking acting classes at the Temple Theatre since she was 4 years-old.
"It's like a second home to me," she said.
So performing this role is very important to her because it's her first time performing as the lead character at the theater.
"It's been a dream of mine to be the lead at this theater," she said. "It's a really great experience and I'm thrilled to be doing it."
Stumpf said reaching this level hasn't been easy but knows she's earned it.
"It really feels like my dedication has paid off; like all of the hard times that I have had have all paid off," she said. "I'm very prepared, but iIt still is nerve wracking because I'm in a large portion of the show, but I'm still excited."
"I'm really honored that I go to do this," she added.
Pamer said this play kicks off the theater's 2023 -2024 season.
He said the last time they performed the play at the theater was in 2007 and was excited when he received the news the theater would get the opportunity to do it again.The theater was recently awarded the rights to put on the play.
He said the play is family friendly, entertaining and every seat in the theater is a good seat.
"It's great for families to attend," he said. "It's a perfectly written show and classically written theater and people love it."
Pamer added that the play also delivers a positive message at the same time.
"This is one of my favorite musicals to do," he said. "This takes place in the middle of the depression. Daddy Warbucks who is unhappy but he's a billionaire and there's Annie who doesn't have anywhere to go. He doesn't know what he is missing in life until he meets her."
He said the play shows how when the two come together they both give something of value to each that is more valuable than money.
"It teaches everyone how to have a positive outlook toward life," he said. "It's a really positive and uplifting show and that's something we need in times like this."
Tickets are currently on sale and for more information contact the Temple Theatre at 919-774-4155.