November 18, 2018

Ogemaw Youth Theatre rehearsing for upcoming production “Annie Jr.”

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WEST BRANCH — The Ogemaw Youth Theatre has been rehearsing for its upcoming production of “Annie Jr.,” which will be performed July 11-13.

Director Erin Resteiner said the kids have been rehearsing for the show since the beginning of May and it has been a good split of kids between returning and new students.

“It’s been going really well,” Resteiner said. “I think they’re especially excited about this show.”

She said the songs in this show were familiar to the kids before they even started rehearsals, and they have been having fun.

“A lot came in knowing the show, and that makes a difference,” Resteiner said.

Ninth-grader Caity Ahearne, who is playing the role of Annie, said the rehearsals have been a good way to get close to friends and meet new people.

Ahearne said she started with the youth theater program in seventh grade when she played the role of Flounder in “The Little Mermaid Jr.”

Ahearne said “Annie Jr.” has been really fun.

“I think it’s doing pretty well for a youth theater,” she said. “It’s one of our better shows.”

Ahearne said one thing she wants other actors and actresses to know is every role matters and she doesn’t think of her own role as more important because it’s the lead.

“Everybody has a big part in the show,” she said.

As an example, she said there are some enjoyable songs in the show the major characters don’t get to perform.

Ahearne said the high schoolers have been a great help throughout the rehearsals, controlling the kids and working backstage.

“If we didn’t have the high schoolers, we couldn’t do the show,” she said.

The show has actors and actresses from Surline Elementary, Surline Middle School and St. Joseph Catholic School.

Resteiner has been in charge of the youth theater program since 2015, after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in theater from Northern Michigan University.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children ages 3-17 and can be purchased at the West Branch District Library. The shows run at 7 p.m.

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