Addie McMillan is no stranger to theater.
Since age 3, she’s been taking acting classes. At age 5, she earned her first on-stage role in a production of “Cinderella” at the Belfry Theater.
Now, at age 13, she’s playing the lead character of Annie in the Noblesville East Middle School Drama Club’s production of “Annie Jr.” Landing the role is personal for McMillan, who grew up with a love for the 1982 film adaptation. She’s even using her own dog, Rocky, a golden retriever who will play the role of Sandy, Annie’s dog. And with long, dark hair, she’ll don a red, curly wig during the three performances.
“I’ve always loved the ‘Annie’ movie,” McMillan said. “I watched it so many times when I was little. I’ve just always wanted that role.”
This is the second time McMillan has been in a production of “Annie.” At age 7, she played the role of fellow orphan Molly.
“I’ve had to work a lot on vocals because it’s a very youthful role,” McMillan said. “I really had to put myself in the shoes of an 11-year-old girl in the 1930s. I had to sound like her, a little more nasally and more free, especially in the song ‘Tomorrow.’ Now, I feel better about the song, and I just belt it out.”
Set in 1933 New York City, the musical based on a comic strip won the Tony Award for best musical in 1977. The story follows Annie, an orphan, who is searching for her parents under the rule of Miss Agatha Hannigan, played by Norah Wilson, but winds up in the home of billionaire Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks, played by Colin McCabe, and his secretary, Grace Farrell, played by Sarah Rolinson.
IF YOU GO
What: “Annie, Jr.” performed by the Noblesville East Middle School Drama Club
When: 7 p.m. Nov. 15-16, 2 p.m. Nov. 17
Where: Ivy Tech Auditorium, 300 N. 17th St.
Tickets: $3/students, $5/adults. Tickets can be purchased at nems-drama-club.ticketleap.com/anniejr