Auditions for Annie Jr are open to anyone age 6 to 18, and we need all of you to bring the orphanage, Daddy Warbucks’ mansion, and the streets of New York City to life!
Roles to be cast are listed below (thanks to MTI, the show’s licencing agency). More details about the show and music are on the MTI website too. Roles are listed in approximate order of appearance in the show.
ANNIE is a tough, streetwise urchin who is nevertheless vulnerable when she thinks she might lose what has become most important to her: a newfound “family” who loves her. She has to be motherly in scene one, independent in scene two, overwhelmed in scenes four and five, needy in scene seven, and hopeful for the future in scenes ten and eleven. Although she is at times aggressive or crafty, the audience should never doubt Annie is a friendly and caring child; she will go to any extent to gain the love of a family to which she can belong. The actor who plays Annie must be strong vocally and musically. She also needs a good understanding of subtext so she can act appropriately during the various scenes between Warbucks and Grace, and Miss Hannigan and Grace. Physically, Annie must look young enough to play a small girl next to the actors playing the adult roles.
The Orphans—MOLLY, TESSIE, JULY, DUFFY, KATE and PEPPER—are gritty, neglected, and vulnerable, yet basically honest and lovable. The actors portraying them must be able to have mischievous fun with each other. Each actorshould be able to create and shape her own character. Children auditioning for these roles need to have vocal strength and be visually expressive. All of their blocking and movements must appear motivated and strong.
MISS HANNIGAN is definitely a “has-been.” Her distaste for her job and the children that are part of it should be obvious in every line she speaks, every song she sings and every move she makes. The actor who plays her must have an excellent sense of comic timing. The acrid delivery of her lines and the torch-like rendition of her songs must distinguish her from the other characters in the show.
GRACE FARRELL is mature, calm, cool, and “together.” She is classy and businesslike when dealing with Miss Hannigan and Warbucks, yet maternal toward Annie. The actor playing Grace can set herself apart from the other characters simply by the sophisticated way she walks. Grace should seem ready with an answer for just about anything. Each dramatic situation should seem to come “under control” the moment she glides into a scene.
ROOSTER and LILY are quite the team—”team” being the operative word, as the characters play off each other constantly. Rooster is flashy and self-assured. His “moves” should be as smooth as a gambler’s, as should be the message he sells in “Easy Street.” Lily is always distracted, although she manages to pick up on any conversation involving money. She never acts as the leader, always bringing up the rear while tripping over her own feet (for it’s difficult to walk and check your makeup in a compact at the same time). “Easy Street” is the most challenging number in the show, in terms of vocal range.
WARBUCKS may be the most challenging role for a young actor. He must appear middle-aged, self-assured and confident. At first awkwardly affectionate toward Annie, he soon finds himself completely charmed by her. He begins his transformation when he views “N.Y.C.” through Annie’s eyes and falls in love with the city again…and with her. The actor who plays Warbucks will need to be extremely focused throughout the show. His posture, walk and speech patterns are very important.
DRAKE, MRS. GREER, MRS. PUGH, CECILLE and ANNETTE—servants in the Warbucks mansion—should have their presence, posture, and speech suggest the most professional of domestic help from the moment these characters enter the acting area. Their heads are always held high and they rarely show their emotions.
Important supporting roles with lines include BUNDLES McCLOSKEY (the laundry man), the APPLE SELLER, the DOGCATCHER, LT. WARD (a policeman), the STAR TO BE, BERT HEALY (the radio personality), PRESIDENT FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT, and his assistant LOUIS HOWE.
Additional ENSEMBLE will include ORPHANS (both boys and girls), SERVANTS, NEW YORKERS, RADIO STATION STAFF, and additional ASSISTANTS to the President.