Monrovia theater company to produce Annie

Monrovia theater company to produce Annie
centre stage

Centre Stage Inc.’s next production will hold its auditions on Saturday.

The legendary American musical Annie is coming to Monrovia, courtesy of Centre Stage Inc. Auditions for the winter musical are this Saturday, at the International Full Gospel Fellowship (IFGF) church in Old Town Monrovia. Callbacks are the next day. Director Keely Milliken encouraged anyone from second-graders to college students to register.

“You should expect to excel!” Milliken said about her program, which aims to replicate a professional theater environment.

Students should arrive at auditions with a song to perform, comfortable dancing shoes and also $450 dollars for program tuition. Although Milliken says many are daunted by the steep price tag, every penny goes to productions, which can often cost as much as $30,000. Payment plans are also available.

Based on the 1920s comic strip, Annie follows a young orphan during the Great Depression and revolves around themes of family. Long-time program participant Maddy Petulla says this is especially relevant for Centre Stage, which has become like a second family to her.

“The easiest part [of acting at Centre Stage] would be knowing that you have a huge support system and really amazing people guiding you the whole way,” Petulla said.

Centre Stage is more than just an outlet for Monrovia’s young creative talent. Many of its alumni have gone on to perform on Broadway stages and tour around the country. Milliken’s program is pre-professional to its core, focused on giving students a taste of what real theatre is like.

Rehearsals for the musical will be on Fridays at 6 p.m., Saturdays at 4 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. at the same location. Dance rehearsals will be held at Centre Stage Dance Academy, also in Old Town Monrovia. Annie will open on Dec. 8 at the IFGF stage, and run through Dec. 11.

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