Arts and Entertainment

Banyas cast in leading role of Annie for Bainbridge Performing Arts production

Anna Banyas stood out from the crowd of girls vying for the role of Annie for BPA’s 2010 holiday production.   - Brad Camp/ For the Review
Anna Banyas stood out from the crowd of girls vying for the role of Annie for BPA’s 2010 holiday production.
— image credit: Brad Camp/ For the Review

“It’s hard to believe,” Anna (pronounced ah•nah) Banyas, 10, said after hearing she’d won the part of Annie in BPA’s 2010 holiday production. “I didn’t think I had the slightest chance.”

Banyas was well aware there were 65 other girls, “older and better,” hoping to get the leading role.

Her mother, Suzanne Banyas, said the news was a total surprise. “She was just hoping to be in the play.”

Banyas has proved herself in a number of BPA productions, including several leading roles, such as Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins and the Hobbit in The Hobbit. This time she’ll play Annie, the spunky orphan in the play inspired by the comic strip Little Orphan Annie, which, ironically saw its last run in newspapers this week.

The musical calls for a Mezzo-soprano in the lead role.

“I don’t do much singing except around the house,” Banyas said. “But I must have done OK.”

Lee Ann Hittenberger will direct, with Lynda Sue Welch directing vocals and Shannon Sheehan on choreography.

The musical calls for eight speaking roles for girls including the littlest orphan, Molly which will be played by Dana Craighead, last seen in Peter Pan. Stella Streufert will play Kate and Grace Anne Smith is cast as Tessie, the cry-baby orphan who opens the show. Others cast this week are Chloe Lesh who will play the tough Pepper, adorable Emily Bradford as July, the quietest orphan, and Annabella Fenner as Duffy, the biggest orphan. Priya Niehaus, Lafayette Chabot, Hannah Judge, Makayla Rose Broxton amd Emma Measer round out the cast as orphans.

Auditioning for adult roles, including Miss Hannigan and Daddy Warbucks will take place Sept. 13-14 at BPA.

For more information, visit www.bainbridge performingarts.org.

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