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Annie Jr. Opens At Sandburg Friday

New children/teen performance group Spotlight Youth Theater features its first production in Orland Park, opening Friday, Feb. 1st at 7 p.m.

High Point student Alanna Buechele stands onstage at Carl Sandburg High School, wearing a wide brimmed hat and swinging a purse for the role of Lily St. Regis from Annie.

"This has been a lot of fun and a lot of hard work. You have to practice your character, how to walk and talk,"  Buechele said.

Joining Buechel is another first time thespian, Kennedy Carrera from Oak Forest. The home-schooled teen takes the character of Miss Hannigan and makes it her own.

"I enjoy getting into character onstage, becoming mean and nasty then coming off the stage and helping the other children." Carrera said.

Chloe Harris from Midlothian portrays Mrs. Pugh. The first time onstage has opened up a whole new world for her.

"Annie has been such a blessing," said Harris. "I've made new friends. I hope that I can do a lot more productions and hopefully move on to Second City in Chicago one day to get my actual start."

Director Rachel Waterman, of West Chicago, has given her time to 10 productions for Spotlight, formerly known as CYT theater.

"I've been amazed," said Waterman. "The kids that auditioned for us have a lot of talent and have shown so much growth. The parents have come out in force to put this first show in the south suburbs together. I've been thrilled with the whole process." 

Several of the children have taken theater classes held at Calvary Church of Orland Park on Tuesday nights. They have waited for a year to bring a production to Orland Park. Sandburg opens its doors on Friday night to showcase their talents. 

"I hope the community responds after seeing what Spotlight provides," Waterman said. "Children have a safe enviroment all the while learning all aspects of theater such as singing dancing, acting, combat stunts and more."

Event: Annie Jr., performed by Spotlight Theater

When: 7 p.m Friday, Feb. 1st; shows at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2nd; 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 3rd.

Tickets: Buy tickets online at Spotlight.org or at the door at Carl Sandburg High School Performance Center, located at 13300 S. LaGrange Rd on the east side.

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