“Leapin’ Lizards! Just look at this joint!” It’s an iconic line, one many people today still recognize even though it’s been 40 years since America’s sweetheart, Little Orphan Annie, first delivered it on the stages of Broadway. It won’t be long until Olympia residents are repeating it, as the Olympia School District Players and the Olympia School District Education Foundation bring the classic musical Annie to Olympia High School.
“It’s all for the performing arts,” OSDEF coordinator Beverly Sperry told OLY ARTS. “It’s about promoting the performing arts within the school district…The school district itself has no money to do this, so we’re helping as best we can with introducing arts to kids in the school district.”
Each year, the OSD Players join with OSDEF, a nonprofit organization, to produce and perform a musical in support of OSDEF’s overarching goal: to provide funding to Olympia students and teachers to facilitate educational success. This year, co-founder of Apple Tree Productions and former teacher Colleen Powers is directing the musical. An exciting twist to this year’s casting is twin sisters Hannah and Lily Halvorson will both play the title role of Annie, in addition to the minor role of Tessie.
All proceeds from the musical will go towards OSDEF’s educational initiatives, yet the organization’s goals extend much further than just funding. Sperry explained, “It’s about getting our name out into the community. Not everybody knows what we do. We have no government affiliation of any kind. This is a grassroots thing. It brings the community together.”
Since it was founded in 1977, OSDEF has awarded over 1.5 million dollars to educators, students and arts programs in the Olympia School District. It wasn’t until 2005, though, that it banded together with the OSD Players (a group of teachers and staff of Olympia School District who’ve been performing theater since 1993) to host an annual theater production. The OSD Players have been extremely successful in Olympia over the years, with any given theater season bringing in 2,500 audience members. Some of their past productions include Beauty and the Beast, Guys and Dolls, Hello, Dolly! and Li’l Abner.
When: 7 p.m. Thursday – Sunday, February 23–26,
2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, February 25-26
Where: Olympia High School Performing Arts Center,
1302 North St. SE, Olympia
How much: $10
Learn more: 360-596-6110 │ OSDEF