by Tom Simpson for OLY ARTS
South Sound children’s theater group Apple Tree Productions will open Annie for a limited run in mid-December. Annie is the first full-scale holiday musical for Apple Tree, in their new home in the historic Capitol Theater, owned by the Olympia Film Society.
Heidi Fredericks, founder and artistic director of Apple Tree, has high hopes: “There is just something about the musical Annie, people love it! This is an incredible cast and a fun holiday experience – we hope everyone can bring their families and friends.”
Fredericks is a London-trained actress and artistic director who has brought theatrical training, youth theater and professional musicals to many stages in the South Sound, from Capital Playhouse to local schools to regular summer theater productions with Apple Tree Productions.
The Apple Tree troupe has been in existence since 2013, but these new winter performances mark a watershed moment for the theatrical company. With the move to Capitol Theater, Apple Tree is expanding their repertoire and offering more full-scale musicals featuring adult performers.
“This location is personally exciting for me because I grew up doing theater [at the Capitol Theater],” said Fredericks. “It’s really fun to give the kids this holiday experience at the same theater. It has been really exciting to be downtown and be growing as a company.”
Apple Tree’s production of Annie will feature Lola Havens in the title role of “Annie”, Jacob Conrad as Daddy Warbucks and Emily Jaeger as Miss Hannigan, David Maldonado as Rooster, Zoe McPherson as Lily and Eliza Mickelson as Molly. Backstage, Fredericks is directing the show, alongside musical director Jaysen Geissler. Amanda Copeland directs choreography and Ryan Zimmerman is facilitating technical effects and sound.
After Annie, Apple Tree will ring in the New Year with a special winter break musical – Children of Eden – which will feature accomplished young actors from across the Puget Sound. Performances for this second musical will take place on December 30 and 31.
“You work and work and rehearse and finally it’s game day! I think the most important takeaway for the kids working with Apple Tree Productions is that we try to give them a real life professional theatrical experience in a kind and nurturing setting,” says Fredericks.
WHAT: Annie, mainstage musical
WHERE: Capitol Theater, 206 5th Ave SE, Olympia, WA 98501
WHEN: December 15, 16, 17 — 7 p.m. / December 16-17 — 2 p.m. (matinees)
HOW MUCH: $12-15
Tickets available for purchase at www.olympiafilmsociety.org and at the door on the date of performances. Doors open one hour before curtain.
MORE INFO: www.appletreeprod.com | 360 – 359 – 6685