Putting on a show

| 15 Feb 2012 | 08:57

Acting camp shows kids how it's done — and 'Annie' is staged after 10 hours of rehearsal Sparta — Imagine 11 children between the ages of 4 and 8 learning lines and songs during just two hours of practice a day for five days. Imagine them learning them well enough to be able to put on an abbreviated performance of the show "Annie" on the final day. Sound impossible? It happened. Acting-A-Part Studio, based in Sparta, has been proving itself to be a one-of-a-kind, theatrical phenom when it comes to teaching children and teens the ins and outs of the stage. On Friday, Aug. 19, under the tutelage of Sparta’s Kristin Jackson, those 11 students at Little Actors’ Annie Acting Camp wowed parents and friends at the week’s finale performance. The children came to the camp, located at the Woodport Road studio in Sparta, to learn how to sing, dance and perform. They learned the words to several songs including: "Maybe," "Tomorrow," and "It’s the Hard Knock Life," as well as dance moves and lines to fit various characters in the play. The kids came from all over the county and included: Julia St. Clair as Annie One, Madison Powell as Annie Two, Maria Elmers as Grace Farrell, Ashley Rose Gordon as Molly, Zachary Moser as Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks, Julia Kadar as the infamous Miss Hannigan, Madison Salamon as Lilly, Jillian Grisback as Duffy, Amilia Intorrella as July, Eliana Intorrella as Tessie and Spencer Moser, who played a double role as Sandy the dog and the ruthless Rooster. One busy week “It was a lot of fun,” said Jillian Grisback, who is 6 and lives in Lafayette, “We learned a whole lot in just one week and it was fun to perform.” Julia St. Clair, a 6-year-old from Stillwater, said, “I just loved being Annie. It was really cool part.” The show was directed by acting teacher Jackson who, after years of teaching pre-kindergarten, recently returned to the world of children’s theater. She used her years of theatrical experience to teach the children a lot in a short period of time while, in keeping with Acting-A-Part’s philosophy, keeping it lots of fun for the kids. Jackson was assisted by Jessie Burns of Sparta, who served as stage manager and assisted her with getting the kids in costume, setting music and keeping them on track. Acting-A-Part is the brainchild of Erika Lupo of Sparta, who created the studio several yeas ago. She now has multiple locations. Lupo was on hand for the final performance and who served as artistic director. “It’s so great to see the children having so much fun as they learn to act,” she said. During that busy week, the young actors agreed that they loved learning the songs, saying the line “We love you Miss Hannigan” and the way Jackson worked with them, often smiling and using the Italian word “capisce” to make sure they understood what she was teaching.