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‘Annie’ Welcomes, Inspires Young Fulton Students

Volney Elementary School sixth grader Jaya Whitehead performs as Annie, alongside the dog Rusty, who plays Sandy, during a preview of the Quirk’s Players' production of “Annie."

Volney Elementary School sixth grader Jaya Whitehead performs as Annie, alongside the dog Rusty, who plays Sandy, during a preview of the Quirk’s Players' production of “Annie."

FULTON – The Quirk’s Players at G. Ray Bodley High School know how to put on a top-notch performance and captivate a young audience.

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Volney Elementary School sixth grader Jaya Whitehead performs as Annie, alongside the dog Rusty, who plays Sandy, during a preview of the Quirk’s Players’ production of “Annie.”

Tom Briggs, director of the recent Quirk’s Players’ musical, “Annie,” said the decades-old tradition of showcasing select scenes from their productions has been successful twofold. It prepares the actors, actresses and crew for their public performances and opens up the world of theater to several young children.

This year’s production was a special treat for Fulton City School District’s elementary students, as they were able to see some of their classmates perform as orphans residing in Agatha Hannigan’s New York City apartment.

Volney Elementary sixth graders were able to see their peer Jaya Whitehead star as the main character, Annie, while during another sneak peek, Granby Elementary School sixth graders were able to see their classmate Harper Ells play Annie.

Briggs said Quirk’s Players have occasionally invited both elementary and Fulton Junior High School students to perform alongside the high schoolers, depending on the appropriateness of the production.

He said increasing their exposure to the arts will hopefully encourage them to join future productions.

Elementary students who played orphans are: Geena Abbott, Cassie Clarke, Katharine Demars, Harper Ells, Ava Greeney, Ella Halladay, Hailey Jenkins, Grady Marshall, Sarah Patrick, Madelyn Sands, Adyson Shepard and Jaya Whitehead.

Ells and Whitehead alternated playing Annie and an orphan throughout the March 8, 9 and 10 shows.

Main cast members included: Alexis Phelps (Miss Hannigan), Kaylee Foster (Grace Farrell), Nicholas Brown (Rooster Hannigan), Sarah Fisch (Lily St. Regis), Alex Blaine (Oliver Warbucks), Michael Zarichny (Bert Healy), Alfred Arduini (President Franklin D. Roosevelt), Donald Austin (Drake), Madison Wilson (Mrs. Pugh), Karina Whitten (Mrs. Greer) and the cute dog, Rusty, played Annie’s dog, Sandy.

Ensemble members included: Ethan Abelgore, Kaley Allen, Alfred Arduini, Justin Atwater, Donald Austin, Alexis Barth, Selene Belrad, McKenna Bourgeois, Kelsey Caza, Shaylee Cealie, Noah Cordone, Vita Dean, Andrew Dedich, Marcus Doran, Babette Dunham, Julie Duval, Anthony Galletta, Lauren Goss, Olivia Hawthorne, Jessica Herlowski, Mary Jerred, Haiden Johnson, Leah Kingsbury, Rose LaDue, Tyler LaDue, Jessica LaPage, Sutter Lewin, Arthur Lincoln, Griffin Marriner, Samantha McRae, Emily Sohoski, Chris Tetro, Gabby Tomarchio, Wesley VanBuren, Hayley Vann, Ethan Weaver,Kira Whitehead, Karina Whitten, Madison Wilson, Ronde Wood and Michael Zarichny.