A fresh new cast is hoping to bring a new perspective to the classic play “Annie” this fall at Ahwatukee Children’s Theater (ACT).

Tickets are on sale for “Annie,” which will be playing Sept. 27 through Oct. 6 at ACT, 5051 E. Elliot Road.

Megan O’Neall is one of the few returning cast members since the last time ACT put on “Annie.” Six years ago she played the part of Molly, but this year she steps into the lead with first-time actor Jim Prindiville playing Oliver Warbucks.

“It will be awesome,” Prindiville said. “The kids are great. I just try to stay out of the way.”

The cast of nearly 40 kids has been practicing since the beginning of August for their season opener.

“The cast is bringing a new life to the show,” said Melissa Snow, one of two directors for the show. “‘Annie’ can be a little stagnant. You know what you’re going to get when you go see it, but this cast really makes it feel real. You feel like they’re not really acting. It’s a real feeling. It’s nice to have that breath of fresh air coming through.”

“Annie” is set during the Great Depression. An orphan named Annie is under the care of a terribly mean woman named Miss Hannigan, though she is certain she has parents somewhere. Annie is selected to live in a mansion with a rich elderly man, Oliver Warbucks, over the Christmas holiday. From the stay Warbucks learns exactly what he’s been missing in his life and makes it a goal to find Annie a forever home, with him or with her biological parents.

“It’s so heartwarming and endearing,” said Bailey Isenberg, co-director. “The orphan’s part is upbeat and goofy and they can have fun, and the parts with Grace and Daddy Warbucks and Annie is charming and uplifting. Our Daddy Warbucks brings a lot to this show for us. He’s a dad of older children so I think he has had a good time being able to relive some of those moments that are now gone. He’s really been able to identify with the role. I think anyone that comes to the show will be able to identify with his role and kids seeing kids their own age on stage having a good time might inspire them as well.”

ACT is also planning on putting on “Zombie Prom” and “A Christmas Carol” during the fall season. For more information on ACT or to purchase “Annie” tickets, visit www.azact.org.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com.

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