The Meredith College Theatre Department is currently performing Irving Berlin's Annie Get Your Gun. The show opened on Wednesday, February 13, and is running until Sunday, February 17, in Jones Auditorium.
This musical was selected by the theatre department to place students in challenging and exciting roles. It also goes well with the School of Arts and Humanities’ current theme of “Women Warriors.” The show touches on racial, social, financial, and gender issues.
Annie Get Your Gun is based off the story of Annie Oakley and Frank Butler who were sharpshooters in a Wild West Show during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.
Laura Austin, ’21, is a theatre major whose role in the musical was building props to look as authentic as possible. She found trying to create a large quantity of props was the hardest part of preparing for opening night.
“This show has a deceptively large number of props, so making sure we had everything we needed for the production was tough, but a lot of fun,” said Austin.
The show is technically challenging, so trying to recreate the world of the Wild West show has been a big obstacle. “The acting, direction, setting, properties, lighting, and costuming, all have to reflect this time period,” said Catherine Rodgers, professor of theatre and director of Annie Get Your Gun.
Anna Brescia, ’20, has been cast as Annie in the show and nailing the accent of Annie has been her biggest challenge while preparing for the role. “I don’t have much of an accent when I speak normally, so remembering to keep up the accent during the entire show, and in every number, has been a struggle.”
For Austin, being able to support and watch the cast is the most exciting part of the entire process. “I look forward to seeing my peers put on an amazing show,” said Austin. “They worked hard and deserve the praise they are sure to get.”
The process of preparing for the show began in December when auditions were held. After casting was decided, rehearsals began on January 9.
“I am most proud of our Meredith students – all of the actors, production staff, and orchestra members have put in countless hours of hard work in order to mount this production,” said Rodgers.
Brescia loves how close knit of a group the cast becomes when putting on a production. “Theatre brings people together closer than anything else I've ever experienced,” said Brescia. “You see each other through the highs and lows of the process, and it builds a bond that can't be broken.”
The show promotes individuality, but also promotes unity and love, regardless of differences. “This show is a celebration of an extraordinary woman and her marksmanship, but it is also an acknowledgement of the enduring love between two people,” said Rodgers.
The show runs until Sunday, February 17. All shows start at 7:30 p.mr., except for Saturday, February 16, which starts at 2 p.m. Admission is free, but reservations and donations are welcome. Register for tickets online, by emailing the box office at firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling (919) 760-2840.