News Post

Black Box Company Presents ‘Annie’

St. Joseph’s Academy and Catholic High School’s Black Box Productions Company performed the Broadway musical Annie over two weekends in March in the Academy Arts Center Black Box Theater.

Annie is a timeless classic that follows the journey of a young orphan girl who is determined to find her parents. With help from her friends and a kind-hearted billionaire, Oliver Warbucks, Annie learns the true meaning of family and love.

Classic hits such as Tomorrow, N.Y.C., Hard Knock Life and others make this production popular with audiences of all ages. The musical has been performed and loved for three generations.

Lori Kaiser is the director of the Black Box Productions Company. “Annie was a success and played to sold-out crowds,” she said. “The cast and crew had a great time with the show.”

On March 16, the Black Box Company welcomed a special guest, Donna Calabrese, a 1946 Academy graduate. She was a cheerleader at SJA, and at 95 years of age, takes dance classes with Jerisse Grantham, who choreographed Annie

Senior Zoe Scarton played Annie in some performances and the orphan Lucy in others. “I really enjoyed how close I grew to the cast and crew,” she said. “I love how supportive everyone was of everyone else. I hope that the audience took away a message of hope and positivity from the show and that they saw how far hard work and passion can take a production.” 

Sophomore Camille Masterson played Annie and Lucy opposite Scarton. “I enjoyed having a full audience each night we performed,” she said. “The audience brought so much energy, making the show so much fun. I hope to audience took away that no matter how riches we may have, we will never be satisfied without someone to love.” 

Senior Julie Mistric played Grace Farrell. She said her experience with the production was highly emotional, as she had to overcome a bout with bronchitis, which resulted in her losing her voice and numerous missed or limited rehearsals. She recovered in time to experience the thrill of performing with her friends. “I couldn’t be happier to have such a wonderful, amazing and unforgettable experience,” she said. “Despite all I’ve been through, I was able to have so much support from the entire cast and crew of Annie, my parents, my friends, the directors and some of my teachers. Annie has become one of, it not my favorite experience from high school, and it has really changed my life.

Sophomore Alice Toews played several roles, including the Star-to-be, the marine and a woman in Hooverville. “I really enjoyed meeting and creating something amazing with amazing people that I may have never known otherwise,” she said. “I hope that the audience was able to feel the joy and see all the hard work that everyone put in to make the production possible. The story of Annie talks about a rough time in America’s history while still being a fun and enjoyable show. Annie never gives up hope despite all of her tribulations, and I hope that it gave people hope for a better tomorrow.

Junior Addison Macha was double cast as Miss Hannigan and an ensemble member. “I feel blessed with my character because I had the opportunity to make people laugh,” she said. “I’m provided with a multitude of lines due to being cast as the comical antagonist. I love Annie because of its variety and ability to showcase every cast member in a different light. Everyone in this cast and crew was immensely talented and worked so hard to make the show a hit.”

Junior Emily Vennen played Grace Farrell, a Boylan sister, a servant and a Hooverville ensemble member on alternating nights. “Annie was the highlight of my day for the past few weeks, no matter how stressful,” she said. “I never thought I would get to have an experience like this, and I have loved every moment. I hope the audience saw how much work everyone put into this amazing production.” 

Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director

Photos courtesy of Tracy Ducote