By Will Phillips
Irving Berlin’s classic stage play “Annie Get Your Gun” will be coming to Henry County High School Thursday night. Starring Danielle Toy and Caleb Potts as Annie Oakley and Frank Butler, the show is about the romance that blossoms between two sharpshooters who travel with an old west shooting show.
For Toy, this is her first lead role.
“I’m scared to death,” she said when asked about the upcoming show. “But if it turns out good, I’ll be the happiest person on earth.” True to her character, Toy oozes personality, with an exuberance that is impossible not to notice.
Toy also acknowledged that her inexperience has added to the already difficult undertaking of being a lead character in a play.
“I’ve never had this many lines to memorize, so it’s been tough just learning how to learn your lines and all the struggles that come with that,” Toy said. “And I was only in choir for one year and that was last year. So I’m not a professional singer, haven’t grown up in it or anything. So, singing is definitely a struggle. It’s a challenge.”
Despite her concerns, director Russell Cooper feels as though all of the students’ hard work has made them ready.
“We work a lot,” Cooper said. “Four days a week after school until at least seven o’clock…So they’re here a lot. And it takes that to get everything really clean. They work independently on their own. I know several of them have been running lines at home on the weekends. I know some of them came in over spring break to do some work. And we had a lot of make up to do. We had so many snow days, but we didn’t want to move the performance date, so we had to just knuckle down and get to it.”
Cooper may feel good about it, but that won’t help alleviate Toy’s nerves. When asked how nervous she was, on a scale of 1-10, she laughed and replied, “Fifteen.”
“Annie Get Your Gun” will premiere on Thursday, April 24. Show times are April 24-26 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 27 at 3 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.ticketpeak.com/HCPSfinearts or by visiting the High School Box Office Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:30-5:30 p.m. Tickets are assigned, so get yours early for the best seats.