Please say Hello to Molly Hopton! She plays the title role of ‘Annie’ at Limelight Theatre Company. Her performances are November 16, 17, 18 and December 1 (matinee). Enjoy this interview with Molly – we hope you love her performance as much as we do – she’s absolutely fantastic!
Limelight Theatre Co. (LTC): Congratulations on landing the title and lead character of Annie in our Professional Production. How did you react when you learned you got the part?
Molly: I cried! Tears of joy! I was so happy!!
LTC: Share with us what you did to prepare for the audition – anything special or out of the ordinary in your approach?
Molly: I just gave it my all! I know I need to work on showing more emotion in my scenes, so I tried to focus on that.
LTC: How has your previous stage experience or classes helped you prepare for this huge, iconic role?
Molly: Developing eye contact. I have had lead roles in a few other productions before, but never this huge. The most important thing is getting ahead of the game by memorizing my lines, memorizing choreography & trying to be on top of everyone else.
LTC: Annie made its Broadway debut on April 21, 1977 – that was 41 years ago! How familiar were you with the show before you decided to audition?
Molly: I sang “Tomorrow’ in my school talent show when I was in Kindergarten. Then I saw Annie on Broadway for my 8th birthday. I couldn’t wait to audition!!
LTC: What qualities about Annie can you most identify with? What qualities of Annie would you most like to have?
Molly: Tough, mostly positive, considerate, kind, a leader. I can be negative sometimes, so I’d like to be as positive as she is all the time.
LTC: Annie is probably the world’s most famous orphan – how are you preparing for the role, what have you done to really understand her journey?
Molly: I have watched the movie countless times and got a feel for the character, even though my director Wendy tells me it’s nothing like the movie. lol. But it still helps me prepare.
LTC: What is your favorite song from the entire show?
Molly: Ooohhhhh, ok. tough one. probably Hard Knock Life. It just shows how the orphans are troubled and what they are going through. For example, Miss Hannigan is sitting back eating pizza and they are cleaning out hairballs from the sink.
LTC: Annie takes place in the year 1933 – during America’s Great Depression – why do you think Annie was able to keep such a positive attitude despite her own hardships and surrounded by so much sadness?
Molly: Annie grew up in an environment which was very sad and upsetting because she was abused and not properly taken care of by the headmistress, Miss Hannigan. For all of her life, she believed her parents were going to come find her one day and come back to her. She has always been positive.
LTC: What other role in the show would you love to play one day?
Molly: I would love to play Grace! I feel like she relates to my poised personality (being neat and tidy at school – but which is NOT anything like what I am at home!)
LTC: True or False: You have been singing the songs of Annie since you can remember.
LTC: Have you been enjoying the rehearsal process working alongside your friends as orphans and our adult professional cast and creative team?
Molly: I most certainly have! Everyone in the cast is wonderful and so nice. I love working with all the younger kids there. They are so sweet and adorable. It feels good to be working with my friends and be surrounded by them. It’s fun to make jokes and laugh, but never when we aren’t supposed to!!
LTC: What is the funniest memory you have so far during the rehearsals?
Molly: Hmmmm…….Little Emily, who is one of our Molly’s, found this big furry white sweater thing in the lost & found bin. It was so big on her, she put it on, threw the hood way up over her head and wrapped herself up in it and walked downstairs to show us all. She is so cute!!!
LTC: What do want our audiences to know about this production?
Molly: It is a very upbeat production and it shows that even when you are going through hard times you can still be positive and optimistic, even when everything around you is falling apart and people are losing money and people are less fortunate than us.
The Limelight version is very creative! I just wish we were using a real dog in the performance, but that’s not my decision to make, so……I encourage people to come see the show, very much so! You might not be having such a good day, but maybe the person that plays Annie can help lift their spirits! It’s a great family tradition for the holiday season!!!
LTC: Thank you Molly for participating – you are such a joy to watch on stage – as Miss Ann says “you have amazing instincts as an actress at such a young age”… Break Legs and enjoy your performances!