By June 21, 2019 Read More →

Theatre View: From Wardrobe

Theatre View

By Shannon Carmack Mize

I have a very unique view from the theatre world of Modesto. My view is from Wardrobe for several of the resident companies for Gallo Arts. Right now I’m costuming the cast of Annie for Modesto Performing Arts. The last time that Paul Tischer directed Annie was in 1984 but to see him smiling and doting on the orphans and Sandy, the dog, you’d wonder why he waited so long for an encore performance. 

This time around, newcomer Erin Rieger, 11,  will be making her theatre debut in the title role. This little girl has never been in a production before. Let me say that again – she has NEVER been in a show before. And as anyone in theatre knows – Annie is one of the most demanding roles a child can play.

Everything is new to her – the exhausting schedule while she was still in her final weeks of school, the long hours because she’s in almost every scene, memorizing more lines than you can count, learning blocking that changes as you adjust scenes, vocal direction with the music director, missing out on hanging out with the other orphans because she’s needed on stage….ALL THE TIME. But this week we start the big leagues: the red curly wig, the costumes, the costume changes, singing with a full orchestra, practicing her bow and the company bow (that she leads!) and – mics. Her very first body mic. So much cooler than a handheld mic. At “cue to cue” which is the first tech rehearsal for the crew, all the leads put their mics on. Erin learned that it will be taped along the part in her hair and the wig placed over it. She got to test it out. Hear her voice resonate in the speakers. The thrill on her face in this quick and slightly blurry photo taken by Jimmy Gonzales who is playing FDR, is exactly why we forget the long hours, the exhaustion, and the not getting to hang out with our friends. 

It’s was a looooong week for this tiny girl but I’m glad for exciting moments like this because they have kept her going. Her sweet smile has never wavered and her plucky attitude has kept everyone in good spirits as we put the finishing touches on a huge production. I cannot wait for her final “quick change” on opening night into Annie’s iconic red dress because I know she’ll be grinning from ear to ear as the rush of adrenaline pushes her through her final scenes and the audience deafens her with her very first opening night applause. It is in that moment that a star is born. 

Come be a part of that moment with her. 

Performances run for two weekends – June 22, 28 and 29th at 7:30 and matinees on June 23rd and 30th at 2pm. Get your tickets at



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