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November 8, 2012

Local youth, dog star in 'Annie'

Local youth, dog star in Actorsingers' 'Annie'

Amesbury’s Julia Yameen got nipped by the acting bug when she was just 5 years old.

The tot and her mother went to the Firehouse Center for the Arts in Newburyport to see the Exit Dance Company production of “The Nutbuster,” an unconventional twist on “The Nutcracker.” As the plot unfolded, Julia was surprised to see her classmates onstage, acting in the show. The child, who loved to dance and sing, wanted to join them.

So, she was enrolled in acting classes. Soon, she was ready to attend auditions at the numerous local theaters and join in community productions. Her resume includes roles in “Pinkalicious” at the Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine and a Pentucket Players production of “The Sound of Music.” Next month, she’ll play the role of Scrooge’s sister in the North Shore Music Theatre’s production of “A Christmas Carol.”

In 2010, Julia played the lead in a Pentucket Players production of “Annie,” and this weekend, she’ll do it again — this time for The Actorsingers production in Nashua, N.H.

Reprising the role of the little red-headed orphan was a happy turn of events for Julia.

“I really love performing in ‘Annie,’” she said this week. “It’s just a really great story.”

Julia has also played the part of the littlest orphan, Molly, in a production of “Annie Jr.”

Already familiar with the musical’s classic songs, such as “Tomorrow” and “Hard Knock Life,” Julia said many of her lines easily came back to her.

Although the Amesbury Middle School sixth-grader arrived at the first rehearsals not knowing any of her fellow castmates, that soon changed during the months of practices that followed.

“You grow attached to them,” she said of her fellow actresses and actors.

Julia also became attached to the four-legged member of the cast: MiniMe, the terrier who plays Sandy.

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