Young actress Hayley Brown lives and breathes role of Annie


April 26, 2001|By Lorraine Gingerich | Lorraine Gingerich,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

GLENWOOD RESIDENT Hayley Brown, 12, is living her dream. This weekend, Hayley stars in the Cheverly Young Actors' Guild production of the musical "Annie." Hayley saw the movie a few years ago and has been a fan of the play ever since.

When Hayley's mom, Sara, saw an ad in the newspaper inviting actors to audition for the production, Hayley knew immediately that she wanted to try.

More than 120 girls auditioned for the part of Annie, and Hayley was chosen. "I was really excited when I got the part," she said. Another girl was chosen for the second cast of "Annie," which will be at the Cheverly Publick Playhouse. Each cast will present three performances.

Hayley has been preparing for this part for years, according to her mother.

"She watched the movie `Annie' over and over, until she knew all the songs by heart," Sara Brown said.

Singing and acting go hand-in-hand for Hayley. "I really love to sing," she said, "and I like to be on stage in front of an audience." She also enjoys singing in the Peabody Children's Chorus in Howard County.

Set in an orphanage during the Depression, the story of "Annie" revolves around an 11-year-old orphan who longs to be rescued. The musical requires more than 90 actors, ages 5 to 18, for its two casts. Hayley will star in three shows - at 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

This is not Hayley's first venture into acting. She has participated in about seven plays in a children's acting group at school over the past several years. Last year, she performed at Liberty Showcase Theater in "The Music Man," playing Jane Squires, one of the children.

At Glenwood Middle School, Hayley is on the honor roll, taking a full program of four gifted-and-talented classes and two honors classes. She just finished a season of play with the Western Howard Basketball League.

Hayley hopes to continue acting and singing. "I'm just looking forward to when I get older, because there aren't very many children's parts," she said.

She recently began taking voice lessons to improve her chances. "My voice has somehow matured a lot faster than the rest of me," she said.

Hayley is not the only member of her family to be involved in the play. Besides being the chauffeur for her young star, Sara Brown organized the cast party for the actors of both casts. Hayley's brother, Cameron, 10, joined in as part of the backstage crew. Dad Duncan Brown's job is to be an enthusiastic member of the audience.

Hayley has been practicing for "Annie" since early last month. "Hayley has put a lot of work into this show," said Cindy Cook, co-producer of the show. And according to her mom, Hayley often goes to the basement after school to practice on her own.

"I have been living and breathing that show!" Hayley said.

Tickets are $10 for adults; $8 for students and senior citizens, and $6 for children to age 13. Cheverly Publick Playhouse is at 5445 Landover Road, Cheverly.

Information: 301-277-1710.

New trees

We have some new trees in Lisbon. Last week, in honor of Howard County's Sesquicentennial Celebration, the State Highway Administration and the Federated Garden Clubs of Maryland planted deciduous trees on the southeast ramp at Interstate 70 and Route 94.

In attendance were Howard County Executive James N. Robey, Dessie Moxley and Ken Mays, co-chairs of the Howard County Sesquicentennial Celebration Committee, Charles Adams, director of environmental design for the State Highway Administration, and Mae Scott, president of Federated Garden Clubs of Maryland.

This is the 42nd year that the Federated Garden Clubs of Maryland has planted trees. Last year, the club received the Lady Bird Johnson Award from the National Arbor Day Foundation for roadside beautification and tree planting projects along Maryland highways.

Outstanding educator

The Howard County Chamber of Commerce has named Sharon Kramer, River Hill High School's instructional leader for technology, as an outstanding educator. She is one of six finalists for this year's Educator of the Year Award.

Kramer was recognized for her classroom work, inspiration to students, continued professional growth and service to the community. Along with school and family responsibilities, Kramer is active in Girl Scouts, the Student Government Association of River Hill High School and her church.

The Chamber of Commerce will celebrate the accomplishments of outstanding educators and other public servants at its Community Awards Night on Wednesday.

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