Congratulations on being chosen as Annie. How did you feel when you heard the good news?
Claris: I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it. But I’m really happy.
Ella: I couldn’t believe my ears. I thought it was joke at first.
Did you expect to be chosen?
Claris: I tried really hard for the part. My singing teacher helped me learn the songs, so I was able to try as hard as I could.
Ella: I didn’t expect to be chosen at all. I thought I was too tall for the role!
What did your friends and family say?
Claris: Even though we were all auditioning together and we were all competing against each other, my friends were very supportive of me. My family were also very helpful, and they’re still making sure that I have all the help that I need.
Ella: My family couldn’t believe the news either, just like I couldn’t. But they were very happy for me and they even threw me a party.
How did you prepare for the audition?
Claris: I tried to get into character as much as possible. I dressed up in clothes that Annie would wear, and curled my hair.
Ella: I have actually been in theatre before. I’ve been singing, acting and dancing my whole life. So that helped me a lot. Also, I sang ‘Tomorrow’ over and over again, so much that my mum got sick of it. Even my brother knows all the words now, and he’s two years old!
What are you looking forward to the most about performing in the show?
Claris: I’m looking forward most to making friends with the cast.
Ella: I’ve always wanted to sing in front of a crowd, so I’m really looking forward to doing that.
The rest of your life will no doubt be put on hold until the show is over. What will you miss the most?
Claris: I’m going to miss getting my homework done. But I’ve made a deal with all my friends and they’ve all agreed to help me out with my lines. I’m not going to miss my brother too much because he’s in the show as well.
Ella: I’m going to miss hanging out with my friends. I’m going to miss just seeing them every day and talking to them all the time.
Do you think you’ll get stage fright? How will you deal with that?
Claris: I’ll definitely be a little nervous, but I’ve performed before, when I was in High School Musical. So I don’t think it should be too scary.
Ella: I’ve been on the stage before so I don’t think I’ll have any stage fright at all.
What do you want to do when you leave school?
Claris: I’d like to go to medical school. I’ve always thought of theatre as a hobby. It’s something I do to help me relax from school work. I don’t think theatre is something I want to work too hard at once I’m older.
Ella: I want to be a singer. If that doesn’t work out, then I’d like to be an interior designer.
Annie The Musical, First Group Theatre, Madinat Jumeirah, April 8-18, 2.30pm and 7.30pm (check www.annieonstage.com for dates of matinee and evening performances). No performance on April 12. Dhs189 per person, for group rates contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets at www.timeouttickets.com, or call 04 800 4669