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The local production of 'Annie' has become a family affair. Just ask the Goode family.
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The Goode family of Joe (from left), Reece, Luke, Laura and Jace are one of several family units who has participated in the recent production of 'Annie' the musical at the Cumming Playhouse. - photo by Bradley Wiseman

FCN EXTRA: The local production of 'Annie' has become a family affair. Just ask the Goode family

By: Bradley Wiseman

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Thursday and Friday nights have been harder lately for the Goode family. By the time they’re done helping put on ‘Annie’ at the Cumming Playhouse, their unit of five isn’t usually home until after 11 p.m.

“You just have to get used to the lack of sleep that there is,” said Reece, 11.

Still, they’ve relished being a part of the production, and others have too. As many as four entire families are involved in the local show that finishes its run this weekend.

That’s been a fitting dynamic. ‘Annie’ began as a comic strip in the 1920s, which in turn inspired a Broadway musical that eventually became a popular movie in the ’80s, all of which center around the journey of a young orphan, Annie, and the search for her real parents in a story that touches on themes of family and identity.

The Goode family got involved when Reece missed out on a chance to participate in her school’s production of the musical. The show was for sixth-graders and older; Reece is the in the fifth grade.

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The Goody family have all played a role in the recent production of 'Annie' at the Cumming Playhouse. Jace (far left) has run spotlight, Joe (center back) has played the role of Daddy Warbucks, Reece (center front) has been an orphan, Luke (third from right) has been a young boy and Laura (far right) has helped coordinate backstage.

But the drama teacher asked Reece’s dad, Joe, to perform in the role of Daddy Warbucks, a wealthy industrialist who eventually adopts Annie. He accepted and used the opportunity to get Reece involved backstage as much as possible.

As that came to an end, Joe started looking for other performance opportunities for Reece. He saw on the Cumming Playhouse’s tryouts for ‘Annie’ this past summer.

“I said, ‘Reece, let’s go do it,’” Joe said.

They did. Joe again got the part of Daddy Warbucks. Reece was cast as an orphan.

Their involvement then pulled the rest of the family in. Luke, 7, was around so often that he got cast in a role. That necessitated Joe’s wife, Laura, to get involved backstage, helping Luke be ready in costume and pitching in wherever else she could.

Eventually, Joe got a call; they needed someone to help run a spotlight. In came their oldest son, Jace, 15.

“They needed someone to do spotlight and said I’d get paid to do it,” Jace said.

“He’s the only one getting paid actually,” Joe said.

Since July, they’ve been grinding through rehearsals and performances but savoring the experience to practice a craft, meet new people and spend time together as a family.

And it might not be the last time the Goode family gets in on the act together. Joe said he’s already started searching for upcoming productions, and some have recommended Cumming Playhouse shows next year for the family to consider trying out for.

“It’s definitely just awakened the theater bug in them,” Laura said. “It’s been fun to see them have this experience.”