An annual tradition will bring the story of an orphan to life in Dublin next week.
For the last six years, Dubliners have sang along as Broadway icon Annie and her orphan friends sing "Tomorrow" and "It's a Hard Knocks Life" during Dublin Intermediate School's annual production of Annie Jr.
The abridged version of the original musical will take the stage for the sixth consecutive year at 7 p.m. next Thursday and Friday in the intermediate cafeteria.
"It's become a tradition in Dublin," said Julie Bowman, the fifth grade teacher that has directed the production since 2006. "This is something the entire community looks forward to each year."
About 95 students are involved in the production that grows each year.
"We are always adding something new to the performance every year. Even if you've seen it every year in Dublin, each performance is unique," Bowman said. "This year we have added Dallas-inspired skyscrapers to the set and the chauffeur is our newest character."
The lessons Annie learns as she runs away from Mrs. Hannigan and the orphanage stick with students long after the final curtain call.
"I have seen Annie three times including when I was in it last year," said Rylie Roberts, who played Annie in 2011. "It teaches us that whenever you believe in something strong enough, anything is possible."
For many students, Annie Jr. is their first opportunity to perform on stage in front of a live audience.
"The best part of the show is watching the transformation in each of the students," Bowman said. "They work hard throughout every rehearsal and when it's showtime, they just shine."
Tickets for Annie Jr. are $2 each and performances begin at 7 p.m. each night.