Stephenson Tales


Annie Get Your GunWhenever any of our kids want to know a line or a lyric or a melody that they cannot remember from a musical, all they have to do is call Robin. She will know it. I think we first became aware of this gift of retention when we were all in the production of ANNIE GET YOUR GUN in the spring of 1960 at the University of Michigan. Robin played the role of Annie's littlest sister. She followed one of the male characters all over the state and he kept saying to her, "Get away, Little Girl." Robin did not like that part--but Lucy Chase explained to her that she LOVED the man and it did not matter how often he told her to get away, she STILL loved him. Thereafter Robin followed him all over the stage, as she was supposed to, muttering under her breath, "I love you, I love you." Real inside out acting at the age of four. When she was not on stage Robin sat on a barrel at the side of the stage engrossed in the action--all during rehearsals and at every performance. She knew all the lines--those of Frank Butler (played by a student from Arkansas), Annie's lines--everybody's. In fact she even tried to cue them in rehearsal when they would miss a line, and had to be told that grown ups did not like to be cued by a tiny little kid. Almost immediately after the production, we made our first trip to Manhattan, Kansas where I was to begin teaching in the fall. Just before that we made a quick trip to Interlochen, and, as usual, sang all the way. Of course we started in on the songs from ANNIE. Robin took over and sang every song, and also recited every line of dialogue--and when she came to Frank Butler's lines, she had a perfect Arkansas accent. We were all delighted and when she came to the end of the script, we applauded and she promptly started over and did the entire thing again!

© Jim Bob Stephenson 1992

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