A! Magazine for the Arts

Lucy Tester as Annie poses in the Paramount Center for the Arts. (photo by Ann McAllister)

Lucy Tester as Annie poses in the Paramount Center for the Arts. (photo by Ann McAllister)

Lucy Tester is Annie at Theatre Bristol

October 26, 2017

Lucy Tester, who plays Annie in Theatre Bristol's production, has been on the stage since she was in the first grade, when she played a spider and sang her first solo.

"I really liked it, but it took me three more years to build up the courage to audition at Theatre Bristol for "Rumpelstiltskin.' I got a part and the character only had one line in one scene, but I loved it. I loved the feeling I got when I said my line, I felt bubbly and nervous at the same time, that's when I started auditioning for every play I could. I love the feeling you get before you go on stage. You get butterflies in your stomach and your palms get sweaty. I also love the family and friends that you make backstage. I love watching the progression of a show from the audition to the final curtain call. I also like seeing the faces that the audience make while they react to everything you do on stage," Lucy says.

Since that first role, she's remained a part of her school plays, and this is her ninth role for Theatre Bristol. She's auditioned for every show she could.

"I have loved every single show I have been in. I have been rejected for some shows and roles, but as any good actress knows there is always another chance for a role that is meant for you.

"My favorite role up till now was Little Cosette, ("Les Miserables') because it was my first main role with a big solo. I really enjoyed getting to know theater a little more. Even though I haven't been in it, my favorite musical is "Grease.' I would love to play Sandy someday," she says.

Glenn Patterson, who directed Theatre Bristol's production of "Les Miserables," is one of Lucy's influences. "He taught me everything I needed to know for my role from stage direction to projecting my voice," Lucy says.

Lucy is using those skills as the lead in "Annie."

"It was exciting enough to be cast as a main character, but Annie has been a dream role of mine so it's that much more exciting. Being a main character has been very different than other roles I've played. One thing is you have to be at rehearsal almost every night which for me is great because I'm the kind of kid that would stay all day at theater if I was allowed to. I enjoy playing Annie because despite her situation, she is very optimistic and cheerful about her life.

"My favorite part about Annie is all the girls I get to work with, and how we are all like sisters to one another. We study how we are like our characters and what all the orphans have in common," she says.

Lucy is 13 and in the seventh grade at Virginia Middle School. Her parents are Amy and Daniel Tester.

When she grows up, she dreams of being on Broadway, preferably in musical theater. If that doesn't work out, she'd like to be a physical therapist.

She is a member of the Virginia Middle School Choir and the children's choir at St. Anne's Catholic Church. She takes piano and dance lessons. "Other than that, I pretty much live at the theater. When I'm not on stage, I help with costumes, props and sets," she says.

You can see Lucy on stage as "Annie," Nov. 17-26 at the Paramount Center for the Arts, Bristol, Tenn. Visit www.paramountbristol.org to purchase tickets.