When 17-year-old actor, Granite Omvig, learned that he would play the role of Oliver Warbucks in The Actors Conservatory Theatre’s (ACT) production of Annie Jr., he knew that portraying the much-beloved bald billionaire came with the choice of wearing a bald cap or shaving his head.
The easy choice for a teenage boy is to choose the bald cap, but Omvig has chosen to make the harder choice to raise money to fund new seats in the theatre where he made his debut only a few years ago.
Operation Bald Warbucks is the plan Omvig and his co-star Annie Shannon, who plays his secretary, Grace Ferrell, created to help pay for the new seats in The Actors Conservatory Theatre. Omvig agreed to shave his head in front of his fellow cast members if the cast and the community raised enough money to complete the campaign started to pay for the seats – a bold decision for any teenage boy.
“From the beginning. I shunned the prospect of shaving my head,” Omvig said. “But, after learning that doing that would get people to donate to ATC, it has taught me more than I could ever possibly repay and helped me to discover that acting was my life’s ambition. I had to do it!”
The seating campaign started this spring to replace seats which had worn out. New seats were purchased and installed by a hard-working crew of volunteers led by Board President Kevin Moran and Facilities Manager Ray Kimbrell. Donations for the 160 seats have been filtering in and many have been “sold” for a donation of $50 per seat, but the campaign had yet to finish the task. This plan would finally bring it over the top and put the much needed money back into the coffers of this unique family-oriented, children’s theatre in Lewisville.
After Monday night’s rehearsal, Master Barber LC Costley of LC’s Barber Shop in Lewisville visited The ACT to offer his services to complete the job. Within minutes, Granite was bald. A new stage character may have been re-created but a greater, more worthwhile event took place. A young man proved himself to the world. As Director Laurie C. Long stated, “If this young man can commit himself to this production, as he has, all of us should do the same.”
Contributions are still being accepted. To contribute to the Operation Bald Warbucks Campaign, please go to The ACT’s web site at www.getIntoTheAct.org and click on the Theater Seating Campaign button to donate through PayPal, or mail a check payable to The ACT with “Op Bald WB” on the memo line to The ACT, C/O 1720 S. Edmonds Lane, Lewisville, TX 75067. The ACT is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, and all donations are tax deductible.
Libby Roy, pictured in the photos with Grace (Annie Shannon), plays the irrepressible Annie in Annie Jr. which opens Oct. 3 and continues through the Oct. 12 with shows at 7 p.m. Fri. and Sat. and matinees at 2 p.m. Sat. and Sun. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for students and seniors and $9 for all children under ten. Groups of ten or more may also purchase tickets for $9 each. All performances take place at the theater at 1720 S. Edmonds Lane in Lewisville. For directions or tickets to the show, visit getintotheact.org. This “Jr.” show is rated for all audiences.
Jo Ann Brooks is the artistic director of the Actors Conservatory Theatre.