Three generations and family dog share the stage for 'Annie'
Three generations of the Persing family, all of Brogue, are taking the stage in The Belmont Theatre’s production of “Annie,” and they’re bringing the family dog with them.
Joel Persing, 65, is no stranger to the stage. He began acting in high school and continued in college. He stepped away from the stage for 29 years to raise his family, but his son Adam remembers theater always being a part of his life.
Adam Persing, 35, says his father has been going to the Belmont for a long time. “We would get a baby sitter; I would go to Grandpa’s house, Mom and Dad would be going to the theater,” he remembered.
Joel Persing found his way back to the stage more than 14 years ago when he auditioned for, “Scrooge” at The Belmont Theatre. In addition to frequently performing, he also is a part-time staffer at the theater and builds all of the sets.
The performance will be Adam Persing’s first since the third grade. His roles include a handful of parts, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lt. Ward and an ensemble member.
Adam Persing’s daughter Ella, 8, who plays an orphan, joins her father and grandfather, although the three only share the final scene together. Ella has taken dance classes since she was 3.
Ella says her parents signed her up for the Belmont Theatre’s “Annie” summer camp for youth this past summer.
“I saw the movie, and I really liked it — I liked all the songs in it,” said Ella. “I did summer camp, and it was really fun. I decided I wanted to do the actual thing.”
Adam Persing agreed that if Ella auditioned, he would, too. Joel Persing said there’s a good chance that he would have been in the production regardless but is pleased that the family has been able to share the experience together.
Even Adam Persing's 11-year-old Goldendoodle Melvin is in the production, playing Sandy.
“He didn’t run away or bite anybody, so it worked out,” he said of Melvin’s audition. “If nothing else, he looked like a shaggy mutt, and that’s what the role called for.”
Adam Persing added, “He has been very well-behaved, and he generally does what he’s supposed to do — more or less.”
“It’s been fun to share it together,” he said.
For showtimes and more information about this weekend's performances go to https://www.thebelmont.org/.