Grace Brakeman has spent more than half her life acting at Wheelock Family Theatre. True, she’s only 13 years old, but seven shows in seven years is still an impressive number for a girl also juggling the eighth grade. The seasoned performer plays the title role in “Annie” this fall.
“I usually don’t get nervous for the shows, but I am a little bit for ‘Tomorrow,’” admits Brakeman, who sings about half of the production’s numbers and the “Tomorrow” solo.
Wheelock regulars will recognize Brakeman from her role as Fern in the venue’s production of “Charlotte’s Web” last year. This year marks the nonprofit Theatre’s 30th anniversary season.
In “Annie,” the Theatre’s family musical for the year, a spunky red-haired orphan searches for her parents and yearns for a better “Tomorrow.”
“Most of the time the show is so happy, but it takes place in the Great Depression, so there’s sadness too,” says Brakeman.
The most exciting part about “Annie” for her?
“It has an adorable dog in it,” Brakeman says, gushing. In the first act, her character rescues a sandy-colored mutt from a cold-hearted dog catcher. The production uses a real dog on stage, who Brakeman will beckon using a piece of chicken.
Though this is her first time working with a live animal, after a lot of rehearsal, Brakeman’s not worried. Especially since “he is the cutest thing ever.”
Through Nov. 22
Wheelock Family Theatre
200 The Riverway, Boston