November 4, 2020
Let’s face it: these are not easy times right now. With common phrases like “new normal” and “separate yet together,” people are experiencing loss of jobs, cutbacks in wages, and furloughs.
This was not uncommon at all during the Great Depression 90 years ago. Now, as in the ’30s, people are clinging to hope, a good news story of the day, or a laugh from a comedian or comic strip.
The comic strip character Little Orphan Annie was created in 1924 by Harold Gray and made its debut in The New York Daily News. This comic strip featured a red-headed orphaned girl who was taken in by billionaire Oliver Warbucks and went on great adventures with Warbucks’ right-hand man Punjab, who was introduced in 1935.
Mr. Gray was one of the few Americans who found prosperity throughout the depression because people loved the comic strip so much! They could forget about their troubles for a while, have a laugh, go on a wild adventure, and find hope, if only for a moment.
Because of this great yearning for hope, Gray’s character expanded to a radio show in 1930, an RKO film in 1935, and a Paramount film in 1938. The musical Annie opened in 1977.
The hope that Annie brought to the people of the Great Depression continues today for us through COVID-19. I feel so blessed to be working with the Fort Wayne Civic Theatre and making art when so many are not able to work.
Please do your best to stop this virus and support those in need if you can, especially in the arts. Help keep art alive!
May Annie encourage you and may your tomorrow be blessed!
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