Sporting a rock-band T-shirt and gathering her books for her next class, Annaka Groeteke seems like a typical 16-year-old, but the Sarasota High School sophomore has also been a wicked stepmother, a factory worker and an evil stepsister — on stage, that is.
For her next role, Groeteke will play a factory worker in Sarasota High’s production of “Les Miserables,” which is set to debut in April.
“In ‘Les Miserables,’ all the words are sung, so you have to pull out the emotions in words,” says Groeteke, who believes acting has improved her work in her literature studies. “You have to really understand the word’s meaning on stage.”
Groeteke landed her first role, as one of Cinderella’s stepsisters, when she was in the sixth grade. She had the chance to revisit the fairy tale last fall, when she played Cinderella’s evil stepmother in Sarasota High’s production of “Twisted Fairy tales.”
In addition to theater, Groeteke is in the color guard at Sarasota High. She hopes to attend the University of South Florida and is considering studying radiology or anthropology.
“I can’t believe next year I am going to be a junior,” says Groeteke. “It seems just yesterday I was a nervous freshman.”