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Knoxville Children’s Theatre will present Annie, Jr., a version of the classic Broadway show “Annie,” specifically adapted for children and families. The play will be performed April 1 – 17, Thursdays and Fridays at 7 PM; Saturdays at 1 PM and 5 PM; Sundays at 3 PM.
The irrepressible comic strip heroine takes center stage in one of the world’s best-loved, award-winning musicals. Based on the popular comic strip and adapted from the Tony Award-winning Best Musical, Annie JR. features everyone’s favorite little redhead in her very first adventure.
With equal measures of pluck and positivity, little orphan Annie charms everyone’s hearts despite a next-to-nothing start in 1930s New York City. Annie is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of an orphanage run by the cruel Miss Hannigan. Annie eventually foils Miss Hannigan’s evil machinations, finding a new home and family in billionaire Oliver Warbucks, his personal secretary, Grace Farrell, and a lovable mutt named Sandy.
The play is performed by 21 talented young actors, from ages 10 to 17. The role of Annie will be played by KCT newcomer Loran Bailey. KCT veteran performer Catherine Blevins takes on the role of Miss Hannigan. Daddy Warbucks and his secretary Grace are played by Gabe Laurito and Laura Snyder, respectively, both making their KCT debuts. Eason Bullard plays Annie’s canine sidekick, Sandy.
Three other actors are making their KCT debuts: Campbell Ayres, Hannah Campbell, and Millie Lovett.
The rest of the cast includes KCT veteran performers: Michael Blevins, Ava Bradshaw, Zoe Brookshire-Risley, Campbell Ella, Emma Lesniewski, Wheeler Moon, Maddy Grace Payne, Averi Richardson, Jacob Sousley, Kennis Van Dyke, Madelyn White, Zoe White, and Olivia Wilson.
The play is directed by A. J. Tierney, a junior at West High School. Paul Jones serves as Musical Director. KCT is East Tennessee’s leading producer of stage plays for children.
Stage management duties are carried out by Audrey Jones, an 8th-grader at West Valley Middle. Emma Campbell, a freshman at Pellissippi State, is the staff’s Production Manager.
The show is sponsored by The Comcast Foundation, Clayton Homes, and Home Federal Bank. Assistance was also provided by Bandit Lites, and Prestige Cleaners.
The script is based on the comic strip “Little Orphan Annie” from the Tribune Media group. The original Broadway production was produced by Mike Nichols, from a book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin. The play is produced by special arrangement with Music Theatre International.