The Champaign Park District's Youth Theatre program will present the stage musical "Annie JR" at the Centennial High School theatre Thursday through Saturday, November 29-30 and December 1, 2012. Show times are 7:00 P.M. nightly with a matinee performance at 2:00 P.M. on Saturday, December 1. Doors open 30 minutes before show time. Tickets are $8, available at the Bresnan Meeting Center (706 Kenwood Rd. Champaign, IL) or online at Tickets will also be available at Centennial High School just before each performance. Sponsored by the Champaign Park District, Gossett & Associates Wealth Management Group, First Federal Savings Bank of Champaign-Urbana and This Is It Furniture.

"Annie JR" is a production of the Champaign Park District's Youth Theatre program. Normally in residence at the historic Virginia Theatre, CPD's Youth Theatre program is being temporarily housed in part at Champaign's Centennial High School while the Virginia is under renovation.

35 years ago, "Annie" premiered on Broadway. Based on the 1920's Little Orphan Annie comic strip (itself inspired by a poem written in 1885), the production went on to become an international hit, winning the Tony Award for Best Musical and being adapted into a movie starring Carol Burnett.

With "Annie JR," a popular classic comes alive for the performers (grades 6-8) of the Champaign Park District's Youth Theatre program. In this specially adapted youth version, Little Orphan Annie again charms her way into everyone's hearts despite a next-to-nothing start. With the help of the other girls in her orphanage, Annie escapes to the wondrous and magical world of New York City to find a new life.

"Annie JR" features 28 talented local children in the familiar roles of Annie, Miss Hannigan and Daddy Warbucks. The cast includes Ruth Zielke (Annie); Maya Lagerstam (Miss Hannigan); Timmy Purnell (Rooster Hannigan); Saskia Bakker (Lily St. Regis); Ryan Gossett (Oliver Warbucks); Kayleigh Doyle (Grace Farrell); Rachel Hurt (Mrs. Greer); Miya Roby (Mrs. Pugh); Rebekah Sowers (Star-To-Be); Parker Evans (Bundles McCloskey); Bethy Kaiser (Lt. Ward); Katie Wells (Usherette); Annie Carroll (Radio Announcer); Peter Magro (Bert Healey); Peter Magro (President Franklin Delano Roosevelt); Samantha Crawford (Louise Howe); Katie Wells (Apple Seller); Samantha Crawford (Dog Catcher); Peter Magro (Man in NYC); with Orphans Alea Francis (Molly); Olivia Nelshoppen (Pepper); Gillian Burch (Duffy); Abby Cohen (Kate); Melissa Luttrell (Tessie); Kaylee Bowers (July); Kristiana Mininger (Mandy); Haley Elam (Haley); Parker Evans (Drake); Piper Gouliard (Cecille) and Grace Brown (Annette); and the following actors as servants and townspeople: Annie Carroll, Piper Gouliard, Samantha Crawford, Grace Brown, Rachael Hurt, Lexi Wheeler, Miya Roby, Jaya Garrett, Rebecca Sowers, Parker Evans, Peter Magro, Bethy Kaiser, Katie Wells and Raven Kemphues.

CPD Youth Theatre staff are: Director Patty Dudley, Assistant Director Heather Stocker, Assistant Director for Music Michael Greenstone, and Assistant Director for Choreography Monica Samii.

Annie JR is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI, 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019. Phone: 212-541-4684 Fax: 212-397-4684. For more, visit or

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