ANNIE JR Brings Mother/Daughter Duo and Five Sets of Siblings to the Stage, 7/1-8/7

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Stages Theatre Company (STC) is truly bringing family together when ANNIE JR opens July 1 at the Hopkins Center for the Arts. The award-winning musical is based on the comic strip "Little Orphan Annie" but is a junior version that condenses the original into less than 75 minutes of pure family entertainment, designed especially for younger audiences.

"We started this season with the tag line We Celebrate Friends and Family and ANNIE JR perfectly embodies that," says STC Artistic Director and Director Sandy Boren-Barrett.

In a rare occurrence, five sets of siblings (as part of a large ensemble cast) and a mother-daughter duo bring this modern classic to life on stage. "I would love to say that as the director I planned to have all these amazing siblings when I cast the show, but frankly I just picked each actor/musician as the talented individuals they are. It wasn't until I actually looked at the cast list at the read through, that I realized we had so many siblings," says Boren-Barrett.

Actress Jennifer Kirkeby experiences a bit of déjà vu with ANNIE JR. Fifteen years ago she choreographed her two daughters Laura (Tessie) and Amber (Molly) in Annie and is thrilled to have Laura choreograph her in Annie Jr. "She is such an amazing dancer, and I have so much pride and admiration for all the years of hard work and training that she's done. She also has a wonderful sense of humor and the knowledge of what works on stage," says J. Kirkeby. Playing Miss Hannigan, she says audiences can expect a slightly different character in this version. "She isn't a drinker, she's just stressed out to the point of being crazy. Miss Hannigan is a dream role of mine, and I just hope that I do her justice."

For Choreographer Laura Kirkeby STC is a place that has brought her family together for several productions including "Rumpelstilskin" where her mother directed her on stage, and "Ten Tall Soldiers" where she performed on stage with both her mother and sister. "I am very excited to choreograph my mom on stage. Oh how the tables have turned! I grew up watching her choreograph my entire life, and have always looked up to my mom," says L. Kirkeby.

ANNIE JR. begins July 1 and ends Aug. 7. Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.stagestheatre.org for performance dates and times, or by calling the Box Office at (952) 979-1111, Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for children (ages 5 to 17) and seniors (60+). Lap passes are available for free (ages 0 to 2) and $5 for (ages 3 to 4).

Stages Theatre Company was founded in 1984 and since then has grown to become one of the largest professional theatres for young audiences in the country. We engage young artists with themes relevant to their lives and involve them in creating magical works featuring young people in meaningful roles. Through theatrical productions, workshops, conservatory classes and other outreach programs, Stages Theatre Company annually serves more than 125,000 young people and their families.


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