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NC Theatre Announces Cast For ANNIE

North Carolina Theatre, the region's premiere nonprofit professional theatre, is proud to announce casting for its season-ending production of Annie, playing July 23-28 at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh.

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. She is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of a New York City Orphanage that is run by the cruel, embittered Miss Hannigan. With the help of the other girls in the Orphanage, Annie escapes to the wondrous world of NYC. Tony Award-winner Karen Ziemba will star as Miss Hannigan in the July production, and directing the musical is NC Theatre's producing artistic director, Eric Woodall.

Starring in the title role is Alexa Lasanta, the orphan girl who desperately wants to find love and a family of her own. Lasanta previously portrayed Annie in The Wick Theatre's production with other credits including regional productions of Fun Home, Secret Garden, and Disney's Beauty and the Beast. She also has a national tour under her belt, where she joined the cast as Gretl in The Sound of Music in 2016/17. Annie's sidekick and canine friend Sandy will be played by Macy, who was adopted in 2009 by Broadway's leading animal trainer Bill Berloni. She has starred in dozens of productions across the county and was seen on NBC's The National Dog Show in 2011.

Ziemba, who won the Tony Award in 2000 for her role in the musical Contact, will portray Miss Hannigan, the orphanage matron and Annie's nemesis. In addition to her Tony Award-winning performance, Ziemba has graced the stage in numerous Broadway productions since her start in 1975. Some of her previous credits include the Broadway productions of Chicago, A Chorus Line, 42nd Street, Crazy For You, Bullets Over Broadway, and many more. Ziemba has been nominated for four Tony Awards (including the year she won for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role), and boasts multiple Drama Desk Award nominations, including a win for her Off-Broadway performance of And The World Goes 'Round.

Warbucks, the powerful billionaire who takes Annie in as his own, will be played by John Eric Parker. Parker has a lengthy Broadway history with roles in Rent, Memphis, All Shook Up, and eight years in The Book of Mormon (original Broadway production) which he is taking a short break from to join us in Annie. He is a proud member of the Broadway Inspirational Voices and was nominated for an Astaire Award in 2010 for Outstanding Male Dancer in a Broadway Show (Memphis).

Other principal roles include Manna Nichols (Grace Farrell), who starred in the Lincoln Center National Tour of The King and I; Nicolas Dromard (Rooster Hannigan), who last starred on Broadway in Jersey Boys. NC Theatre audiences will remember him as Bert in Mary Poppins; Erica Mansfield (Lily), joining the cast directly from Kiss Me Kate, her ninth Broadway show; and Dirk Lumbard (F.D.R), a Broadway veteran and NC Theatre favorite who previously starred in Disney's Beauty and the Beast ,Les Misérables, Billy Elliot, and more.

James Gray, a veteran Broadway performer, director, and choreographer, will choreograph NC Theatre's production. He served as the Resident/Associate Choreographer for Prince of Broadway and Director/Choreographer for Bullets Over Broadway. Gray's other choreography credits include A Christmas Story, The Last Two People on Earth, and directed/choreographed the national tours of Young Frankenstein The Musical.

Annie's fellow orphan friends will be portrayed by Adele Baldina (July), Sarah Boch (Kate), Becca Clarke (Pepper), Emily Hoder (Molly), Zoi Pegues (Orphan/Annie U/S), Eva Smedley (Tessie), and Skyla Woodard (Duffy).

Rounding out the cast are ensemble members Jeff Aguiar, Julian Alvarez, Timothy Scott Brausch, Charlie Byrd, Ashley Chiu, Patrick Clanton, Melvin Gray Jr., Carly Grissom, Anne Karner, Alex Stewart, Amanda Blair Spruill, Sonya Venugopal, Dana Winkle, and Collin Yates.

Included in the orphan ensemble are Myla Anne Anderson, Jasmine Anthony, Madeline Atwater, Madeline Behrens, Leilani Diamond, Emerson Dykes, Claire Fellows, Jane Fitzpatrick, MacKenzie Hicks, Uwera Izabayo, Kenady Joi, Adair Mahoney, Seanna Osborne, Lyla Opitz, Eloise Sayre, Nicole Sienkowski, Cora Stumpf, Jurnee Tabron, Callie MacKenzie Tisdale, Sophia Unger, Madison Veloza, Naima West, and Isol Young.

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