The Penguin Project Presents Annie Jr

Everyone’s favorite redhead goes on her first adventure in this 60-minute version of the popular Broadway musical. With equal measures of pluck and positivity, Little Orphan Annie is determined to find the parents who left her years ago on the doorstep of an orphanage run by the cruel Miss Hannigan. Annie eventually finds a new home and family with billionaire Daddy Warbucks, his secretary Grace, and a lovable mutt named Sandy. Annie Jr is presented in the John Viars Theatre.

The Penguin Project productions are unique because all the roles are filled by young artists with developmental disabilities including Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism, intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, visual impairment, hearing impairment, and other neurological disorders. These artists are joined on stage by their peer mentors, youths of similar age without disabilities who have worked side-by-side with the artists through four months of rehearsals. Click here to learn more about The Penguin Project.

ASL interpreters will be at the performance at 2:00 PM, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022.

If ticket prices are keeping you away from this show, please call the ticket office at 515.277.6261, Noon-5:00 PM, Tuesday-Friday. We have supporters who want to make sure everyone gets a chance to see this production.

 

Penguin Project allows youth with developmental disabilities the opportunity to be onstage and perform live theatre! We are so proud to bring this national program to The Playhouse. In this photo, Penguin Project peer liaison Paul Honold holds a stuffed penguin, which is a token of our gratitude and appreciation that we hope to give to participating families. Sponsor a Penguin for $100 today!

 

 

 

Performance Times:
7:00 PM Friday, 7:00 PM Saturday, 2:00 PM Sunday
Theatre:
Special Events
Run Time:
80 minutes, performed without intermission
Content Advisory:
Playhouse children’s theatre productions are intended for ages 5 and up.
Download Playbill

Company

  • Artist: Star-to-be / Rooster

    Elias Andersson

    Artist: Star-to-be / Rooster
  • Artist: Orphan

    Joshua Baldwin

    Artist: Orphan
  • Artist: Bundles McCloskey / Drake

    Maxwell Bird

    Artist: Bundles McCloskey / Drake
  • Mentor: Orphan

    Corley Blackford

    Mentor: Orphan
  • Mentor: Orphan

    Emery Blackford

    Mentor: Orphan
  • Artist: Orphan

    DJ Brown

    Artist: Orphan
  • Mentor: Orphan

    Madison Deyen

    Mentor: Orphan
  • Mentor: Annie

    Cambria Dirks

    Mentor: Annie
  • Artist: Annie

    Lani Dirks

    Artist: Annie
  • Artist: Orphan

    Amara Dunham

    Artist: Orphan
  • Artist: Lily

    Indigo Ekhardt

    Artist: Lily
  • Artist: Orphan

    Mattias Fiser

    Artist: Orphan
  • Mentor: Grace Farrell

    Liz Francis

    Mentor: Grace Farrell
  • Mentor: Bundles McCloskey / Drake

    Aya Haidar

    Mentor: Bundles McCloskey / Drake
  • Mentor: Orphan

    Kylie Halstead

    Mentor: Orphan
  • Mentor: Apple Seller / Sound Effects Man

    Jackson Hamilton

    Mentor: Apple Seller / Sound Effects Man
  • Mentor: Star-to-be / Rooster

    Wyatt Hamilton

    Mentor: Star-to-be / Rooster
  • Artist: Orphan

    Elizabeth Xiao Janni

    Artist: Orphan
  • Mentor: Dogcatcher / Bert Healey

    Lillian Krizer

    Mentor: Dogcatcher / Bert Healey
  • Mentor: Oliver Warbucks

    Nathan Long

    Mentor: Oliver Warbucks
  • Mentor: Miss Hannigan / Assistant Choreographer

    Joy Mielke

    Mentor: Miss Hannigan / Assistant Choreographer
  • Mentor: Lily

    Julia Neighbors

    Mentor: Lily
  • Mentor: Orphan

    Ingrid Oakley

    Mentor: Orphan
  • Artist: Miss Hannigan

    McKenna O'Meara

    Artist: Miss Hannigan
  • Artist: Officer Ward / President Franklin D. Roosevelt

    Daniel Pietig

    Artist: Officer Ward / President Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Mentor: Miss Hannigan

    Julia Richer

    Mentor: Miss Hannigan
  • Artist: Grace Farrell

    Sabina Shelton

    Artist: Grace Farrell
  • Artist: Dogcatcher / Bert Healey

    Tishon Smith

    Artist: Dogcatcher / Bert Healey
  • Mentor: Officer Ward / President Franklin D. Roosevelt

    Jayne Stieler

    Mentor: Officer Ward / President Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Artist: Oliver Warbucks

    Robert Thacker

    Artist: Oliver Warbucks
  • Artist: Apple Seller / Sound Effects Man

    Stephen Togba

    Artist: Apple Seller / Sound Effects Man
  • Mentor

    Larryah Travis

    Mentor
  • Mentor: Orphan

    Gennie Weis

    Mentor: Orphan
  • Mentor

    Annie White

    Mentor
  • Artist: Orphan

    Eli Zimmerman

    Artist: Orphan
  • Sandy

    Lucy

    Sandy
  • Director

    Kim Van Haecke

    Director
  • Music Director

    Kersten Daubitz

    Music Director
  • Choreographer

    Natalie Thomas

    Choreographer
  • Scenic Designer

    Nicholas Amundson

    Scenic Designer
  • Costume Designer

    Joy Barlean

    Costume Designer
  • Lighting Designer

    Virgil Kleinhesselink

    Lighting Designer
  • Sound Designer

    Travis Edrington

    Sound Designer
  • Properties Designer

    Ann Ungs

    Properties Designer
  • Properties Designer

    JP Ungs

    Properties Designer
  • Stage Manager

    Jenna Parker

    Stage Manager
  • Assistant Director

    Tyler Stough

    Assistant Director
  • Assistant Stage Manager

    Wendy Trotter

    Assistant Stage Manager
  • Program Director / Mentor Coordinator

    Annie Mielke

    Program Director / Mentor Coordinator
  • Mentor Assistant

    Jessica Vaught

    Mentor Assistant
  • Mentor Assistant

    Alison Williamson

    Mentor Assistant
  • Peer Liaison

    Paul Honold

    Peer Liaison
  • ASL Coordinator

    Sherry Long

    ASL Coordinator
  • Playhouse Artistic Director

    Katy Merriman

    Playhouse Artistic Director

Photos/Video

  • Lani Dirks is Annie, Robert Thacker is Oliver Warbucks, and Lucy is Sandy in The Penguin Project presents Annie Jr., Oct. 14-16, 2022, at The Des Moines Playhouse. Photo by Brent Isenberger.

  • The Penguin Project presents Annie Jr., Oct. 14-16, 2022, at The Des Moines Playhouse. Pictured: (Front row, left to right) Joshua Baldwin as Orphan, Lani Dirks as Annie; (Second row, left to right) Eli Zimmerman as Orphan, Amara Dunham as Orphan, Elizabeth Xiao Janni as Orphan; (Back row, left to right) DJ Brown as Orphan, Mattias Fiser as Orphan; Robert Thacker as Oliver Warbucks. Photo by Brent Isenberger.

  • Lani Dirks is Annie and Robert Thacker is Oliver Warbucks in The Penguin Project presents Annie Jr., Oct. 14-16, 2022, at The Des Moines Playhouse. Photo by Brent Isenberger.

Press Release

Des Moines Playhouse Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kill Date: Oct. 16, 2022
Subject: The Des Moines Playhouse Penguin Project Presents Annie Jr
Photos available at https://dmp.dvlpsite.com/events/penguin-project-annie-jr/
Contact: Lee Ann Bakros, Playhouse Marketing & Public Relations Director, Lbakros@dmplayhouse.com, 515-974-5358

The Des Moines Playhouse Penguin Project presents Annie Jr, Oct. 14-16, 2022. Tickets may be purchased online at dmplayhouse.com and by phone at 515-277-6261. Annie Jr is sponsored by Fareway, Lincoln Savings Bank, and Workspace.  

Everyone’s favorite redhead goes on her first adventure in this 60-minute version of the popular Broadway musical. With equal measures of pluck and positivity, Little Orphan Annie is determined to find the parents who left her years ago on the doorstep of an orphanage run by the cruel Miss Hannigan. Annie eventually finds a new home and family with billionaire Daddy Warbucks, his secretary Grace, and a lovable mutt named Sandy. Annie Jr is presented in the John Viars Theatre.

Penguin Project productions are unique because all the roles are filled by young artists with developmental disabilities including Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism, intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, visual impairment, hearing impairment, and other neurological disorders. These artists are joined on stage by their peer mentors, youths of similar age without disabilities who have worked side-by-side with the artists through four months of rehearsals. The Penguin Project is a national program with 32 chapters in 16 states.

The Playhouse cast includes Elias Andersson, Joshua Baldwin, Maxwell Bird, DJ Brown, Lani Dirks, Amara Dunham, Indigo Ekhardt, Mattias Fiser, Elizabeth Xiao Janni, McKenna O’Meara, Daniel Pietig, Sabina Shelton, Tishon Smith, Robert Thacker, Stephen Togba, and Eli Zimmerman. The mentors include Corley Blackford, Emery Blackford, Madison Deyen, Cambria Dirks, Liz Francis, Aya Haidar, Kylie Halstead, Jackson Hamilton, Wyatt Hamilton, Lillian Krizer, Nathan Long, Joy Mielke, Julia Neighbors, Ingrid Oakley, Julia Richer, Jayne Stieler, Larryah Travis, Charlotte Turner, Gennie Weis, and Annie White. Annie Jr. is directed by Kim Van Haecke with music direction by Kersten Daubitz and choreography by Natalie Thomas. The program director is Annie Mielke.

The Playhouse mission is to create extraordinary, shared experiences through live theatre. The Playhouse vision is to be the home for artistic collaboration where any story can be told. Located at the 42nd Street exit of I-235, the theatre has presented a full season of shows since 1919 and also offers a wide variety of educational experiences including classes for ages 4 to adult, theatre trips to New York, and volunteer opportunities onstage and backstage.

For more information about The Playhouse and Annie Jr, visit dmplayhouse.com or call 515-277-6261.

Annie Jr Performances: Oct. 14-16, 2022
7:00 PM Friday and Saturday
2:00 PM Sunday (ASL interpretation provided at this performance)

Annie Jr Tickets 
$10 All Ages
To purchase: Dmplayhouse.com, 515-277-6261, or Des Moines Playhouse ticket office, 831 42nd St, Des Moines, IA 50312. Ticket office hours Noon-5:00 PM, Tuesdays-Fridays, and 90 minutes prior to shows.

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Show Credits

Book by Thomas Meehan

Music by Charles Strouse

Lyrics by Martin Charnin

Presented on Broadway by Mike Nichols

Originally Produced by Irwin Meyer, Stephen R. Friedman, Lewis Allen, Alvin Nederlander Associates Inc, The John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Icarus Productions

Based on Little Orphan Annie ® By Permission of The Tribune Content Agency LLC

Presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All materials supplied by MTI Shows www.mtishows.com

Sponsored by

  • Fareway Stores Inc
  • Lincoln Savings Bank
  • Workspace
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