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Cast members for Black Dirt Theater’s production of “Annie” perform a song during rehearsals on Monday. Star Gazette photo by Jane Lightbourn

'Annie' continues this weekend

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The musical, “Annie” literally fills the stage at Hastings High School. With a cast of more than 120 people and musicians, and numerous sets, the Black Dirt Theater’s show is set to be shared with the Hastings community this week.

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Eleven-year-old Rose Anaya plays Annie. She has previously appeared in “Oklahoma” and “The Sound of Music.” She was a munchkin in the Hastings High School production of “The Wizard of Oz” several years ago, too.

David Warg also brings experience to the stage. Most recently, he was in “The Odd Couple” and “Resurrection.”

Grace Farrell, Daddy Warbucks’ secretary, is played by Kristie Shaffer. Miss Hannigan, the operator of the orphanage, is played by Abby Gonko. Other lead characters are David Wasylik as Daniel “Rooster” Hannigan, Caitlin Weber as Lily St. Regis and Rob Andersen as Franklin D. Roosevelt. Another 100 people play the orphans, New York 14, New York teens, New Yorkers, Newsies, vendors, hobos, New York and Hooverville families.

The artistic director is Andy Langenfeld, with Robin Starch and Libby Wasylik as co-directors. The stage manager is Andrea Schoening and the music director is Erik Pearson (there are 20 musicians in the orchestra); the choreographer is Laura Mahler (there are 14 individuals dancers who are probably on stage more than most of the cast); and Ann Hill is costumer.

“The story of Annie is iconic — it is familiar to most,” she said.

“It is both delightful and heartwarming and moving,” said Wasylik. “What is remarkable about this production is the skill the cast is presenting — it is wonderful.”

“Annie” will be presented at 7 p.m. July 31, Aug. 1 and Aug. 3; and 2 p.m. Aug. 4. There will be no performance Aug. 2, as the American Cancer Society’s Bridge to a Cure Relay for Life is held at the high school.

Tickets are available by visiting www.blackdirttheater.com or calling 1-800-838-3006. They are also available at the YMCA of Hastings.

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