Annie Opens in Coralville with a Baker’s Dozen of Orphans!

For her production of Annie, director Liz Tracey increased the number of orphans to 13 to give the full effect of an overcrowded orphanage. Pictured, left to right, front row: Chelsea VeDepo, Grace Bartlett, Maya Hanna, McKenzie VeDepo; second row: Clare Visser, Maple Miller, Camila Koch (as Annie), Shea Sanders, Ana Rippentrop; third row: Rana Saba, Maddie Mitchell, Lilly Vogts, Violet Whiting.

The ever-popular musical Annie will be presented by City Circle Theatre Company of Coralville December 6–8 and 13–15, 2019, at the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts.

Little Orphan Annie charms everyone’s hearts in this fun-filled musical based on the popular comic strip by Harold Gray. In adventure after fun-filled adventure, Annie foils Miss Hannigan’s evil conspiracies, adopts a lovable mutt named Sandy, befriends President Franklin Roosevelt, and finds a new home and family with billionaire Oliver Warbucks.

Nikki Scheel (Lily St. Regis) and Robert Kemp (Rooster Hannigan)

The winner of seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Annie features some of the greatest musical theater hits ever written, including “Tomorrow” and “It’s a Hard Knock Life.” Cast members come from throughout the Corridor and range in age from 7 to 72.

In directing this production, City Circle veteran Liz Tracey brought her own personal experiences to casting the show.

Miss Hannigan  (Mary Denmead), besieged by “little girls”

“In the original Broadway production of Annie, there were seven orphans, including Annie,” she says. “I grew up with six siblings, so seven did not feel like an ‘institutional’ amount of kids for one woman to take care of. I decided to almost double the number of orphans to thirteen because I wanted Miss Hannigan (played by the delightful Mary Denmead) to feel trapped in the house with nowhere to turn for privacy. With thirteen kids, I was able to set up their bedroom in true dormitory style, which gave me the ability to create a whole new look for the choreography of the iconic song ‘Hard Knock Life.’ Though I increased the number of girls in the cast, I still wanted to make sure that they would have very distinct personalities.”

Larry Newman (Daddy Warbucks) and Camila Koch (Annie)

The title role is played by 10-year-old Camila Koch, a fifth grader from Iowa City. This is Camila’s first City Circle production and she is bursting with excitement to play this role. Her canine co-star is Risky, a 7-year-old Golden Retriever, who plays the dog Annie turns to for love and comfort when life gets hard.  Risky’s late mother played Sandy 7 years ago at Iowa City Community Theatre.

Annie is a wonderful holiday season activity for the whole family. In fact, our cast members themselves range in age from 7 to 72!” says Tracey. “People will recognize several City Circle veterans in the cast, and we are also excited to welcome many new performers to this company.”

During the performances of Annie, City Circle will be collecting cash and gift card donations to benefit the Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center. Anyone who donates will be entered to win tickets to an upcoming City Circle performance with winners drawn at each performance.

Tickets to the show can be purchased online at, by phone at (319) 248-9370, at the CCPA box office at 1301 5th Street in Coralville, or at the Coralville Recreation Center. Student Rush tickets will be available at the Box Office one hour prior to the December 7 performance for $10 per ticket.