PLYMOUTH — The Educational Theatre Collaborative at Plymouth State University will present the musical, "Annie," from Jan. 22-26 at the Silver Center for the Arts in Plymouth.

“The hope and optimism found in the story of Annie is still so relevant and important today,” said Trish Lindberg, artistic director of the Educational Theatre Collaborative. “This incredible cast of more than 120 community members has embraced that positivity and brought it to each and every rehearsal. I feel honored to work with such a stellar cast and crew.”

Set in the Great Depression, Annie tells the story of an exceptional 11-year-old who uses her poise, personality and positive attitude to escape her “hard-knock” life at Miss Hannigan’s orphanage. After leaving the orphanage to stay with billionaire Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks one Christmas, Annie wins his heart and they set out on an epic mission to find her parents. Based on the popular Harold Gray comic strip, the Broadway musical features music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin and a book by Thomas Meehan. The Broadway production of Annie won Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book.

More than 120 community members of all ages from 15 towns across New Hampshire will participate in the production as cast and crew. The company is memorizing lines, choreographing musical numbers, creating costumes and preparing for opening night, all over just 19 days. This is possible because older cast members help younger cast members develop the skills and confidence they need to shine on stage. Many cast members prepared for their roles extensively before the first rehearsal.

The show’s leading lady is 11-year-old Irene Pletcher from Hanover. Annie also brings many familiar faces back to the Silver Center stage, including Amy Weston of Meredith as Grace, Fran Page of Plymouth as “Rooster” Hannigan, and Joe Casey of Plymouth as Drake. Michael Smyth of Orford, an ETC newcomer, will play Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks. The company also welcomes 10-year-old Sunny, a former rescue dog, who starred as Annie’s precious mutt, Sandy, in the 2014 Broadway revival.

Annie will run Jan. 22-26 at 7 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday; matinee performances will take place at 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

For information about 'Annie' and to purchase tickets, contact the Silver Center for the Arts box office at 603-535-2787 or visit plymouth.edu/silver-center/tickets.

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