The Cast & Crew of Annie

 
 
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Valerie Amrhein
Producer/Stage Manager

This is Valerie's first go at stage-manager/ producer. She has been with GACT off and on since 1981. Past roles with GACT have included M'Lynn in Steel Magnolias, The Baker's Wife in Into the Woods, and Gingy in Love, Loss and What I Wore.  Valerie was also involved with Meadville Community Theater.

 
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Alan J. Anderson
“Daddy” Oliver Warbucks

Alan’s first appearance with GACT was halftime entertainment during Shame of Tombstone, in 1985 performing Who’s on First, with his brother Douglas. He has performed in many GACT shows over the years wit his favorite role “Aldopho” in “The Drowsy Chaperone.” Alan is active in many community theatres including the Area Community Theater of Sharpsville; the Academy Theatre in Meadville; and the Burrow Civic Theatre in Franklin. Alan is thankful to his genetics for preparing for him for the role of Daddy Warbucks.

 
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Heather balas
Director

Heather has been a member of the GACT family since 1995, plus has performed as a Thiel Player and at Greenville High School, and as a child with the group now known as the Penn-Ohio Young Actors Playhouse.” I have come a long way since my first role as the Queen of Spades in Alice In Wonderland. I am honored to make my directorial debut with GACT’s production of Annie.”

 
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Michael Balas
Drake/Bert Healy

When not hunting for ants, Michael has performed in several GACT shows, including The Odd Couple (2008), Into the Woods (2009), Nunsense (2010), Little City, Big Lights (2011), The Drowsy Chaperone (2012) and Blame it On the Movies (2017).

 
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sydney balas
Betsy

While young in age, Sydney returns to the GACT stage as an orphan, with her first performance was as a munchkin in the Wizard of Oz in 2016. “not on stage acting, I can be on stage dancing for ViBe Dance Academy.”

 
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Amy Caraballo
Cecile, Ronnie Boylan, Star-to-Be, Ensemble

Amy makes a return to GACT stage following last year’s production of “Blame It on the Movies,” but has also been seen in Little City, Big Lights, Nunsense and Rumpelstiltskin many years ago. “I enjoy performing and can also be seen in many other community productions in the Shenango Valley,” with credits including the Potiphar’s Wife in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Snow White in Off Snow White, and Dorothy in Dorothy in Wonderland, as well as many others.

 
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Sebastian Caraballo
How, Wacky, Apple Seller, Ensemble

Joining GACT for a second production after having debuted in Blame It ON the Movies in 2017 Sebastian is no stranger to the stage, having been performing since he was 7 - With productions including Seussical, A Thoroughly Modern Millie, Once Upon a Mattress as Prince Dauntless and Crazy for You at Hickory High School; as well as Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Ship of Dreams with the community theaters in the Shenango Valley.

 
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Gabriella Chester
Kate

With one show under her belt, Gabriella is making her GACT debut, but is an avid lover of musical and plays. Her other credit includes The Music Man, where she was part of the chorus. “I am so excited to be a part of the show, I can’t wait.”

 
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Mia Ford Elizabeth Clemons
Pepper

Despite her young age, Mia is a veteran of the stage, performing at the tender age of 3 during a theater arts gig at the Pierce Opera House, doing Charlotte’s Web 2.0, where she played a spider. Her other performances include Midsummer Nights’ Dreams, Jason and the Argonauts, The Golden Key, plus her church plays, plus A Tale of Two Christmases. In addition to acting, she plays piano, plus is a part of the robotics team at school.

 
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Barbara Long-Cooper
Mrs. Pugh / Maid

Beginning in the early 1990s, Barbara’s first show was “Chicago,” playing Mona a Merry Murderer, but has been in most of the productions since, either on stage or backstage. “GACT is such a wonderful to spend the summer and I love the cast and crew. Break a Leg Everyone! XOXO”

 
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Sarah Doperiala
Bonnie Boylan, Frances Perkins

While she has been acting since the 6th grade, debuting in the Wizard of Oz, this is her first production with GACT. “It has been many years since then, but I have continued acting where ever I am. I am excited to be part of my first GACT production.”

 
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Lauren Faber
CHOREOGRAPHER

Lauren is a rising senior at Westminster College, pursuing a bachelor of music in vocal performance and a bachelor of arts in communications. On campus, she is a section leader in Concert Choir, part of the Chamber Singers ensemble, plus made her Opera Westminster debut as Anna in the 2015 world premiere of Katharina von Bora and played Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro in spring of 2018. She also participated in Opera Scenes in the spring and fall of 2016, completed an internship with the New Castle Lyric Opera, plus studied abroad at Opera Viva! an opera program based in Verona, Italy in the summer of 2017. She will be attending Summer Music Study in Hungary this July as well. She made her Theatre Westminster debut in the fall of 2016 as Robin Starveling in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and played the role of Frenchie in Cabaret the spring of 2017. She is also the choreographer for GACT's production of Annie this year. She participated in the NATS competition her freshman and sophomore years and was the winner of the 2016 Concerto and Aria Competition at the college. 

 

 
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Jennifer Ferguson
Lily

Jen’s theatre experience began in 1988 with the former Young People’s Theatre, now the Penn Ohio Young Actors Playhouse and continued into high school at Greenville. She has been steadily involved with GACT since 2009, appearing on-stage as Snow White in Into the Woods, Purity in Anything Goes, and in ensemble roles in Nunsense, Bright Lights, Little City; The Drowsy Chaperone, I Love You You’re Perfect, Now Change; The Wizard of Oz, and last year’s Blame it on the Movies. She also served as the assistant director for GACT’s production of Steel  Magnolias and has also participated in GACT Gives Back and GACT dinner theatre performances. Jen currently serves as the theatre director for both Greenville High School and the Penn Ohio Young Actors Playhouse. She teaches chemistry and advises the yearbook at Hickory High School and, in her spare time, enjoys camping with her family-which includes 6 year old son Carter, tap dancing with Vibe Dance Studio, and bowling.

 
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KARyn Kirchhofer
Musical Director

Karyn's first show with GACT was "City Lights" and has faithfully been Music Director since. She is also the Music Director at Hillside Presbyterian Church in Greenville, PA. She would like to thank her family for their support.

 
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Amanda Kokoski
Woman 1 / Usher

This is Amanda’s first musical but said that Annie is “my absolute favorite musical.” She said she is happy to be part of GACT, and thankful for all the support from family, friends and the GACT actors.

 
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Amy Leskovac
Hull

Amy was in the Young People’s Theatre with the Greenville Cen Center growing up from the age of 6 to 16. Later in high school, she was cast in Brigadoon as well as The Sound of Music. While this is her first time in a GACT production, she said “I am so excited to be with such a talented group of people.” She works as a behavior intervention specialist with Sharon Regional, and is the busy mom three kids, Maggie, 11; Drew, 9; and Sophia.

 
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Lindsey Lloyd
Woman 3 / Ensemble

Lindsey is a 19-year-old who resides in Hartstown with her mom Theresa and stepdad Dave Hurd. She also the mama of a fur baby Emma.  “I love to dance and take tap, jazz, ballet and will take modern dance at Lakeside Dance in Conneaut Lake. This is my first show at GACT. I have been in plays at Jamestown High School my freshman, sophomore and junior years. I would’ve never done this without everyone at GACT. Enjoy the performance!”

 
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Hannah McKinney
July

Hannah made her acting debut in her first play Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in 2016, then Alice in Wonderland in 2017, both with Penn-Ohio Young Actors Playhouse. This year, Hannah will take on the role of Tinkerbell in Peter Pan Jr. with POYAP, plus she has also danced for six years and played the piano for two years.

 
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Ian Miller
Man 1 and 2 / Ickes / Judge

A rising freshman at Thiel College, where he will major in education, Ian makes a debut with GACT, but has been in several productions that I have been involved include West Side Story, The Music Man and Ax of Murder at Greenville High School, plus the Penn-Ohio Young Actor Playhouse Peter Pan Jr. playing Captain Hook.

 
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Madison Morris
Tessie

This very active 10-year-old is thrilled to be playing Tessie in Annie. Maddie is a fifth-grade at Hermitage schools and enjoys playing soccer, studying dance at Alessandra’s Dance Academy and singing with the Shenango Area Youth (SAY) Chorus. Maddie has been involved in church and community theatre for several years and would like to thank her family for their love and encouragement.

 
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Nathan Nitczynski
Policeman

Nathan said he is ‘thrilled to join the cast of Annie” this summer!”  No stranger to the stage at Thiel College, he choreographed and performed in productions under the direction of Bill Robinson as a student. This is his second show with GACT – previously choreographing and performing in” The Wizard of Oz” in 2016. He is a former cast member of The Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, and recently graduated with a master’s degree from Youngstown State University. Continuing with his love of dance, he teaches dance in Fredonia, New York, at the Infinity Dance Academy in jazz, lyrical, and musical theater in addition to coaching several of the competitive teams. “Special thanks to Heather Balas for everything she does!”  

 
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Catherine Patterson  
Morganthau

Catherine, better known as ‘Cat’ has been in shows with GACT, including the Wizard of Oz, and made an appearance in Blame It on the Movies; plus, has performed the Reynolds Theater Club, Penn-Ohio Young Actor’s Playhouse and during a special dinner theater fund-raiser for Heritage Days. ” I would like to thank everyone for this opportunity. I would also like to thank my mom for driving me.”

 
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Lola Rack
Duffy

Lola said, “I like acting in plays and performing, with my first play The Wizard of Oz with GACT,” plus have performed in the high school talent show and won first place. She also enjoys playing the ukulele in m free time and look forward to performing in future productions.

 
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Kristina Reeher
Grace Farrell

Kristina Reeher has been in love with theater her entire life.  She began acting and singing as a young child and has been in numerous production over the years.   Working with Thiel College and GACT have been among the most treasured memories of her life.  Her most beloved characters to portray have been:  Annelle (Steel Magnolias), Cinderella (Into the Woods), and Janet (The Drowsy Chaperone).

Kristina would like to thank her family for allowing her to take time away to play dress up with her friends.

 
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Sammi Jo Reeher
Molly

Sammie Jo Reeher is so proud to be a part of this production of Annie.  GACT has been a large part of her life, acting in her first role with GACT at age 2.  Sammie Jo has been a part of many wonderful productions both at Thiel College and with GACT.  Her favorite roles to date are: Toto (Wizard of Oz) and now as Molly (Annie).  Sammie Jo has a true love of theater and cannot wait to continue her life on the stage.

Sammie Jo would like to thank the cast and crew of Annie for a wonderful summer, and her family for helping her to participate in an activity that brings her such joy!

 
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sidney richardson
Annie

Sidney will enter eighth grade at Greenville High School in the fall, where she played basketball, volleyball and was on the track team; plus participated in choir. “GACT is something my mom, dad and cousin have participated in. I would like to thank my entire family for your support and would especially like to thank my cousin Tanner for helping me throughout the summer; and to my mom Catherine Richardson for doing anything and everything for me and for always being here when I need you.”

 
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Susan Swartzbeck
Connie Boylan/Sophie/Annette

Susan joined GACT on the invitation of a friend (thank you, Barbara!) for the 2001 production of Once Upon a Mattress, and has been involved with almost every production since then, along with the GACT Gives Back events and performing as a GACT Singer with the Greenville Symphony Orchestra. In addition to performing with GACT, Susan has performed with the Clarks Mills UM Drama Disciples dinner theatre. “It is such a joy to join the cast and crew for 'Annie' this year - and I am especially thrilled to share the stage again with my talented granddaughter, Lola! Special thanks to Heather, Valerie and Karyn!! Break a Leg to all!!”

 
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Kathy williams
Miss Hannigan

Kathy is a regular on the GACT stage, making appearances in many of the shows during the history of the group, including villinace The Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz, “I am thrilled to be able to bring Miss Hannigan, another perfect misunderstood villain to life in Annie. I have been involved with GACT for so many years that I consider all the cast and staff as my family. Thanks to my own family for allowing me to pursue my acting dream.

 
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Belinda Wilson
Dog Catcher/ Mrs. Greer

I have been on the stage since my freshman year at Grove City High School and with GACT for about 18 years.  I am the guidance counselor at Reynolds Elementary School and have directed 5 plays for the fourth through sixth grade hoping to pass on the love of theater to the student body there. My most memorable performances include the Gloomy Princess in the children's play "The Invisible Dragon" and Ouiser in Steel Magnolias. Few things, like my family, friends, and golf,  make me happier than being  someone else on stage. The GACT family has become an extension of my own family and I want to thank all of you for including me in these wonderful productions. May everyone's hearts sing as "Annie" is brought to life here at the Bill Robinson Theatre.

 
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Tanner Yake
Rooster Hannigan

GACT has been a home for Tanner for as long as he can remember and said “I am beyond excited to bring forth this production of Annie. Rooster Hannigan is every’s tenors’ dream role,” and playing along Kathy Williams, Kristina Reeher and the exceptionally-breathtaking Sidney Richardson is a dream come true. “This one’s for you Grandma.”

 
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raymond yurko
Mr. Bundles / Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Returning to the Greenville Area Community Theater for a second show, Ray served in the U.S. Army and in 1996 was selected to perform in all U.S. installations and many European bases. After 20 years, he returned to the stage for the 2017 production of Blame it On the Movies and played a pirate in the HUMC production of Peter Pan. Ray said he is “Having fun with a great cast.”