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K-State Today

July 7, 2021

K-State theatre professor directs KC indoor reopening theatre production

Submitted by Jerry Cranford

ANNIE The Musical at the J

Associate Professor of Theatre Jerry Jay Cranford served as director and choreographer of Kansas City's first indoor live theatre production that opened this weekend. The Jewish Community Center Theatre's production of "Annie The Musical" began on July 3 and continues through July 25, with many performances nearly sold out because of limited capacity seating.

The cast features K-State alumni Franci Talamantez-Witte as Miss Hannigan and Lauren Taylor as Lily St. Regis with current student Jyck Green on the running crew. With a cast and crew of more than 30, the show features two girls alternating in the role of Annie, Riglee Bryson, age 8 and Ailia Ford, age 10. Sandy is played by Buck of David's Animal Training. Buck was rescued at 6 months old from the devastation of the Joplin, Missouri, tornado 10 year ago. Last week, the production was also filmed for streaming release which will be available through the J's website beginning July 17.

In 2018, Cranford was awarded Best Director of a Musical for his production of "Newsies" at the same theatre.