Live theatre comes back to PAC with Annie


The Gary Dickinson Performing Arts Center (PAC) has been closed to fine arts productions since the pandemic began in March 2020. This month the PAC will reopen with a production of Annie.

According to Lisa Rule, drama director at Chillicothe High School, the cast has been practicing with strict safety measures. “Annie could have been a very large cast show, but I chose to use minimal numbers; you’ll see cast members in double or triple roles for this production. We also had limited practices and workdays, so this is more of a bare-bones set than we are accustomed to presenting. Finally, we masked and socially distanced ourselves throughout all of our rehearsals. The only time we will be unmasked is as we walk on stage. We also bypassed the orchestra for this production and are using recorded music--a first for CHS, but our vocal director Mr. Mrkvicka has helped us through the process.”  

The orphans make life miserable for Miss Hannigan (Draya Shady) in the spring production of Annie which will be presented at the Gary Dickinson Performing Arts Center on March 25-28.

Another safety protocol will be limited audience numbers. Only 180 seats will be available for each performance, so the number of performances has been increased to five. There will be shows on Thursday, March 25 at 7 p.m., Friday, March 26 at 7 p.m., Saturday, March 27 at 1 p.m., Saturday, March 27 at 7 p.m., and Sunday, March 28 at 1 p.m.. All seats for each performance will be pre-sold either at the high school or at Community Press. All seats will be $15. Rule noted It is unlikely that there will be tickets available for sale before each show.  Questions about tickets can be directed to. Rule at

The show will also be recorded and made available online during the performance window. Starting on March 25, viewers can log on to and type in Chillicothe High School. The Annie performance will be listed and you can watch it from your home. For that viewing, there will be $15 plus a processing fee. 

Although many roles have been double or triple cast, the roles of the orphans are played exclusively by these elementary students: Landry Marsh as Annie, Maddie Savage as Molly, Quinlyn Marsh as Kate, Ella Cady as Tessie, Brynley Beemer as Pepper, Jessi Saucedo as July, and Nora Schneider as Duffy.  The high school cast is as follows: Dimitri Dickerson as Mr. Warbucks, Ella Leamer as Grace, Draya Shady as Miss Hannigan, Anderson De Jesus as Rooster. Ensemble characters include Libby Washburn, Amanda Brade, Lauren Cavanah, Kadence Shipers, Braxten Johnson, Tucker Wagers, Trey Tipton, Hannah Dominique, Julietta Keller, Leah Lourenco, Alisyn Worman, Emmett Young, Brock Ward, Chace Corbin, Chloe Funk. Crew includes Emma Rule, Megan Sisson and Jackson Reeter.  Matthan Mrkvicka’s Choraliers class also appears to sing a special. 

Rule says that Annie is a family-friendly show, but parents need to be aware that the character of Mr. Warbucks does say “Damn” before he cleans up his act for little Annie.