September 9, 2019

LCT Announces 'Annie Jr.' Featuring Children with Special Needs

La Crosse, WI – 09/09/19 – La Crosse Community Theatre announces that tickets go on sale Monday, September 16, 2019 for The Penguin Project production, Annie Jr. Performances are Friday, October 11 at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, October 12 and Sunday, October 13 at 2:00 p.m. in the Lyche Theatre at Weber Center for the Performing Arts.

The Penguin Project was created by Dr. Andrew Morgan and provides children with special needs an opportunity to develop creative skills, partner and network with others, and participate in a fully realized musical production. The Artists, who are children with special needs, will take the stage to perform a modified version of Annie. The Artists get on-stage assistance from their Mentors.

“La Crosse Community Theatre is extremely proud to be a part of the nationwide program, The Penguin Project. As the 29th replication site across 16 states, LCT has made a commitment to bring the power of live performance to children with special needs. The Penguin Project takes this wonderful initiative a step further by partnering these artists with mentors, or children without special needs, who work side by side with the artists throughout the entire rehearsal and performance process. The result is pure magic as powerful, unique friendships are formed in the spotlight of a beautiful Broadway musical. I urge any and all to come and see what the power of theatre can accomplish when individuals with differences come together to collaborate on performing in a show,” said LCT Producing Artistic Director, Grant Golson.

With equal measures of pluck and positivity, little orphan Annie charms everyone’s hearts despite a next-to-nothing start in 1930s New York City. Annie is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of an orphanage run by the cruel Miss Hannigan. Annie eventually foils Miss Hannigan’s evil shenanigans, finding a new home and family in billionaire Oliver Warbucks, his personal secretary, Grace Farrell, and a lovable mutt named Sandy.

Annie Jr. is directed by Stacy Bruemmer. This production also features music direction by Mary Blaha-Deboer, choreography by Brianna Herber Frost, set design by Grant Golson, costume design by Theresa Smerud, lighting and sound design by Tim Harris, accompaniment by Vicki Riness, technical direction by Peter Suardi, and stage management by Katelyn Klieve.

The Artists are Tiara Potts as Annie, Stephen Reischl as Oliver Warbucks, Destinee Freybler as Grace Farrell, Grace Olson as Miss Hannigan, Jackson Larson as Rooster, Lila Dummer as Lily, Eliza Levendoski as Molly/Mrs. Pugh, Ray Charbeneau as Pepper/Mrs. Greer, William Matz as Tessie/Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Hailey Isen as Duffy/Annette, Mara Peterson as July/Cecille, Jason Wex as Drake/Apple Seller, Carson Schuster as Staff/Policeman, Wade Schuster as Staff/Sound Guy/Louis Howe/Dogcatcher/Angry Man, and Jett Schryver as Staff/Bert Healy.

The Mentors are Bella Bouldan, Adalyn Dehli, Nora Erickson, Anna Fortuine, Evangeline Galvan, Gigi Galvan, Greta Griffith, Reese Guest, Alayna Hamamoto, Trinity Horstman, Jake Kaiser, Josh Kaiser, Grace Kearney, AJ Kies, Elizabeth Matz, Megan Ramsay, Anna Reiss, Katie Sauer, Rubie Stetzer, Ellie Sullivan, Nolan Sullivan, and Rayna Torgerson.

“This has been one of the most inspiring things I have witnessed in my life! In a world full of negativity, The Penguin Project is a beacon of positive energy. The theatre is the place where everyone is welcome,” said Director, Stacy Bruemmer.

Annie Jr. is presented by La Crosse Community Theatre, The Penguin Project Foundation, Altra Federal Credit Union, and Mayo Clinic Health System. This production is sponsored by Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, Gundersen Health System, Gundersen Partners, La Crosse Community Foundation, and Xcel Energy.

Tickets are $12 and may be purchased over the phone or at For questions or tickets, please call the box office at 608-784-9292 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.