Cast & Creative Team

CLARA BECKER (Tessie): is happy to be in her first play with WOB. She thinks cleaning the house is more fun now! Her past favorite roles have been Tiny Tim (A Christmas Carol), Mort (Madagascar Jr.), and the Queen Lilliputian (Gulliver's Travels in Space) with the Maryland Ensemble Theater. She also plays fiddle with her family band, The Merry Landers.

BEKAH BURGOON (July): is a freshman in high school who has enjoyed performing in the Academy of Arts Productions’ of No Place to Flee and Esther. She is also a member of the Frederick Chamber Singers with the Frederick Children’s Chorus.

CALLAWAY DRUMMER (Ensemble): is making her stage debut. She is an avid horse rider and ninja warrior. Callaway loves to sing and dance and play outdoors with her siblings. She is so excited to be sharing the stage with her mommy. (She promises mommy is much nicer in real life!)

MELANI DRUMMER (Miss Hannigan): is a performer/choreographer/dancer teacher/VO artist originally from South Africa. Graduate of Musical Theatre/A.I.D.T Associates in Tap. International Credits: Cats world tour-original S.A. cast, Fame, Evita, S.A./European tour of Showboat (choreographer); Into the Woods, Anything Goes (Reno), 42nd Street (Dorothy Brock). Melani regularly choreographs for dance/performing arts companies both here and internationally. She is married to her leading man, Brad, and has 4 wonderful children.

KATHARINE FORD (Annie): is thrilled to be playing her dream role. She is a student at Mount View Middle School. Credits include Mary Poppins (Jane) and Annie (Orphan) at Olney Theatre Center; Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Jemima), The Sound of Music (Marta), Fiddler on the Roof (Bielke), Annie Get Your Gun (Nellie), Shrek (Peter Pan), and The Magic of Christmas (Kate) at WOB. She studies voice with Cathie Porter-Borden and is a member of the Pre-Professional Program at Adventure Theatre MTC Academy.

KYLEE HOPE GERACI (Annie): is excited to be working with WOB.  Credits include:  REGIONAL:  Olney Theatre Center:  Annie (Molly); Ford's Theatre:  Ragtime (Little Girl – Helen Hayes Award, Best Ensemble); Nextstop Theatre:  Willy Wonka (Charlie Bucket).  DC AREA:  RCC Center Stage:  Gypsy (Baby June); NATIONAL TOUR:  A Christmas Story (Vocal and Dance Ensemble).  TELEVISION/FILM:  Evil Stepmothers (Young Kimberly Dunnachie); CopyCat Killers (Young Janice); Discovery Channel Kindness Documentary (Commentator); CFPB Xavier, Will Interactive (Girl Clone).

JACOB HALE (Bert Healey, Ensemble): is happy to be returning to the WOB stage after performing as LeFou in Disney's Beauty and the Beast. He graduated in 2016 from Oakland Mills HS, where he performed titular roles in Shrek: The Musical and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, among others. He has recently appeared as Jack in a production of Into the Woods which he also directed, and has performed with The Memorial Players in Baltimore, The Laurel Mill Playhouse, and Columbia’s Silhouette Stages. Soon, he will be playing the role of Flounder in The Little Mermaid at Toby's Dinner Theater. Jacob has also worked as Assistant Stage Manager for the 2016 and 2017 Christmas productions of Shadowland Stages in The Hudson Valley of NY, Assistant Director for Compass Rose Theater’s 2017 production of Pygmalion in Annapolis, and is Assistant Directing Oakland Mill's HS's production of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).

MADELYN GRACE KISKA (Duffy): has literally grown up at WOB, where she is now the third generation of the family to appear on its stage. A Middletown 5th grader, she has been dancing with The Dee Buchanan Studio of Dance for as long as she’s been able to walk and is always willing to share her thoughts about a production with her Poppie and Uncle Justin when they are directing a show. Sometimes, she can also be found in the Box Office helping her Grammie welcome guests to the theatre. She would like to thank her mommy, daddy, and Jaimie for sharing their acting talents with her.

DANIELLA KULP (Kate): previously appeared in productions of School House Rock (Ensemble), A Year with Frog and Toad (Snail), and Wish Upon a Dream (Jamie) at Holton-Arms; Thwacked (Ms. Finkleton) at Adventure Theater; and Willy Wonka Kids (Matilda, Grandma Georgina, Oompa-Lumpa) at Ballet Petit. She is looking forward to the 5th grade at Bradley Hills Elementary. Thanks to everyone at WOB for a wonderful experience, and special love to her family who braved the endless commute from Bethesda for rehearsals and shows.

BRIAN LYONS-BURKE (Warbucks): is returning to WOB for the third time, having previously appeared as King Arthur in Spamalot and Grandpa Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. He most recently appeared as Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd with The Arlington Players. Other roles include John Major in The Audience, King Triton in The Little Mermaid, Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, Charlie in The Bridges of Madison County, Captain Arthur Keller in The Miracle Worker, Uncle Ernie/The Gypsy Queen in The Who’s Tommy, Martin in A Grand Night for Singing, Captain Hook in Peter Pan, Thénardier in Les Misérables, and Roger De Bris in The Producers.

OLIVIA MANOS (Tessie): is excited to return to WOB! She has previously appeared in A Christmas Carol (Tammy Tim), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Jemima) and Shrek (Young Fiona). Olivia is a 6th grader at Walkersville Middle School where her favorite subjects are math and science. In her spare time, Olivia enjoys GVAA basketball, track, cheerleading, and playing the ukulele.

MELISSA ANN MARTIN (Ensemble): is excited to return to the WOB stage! This is the fourth production of Annie for Melissa, having played every female track in the show except Grace! Favorite past roles include: Maria in The Sound of Music, Lina Lamont in Singin’ in the Rain, and Fiona in Shrek. Please enjoy our show! Love and thanks to family and friends.

CARRIE McKNIGHT (Ensemble): is thrilled to making her WOB debut! Her past, and most memorable, credits include Ragtime (Sarah) and Seussical (Sour Kangaroo). She would like to thank God for blessing her with such supportive parents, wonderful friends, and being able to work with an amazing and talented cast.

ARIEL MESSECA (Drake, Ensemble): is back on the WOB stage after having been seen as Miles Gloriosus in Forum earlier this season. Other favorite WOB appearances have been Anything Goes, Spamalot, Into the Woods, and The Addams Family. He has been seen at Toby's in Mamma Mia!, Spamalot, Young Frankenstein, and Mary Poppins, to name a few. Aside from performing Messeca directs and is a professional painter. Enjoy the show!

EMILY MEYERS (Ensemble): is just tickled to be back on stage and making her debut at WOB. She has supported nine shows locally over the past several years as producer/production manager (for FtP & OVT), while undergoing and recovering from knee replacements made necessary by “too much bar room dancing” in FtP’s Oliver! Emily is passionate about singing and performing and it was through this love that she met her soul mate and husband of 31 years, Peter. Favorite past roles/shows: Carousel (Mrs. Mullin), Camelot (Nimue/Morgan le Fey), Grease (Patty Simcox), Godspell, Funny Thing…Forum. She sends her gratitude to Samn, Bill, and Jordan for believing in her. To the Kiskas: “I know I’m gonna like it here.”

PETE MEYERS (FDR): is thoroughly enjoying his fifth appearance on the WOB stage. Recent performances: Erronius in Funny Thing…Forum (WOB), Howard Cunningham in Happy Days (WOB), Papa Bear in Shrek the Musical (WOB), Eeyore in Winnie-the-Pooh-Christmas-Tail (OVT), Mr. Bumble in Oliver! (FtP). Pete also enjoys the creative process of musical theater both from the pit and behind the scenes- Music Director: Babes in Arms (FtP), Legally Blonde (OVT). Director: Nunsense (FtP). In 2016 Pete was awarded Best Musical Direction, Community Theatre, by DC Metro Theater Arts for FtP’s Babes In Arms. Favorite past roles: Billy (Carousel), El Gallo (Fantasticks), Mr. Twimble (H2$), Rabbi (Fiddler). Pete is thankful at the opportunity to share the stage with his wife Emily - much love & thanks to her for her love & support!

ELIZABETH MOONEY (Kate): is happy to be working with WOB for the first time. She is a 5th grade student at Frederick Classical. Credits include Matthews (Elf, Jr.), Orphan (Annie, Jr.), The Princess (Princess and the Pea) and Sneezy (Snow White). She studies Voice with Jennifer Irons and dances at Dance Unlimited.

EMMA MULLINIX (July): is a seventh grader at Northern Middle School and has been performing for the last two years. Most recently, she has appeared in The Jungle Book (Shere Khan), Aida (Nubian), The Wizard of Oz (Munchkin/Ozian/Winkie), and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (Shirley/Ollie). She has fallen in love with the theater and can't wait for all her friends and family to come see her in this iconic musical. She would like to thank her mom and dad for taking her to classes/rehearsals and always being there for her.

CHRIS REED (Ensemble): lives in Thurmont, MD and is a 2018 graduate of Catoctin High School, where he served as president of his high school drama club.  Chris is an honors member of the International Thespian Society and has done many shows such as Oklahoma!, Humbletown the Greatest Town on Earth, Fairy Tale Courtroom, Grease, Auntie Mame, and Once Upon a Mattress. This is Chris' second show here at WOB, having just appeared in Beauty & the Beast.  He is very proud to be a part of this theatre group and happy to be a part of this show.

CLAIRE STEVENSON (Molly): is excited to be in her first show! She is a 4th grader at Urbana ES and a member of the 24/7 Dance Company. She would like to thank Mr. Huffer, the WOB team, her family, and her friends for supporting her.
JORDAN B. STOCKSDALE (Rooster/Music Director): is the theatre’s Artistic Director and Resident Music Director. Since assuming the position, he has music directed every production since 2010; directed Steel Magnolias and Nunsense A-Men!, co-directed Disney’s Beauty & the Beast; and wrote 2010’s Christmas Follies. In addition to his stage appearances at WOB, he has performed in theatres throughout the Maryland-Virginia region. Some favorite roles include Shrek (Shrek), Baker (Into the Woods), Gomez (The Addams Family), Jean Val Jean (Les Mis), and Edna (Hairspray).

ELIZA STRAND (Pepper): is appearing in her first production at WOB, which she hopes will be followed by many more. She would like to thank her family for getting her to and from rehearsals.

ROWAN OLIVIA TARMY (Duffy): was in Fiddler On The Roof with WOB in 2015 as Bielke and has treasured her memories with the cast ever since. She has been pursuing her acting career since the age of four, with her first performance as Patty the puppy in 101 Dalmatians and since then has been cast in over 15 stage productions, 4 TV shows, 6 short films, 2 commercials, and 2 feature films. This fall you can catch her in the feature film Ben is Back with Julia Roberts as a mall shopper in a scene across from Ms. Roberts or in the Justice magazine for young girls. Rowan is able to chase her dreams because of the support from  her mom (driver), dad (accountant), little sister, Keira (cheerleader), and countless friends (homeschool crew) she now calls family for always supporting her.

TORI WEAVER (Lily): has been performing regularly at WOB since 2014 when she appeared as Sister Berthe in The Sound of Music. Since then, she has gone on to perform in a number of productions including Sister Act (Sister Mary Lazarus), Happy Days – The Musical (Pinky), The Pirates of Penzance (Kate), Into the Woods (Baker’s Wife), A Very Merry Christmas, Spamalot (Lady of the Lake), Spelling Bee (Olive), Anything Goes (Erma), The Magic of Christmas, A Charlie Brown Christmas (Lucy), West Side Story (Anita), Fiddler on the Roof (Golde), It’s Christmas!, Annie Get Your Gun (Dolly), and Les Misérables. She was seen in the title role of the Children’s Theatre’s production of Junie B. Jones – The Musical. Additional credits include Reefer Madness with Being Revived and Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! at the MET. Other favorite roles: Sister Robert Anne in Nunsense, Millie in Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Smitty in How to Succeed…

HALEY WELLS (Ensemble): is extremely excited to be joining the cast of Annie. She began dance training at the age of 3 at Arabesque Dance Studio in Columbia, MD.  She continued her training at Florida State University before moving to New York City and enrolling in Broadway Dance Center’s Professional Semester. Recent credits include Young Frankenstein and Mamma Mia! at Toby’s Dinner Theater. Thanks to family, teachers, and friends for their constant love and support. 

MEGAN E. WEST (Grace): is back on the WOB stage after appearing as Mrs. Potts in Beauty & the Beast last season. Other recent WOB credits include Shrek, … Forum, Sister Act, and Happy Days. Regional credits include Rose Fenny in Dogfight, Tracy Turblad in Hairspray, Nadia in bare: a pop opera, Enid Hoops in Legally Blonde, and Maria in West Side Story.  Megan has worked at many theaters in the region, including Washington County Playhouse, the Old Opera House, and The Apollo Civic Theatre, just to name a few.  When not on stage, she can be found teaching choir at Musselman High School and teaching private voice lessons.

GABRIELLE WITTE (Pepper): is thrilled to be making her WOB debut! She is currently a sophomore at Magruder High School and has been dancing since she was 4. Some previous theatre credits include Hairspray, Jr. and Thoroughly Modern Millie, Jr. (Miss Flannery) at Adventure Theatre. When she is not on stage, she is hard at work on her technical training in the Pre-Professional Company at Adventure Theatre MTC Academy. She would like to thank her entire family for supporting her every step she goes.

DELANEY YABLON (Molly): is ecstatic to be living out her dream as Molly in WOB’s production of Annie. A 10 year old 5th grader, she’s been singing, dancing, and acting for many years at 24/7 Dance Studio. Previous on stage appearances include Gretl in The Sound of Music and Zuzu Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life, both at Brunswick High School. She’d like to thank everyone at WOB for giving her this amazing opportunity to do what she loves. She’d also like to thank her chorus teacher for helping her prepare for her audition, and last but not least, a big thank you to her Mom, Dad, and siblings for tolerating her nonstop singing. She doesn’t sing in the shower . . . she performs!

THOMAS MEEHAN (Book): received the Tony Award for co-writing the book for The Producers in 2001 and in 2003 for co-writing the book for Hairspray. He received his first Tony Award in 1977 for writing the book of Annie, which was his first Broadway show, and has written the books for the musicals Rocky, Elf the Musical, Cry-Baby, Young Frankenstein, Chaplin, Bombay Dreams, I Remember Mama, Ain’t Broadway Grand and Annie Warbucks. In addition, he was a long-time contributor of humor to The New Yorker, an Emmy-Award winning writer of television comedy, and a collaborator on a number of screenplays, including Mel Brooks' Spaceballs and To Be Or Not To Be. Mr. Meehan was also a member of the Council of the Dramatists Guild. He and his wife, Carolyn, divided their time between a home in Nantucket and an apartment in Greenwich Village, near which, on Hudson Street, she owned and presided over the long-running and near-legendary children's store Peanut Butter & Jane.

CHARLES STROUSE (Music): is a long-standing member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and in January 2002, an inductee into The Theater Hall of Fame. His first Broadway musical, Bye Bye, Birdie (1960), won him a Tony® Award and the London Critics Best Foreign Musical Award. In 1970, Applause, starring Lauren Bacall, achieved the same honors and his smash hit, Annie (1977), also won a Tony® for Best Score, as well as two Grammy Awards®. Some other musicals include Golden Boy (starring Sammy Davis Jr.), It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's Superman, and Dance A Little Closer, written with Alan Jay Lerner. He teamed again with Martin Charnin to create Annie Warbucks, the sequel to Annie.

MARTIN CHARNIN (Lyrics): created the role of Big Deal in the original Broadway company of West Side Story in 1957, the only acting job he ever had. He began writing during West Side and his first collaborator was Mary Rodgers.
He has subsequently been the director, lyricist, composer, librettist, producer or a combination of the aforementioned, for over 140 theatrical productions, including Annie, Annie Warbucks, the Rock Opera version of Joan of Arc, Mata Hari, Loose Lips, Star-Crossed, Sid Caesar and Company, Carnal Knowledge, In Persons starring Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson, The Flowering Peach, Winchell, the revised Can Can by Cole Porter (for which he wrote a new libretto), Cafe Crown, Mike, Laughing Matters, The No Frills Revue, The First, On the Swing Shift, A Little Family Business, Upstairs at O'Neals, The National Lampoon Show, Lena Horne on Broadway, I Remember Mama, Hot Spot, Zenda, Put It In Writing, Fallout, Kaleidoscope, Ballad For A Firing Squad, La Strada, Nash at Nine, Music Music, Two by Two, And in London, Bar Mitzvah Boy, Bless the Bride, The 9 1/2 Quid Revue, and internationally and regionally, 17 productions of Annie. Charnin was the artistic director of Seattle's Showtunes for 7 years, before moving back to New York for the 4th incarnation of Annie on Broadway.

SAMN HUFFER (Director/Choreographer): holds a B.S. and an M.A. in Music and Theatre and taught in the Maryland public school system for 39 years. He has performed, directed, and choreographed throughout the east coast including here at WOB. Favorite roles include Gen. Waverly (White Christmas), Don Lockwood (Singin’ in the Rain), Georges (La Cage aux Folles), Joe Hardy (Damn Yankees), Mr. Bailey (Wonderful Life), and Andre (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels). As always, he sends his love to his children, grand, and great-grand kids. Enjoy the show and support local theatre!

BILL KISKA (Executive Producer): is WOB’s Executive Producer and CEO. Since taking over the theatre in 2002, he has overseen every production, directing a majority of them, including Disney’s Beauty & the Beast,  Sister Act, Happy Days, SPAMALOT, Anything Goes, West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, Les Misérables, Sunset Boulevard, Legally Blonde, and Hairspray.

WAY OFF BROADWAY (Producer): The Way Off Broadway Dinner Theatre, under the direction of the Kiska family since 2002, is proud to be celebrating its 25th Silver Anniversary Season!  Since it first opened in 1995, the theatre has been a leader in the area’s theatre community, proudly bringing both classic musicals, as well as regional and area premieres to the Frederick stage. Productions have included Disney’s Beauty & the Beast, Sister Act, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Monty Python’s Spamalot, Noises Off, The Addams Family, Les Misérables, Sunset Boulevard, Legally Blonde, Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5: The Musical, Hairspray, South Pacific, The Drowsy Chaperone, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Full Monty, Mel Brooks’ The Producers, CATS, The Wedding Singer, Evita, The Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof, Grease, La Cage aux Folles, Guys & Dolls, Steel Magnolias, Annie, Bye Bye, Birdie, The King & I, …Forum, Lend Me a Tenor, Joseph…, Blood Brothers, Mame, and 42nd Street.  In addition to its regular season, the theatre produces a number of special events throughout the year including an annual Breakfast with Santa (and Mrs. Claus) and an interactive mysteries series.

MUSIC THEATRE INTERNATIONAL - MTI (Licensing Agent): is one of the world's leading theatrical licensing agencies, granting theatres from around the world the rights to perform the greatest selection of musicals from Broadway and beyond. Founded in 1952 by composer Frank Loesser, and orchestrator Don Walker, MTI is a driving force in advancing musical theatre as a vibrant and engaging art form. MTI works directly with the composers, lyricists and book writers of these musicals to provide official scripts, musical materials and dynamic theatrical resources to over 70,000 professional, community and school theatres in the US and in over 60 countries worldwide. MTI is particularly dedicated to educational theatre, and has created special collections to meet the needs of various types of performers and audiences. MTI’s Broadway Junior™ shows are 30- and 60-minute musicals for performance by elementary and middle school-aged performers, while MTI’s School Editions are musicals annotated for performance by high school students. www.MTIShows.com
Interested in seeing additional credits for the members of the Cast and Creative Team?
Visit AboutTheArtists.com's ANNIE PAGE .