Madeline Hoskins stars as ‘Annie’ at Peoria Players

David Brankin
Daddy Warbucks, played by Dave Schick, sings with Annie, played by Chillicothe resident Madeline Hoskins.

Everyone’s favorite little orphan is at it again in Peoria.

The popular musical, “Annie,” is beginning its run at the Peoria Players Theatre.

The production stars a few of Chillicothe’s own, including 12-year-old Chillicothe Elementary Center student Madeline Hoskins, who plays the lead role of Annie.

Hoskins began her acting career in 2008 while playing Gretl in the Chillicothe Summer Theatre’s 2008 production of “The Sound of Music.”

While preparing the role of Annie has been more difficult than her previous theater experience, Hoskins said she has enjoyed the experience all the same.

“It’s been really different (than ‘The Sound of Music’), but very fun too,” she said.

According to Hoskins, the cast has rehearsed Monday through Friday almost every week since September.

“Staying on top of my school work has been the hardest part,” she said, “but I’ve managed so far.”

But Hoskins has not needed to manage the work alone.

When she was cast for the play, Madeline’s parents, Bob and Kim Hoskins, found ways to not only support their daughter, but to get involved with the show.

“The director hadn’t cast a part she thought she had,” said Bob, “and when she came to me about doing it I thought it was an incredible opportunity.”

Bob has been working on stage with his daughter since September, preparing his own roles as part of FDR’s cabinet, among others.

“I was a little leery at first,” he said. “I did theater in high school, but this is my first venue in 20 years. But knowing Madeline was involved I thought it might be great, and it’s been incredible actually, getting to interact with each other this way.”

Kim, Madeline’s mother, has also played a considerable role in set design, Bob said.

But while having her parents around has been great, Madeline said she still finds it hard to say what the best part of the experience has been.

“It’s been really fun having my dad on stage with me,” she said, “but I still really like working with the dog. I think I like being in the Warbucks’ mansion too.”

“Annie” is now showing at the Peoria Players Theatre for 10 performances during this month, including 7:30 p.m. showings on Nov. 16-19 and matinees at 2 p.m. Nov. 19-20. For more box office information, call 688-4473 or go to www.peoriaplayers.org.