The upcoming production of the well-loved musical “Annie” is coming together in a great flurry of excitement, activity and talent at KHS every weekday morning beginning at 6 a.m., for the next eight weeks.

According to producers Russ and Connie Keller, this year’s show promises to be the best yet. Funded and sponsored by the Symphony of the Canyons, under the direction of Kortney Stirland, “Annie” is entirely directed, produced, staffed, acted and organized by local theater and musical talent. Performances are scheduled for August 4, 5 and 6 at KHS Auditorium.

Producers Russell and Connie Keller were both born in Kanab, although Connie grew up in Fredonia.

Russell graduated from Kanab High School, and Connie from Fredonia High. He attended Snow College, Utah State and UVU in Provo, and she went to Dixie Junior College and then cosmetology school in Provo, Utah. They have lived in St. George and Kanab most of their married life. Russell worked in construction and brick masonry, and most recently as the Kanab City Building Inspector, until the Kellers left to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana mission, where Russell had served as a young man. Connie was a stay-at-home mom for their seven children, plus one foster son who has become a permanent part of their family. They have 28 grandchildren.

The Kellers find time in their busy lives to pursue artistic talents. Russell and his brother Alma Keller produced summer melodramas and entertainment at the Old Barn Theater behind Parry Lodge in Kanab for many years, much to the enjoyment of tourists and locals. (Russell can still be persuaded to perform “Rinder-Cella” upon occasion.) Connie has performed in “Fiddler On the Roof” in the St. George Community Theater, along with “Beauty and the Beast” and “Music Man” here in Kanab, in which she played Mrs. Parroo. She has sung in the Kanab Community Choir, Sweet Adelines, and numerous other ladies barbershop quartets for many years, performing often for the Barbershop Men’s Show in St. George on KJZZ-TV. These talents, along with great organizational ability and hard work, make the Kellers a great asset to this year’s production.

Russell says they are excited to be involved, and this year’s production is promising to be a wonderful show. Connie is particularly impressed with the quality of the actors in the cast. A big thanks to the Kellers for this community service!