Dog star of ‘Annie’ found at Helen Woodward

RANCHO SANTA FE — “Annie,” the next production for Starlight Theatre in Balboa Park partnered with Helen Woodward Animal Center and trained an orphaned dog to star as Sandy in their summer season.
The one-year old Barney, a terrier and golden retriever mix, is currently waiting at the Helen Woodward for his debut on opening night. Together, with owner/operator Rob Kuty of San Diego Pet Training, Barney has trained over the past few months to perform his first and last stage role as Sandy in the family musical classic.
This partnership came together as Starlight Theatre, The Helen Woodward Animal Center and SD Pet Training started to discuss how Little Orphan Annie is not unlike orphaned Barney, since both seek to find a family to call their own. As a result, they discussed how wonderful it would be to help train Barney, an adoptable dog, to take on the role of Sandy, the lovable street dog, for their production. Fortunately, Barney’s foster home has fallen in love with him and we are happy to say he is no longer an “orphaned” dog.
“When the idea of bringing this to Starlight’s stage came about, I can’t tell you how excited I was to make this all happen,” Carlos Mendoza, guest artistic director of Starlight Theatre, said. “Not only do we get to witness something new and thrilling on our stage in the way of Barney, a specially trained pet for our show, but we get to see him go home with a fantastic family as well. Everyone is bound to fall in love with Barney’s performance and the story of how he came to be on our stage”,
“Annie” runs from Aug. 13 to Aug. 30. Performances begin at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $10 and children are free on Thursdays and Sundays. For tickets, contact the box office at (619) 232-7827 or online at


Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?