Kate is suppose to be one of smaller orphans. Yet a few broadway tours back, she was an older orphan.Amanda Balon played Duffy.She did not look the oldest at all. When she played Annie, Molly was bigger than she was. In this production Taylor plays Duffy. Georgi is bigger and looks older.Madi is the understudy for Kate. She is nearly 13. Kate is 7 or 8! I know they have to look young to stay in the show. Is it more about age or size to stay in? They are all talented.
As far as what allows a child to stay in the show, there is usually a height limit for the children. If a girl grows above a certain height or starts going through puberty and starts to look older, she likely won't stay with the show much longer.
In regard to the age of each character, I wondered why they even bothered to continue using those ages in the character descriptions when they clearly have not been following them in casting for a long while. As long as Molly is the smallest and Pepper is big enough to be intimidating, I don't see where in the script the ages of the characters really matter.
I didn’t know the orphan ages until later. I saw an interview with Alyssa milano. She stated she played the little orphan. I thought she meant Molly. I did some research history on the cast. I found out she played Kate. I then looked up the orphans ages. I did more research on cast history and script changes. Example being Molly having the lead in Smile in the 1982 movie. However, most productions give Duffy lead vocals in the song. Kate wasn’t the second youngest in the movie either. I had to do research to clear up my own confusion.