ANNIE: It’s the Hard-Knock Life,
From Script to Stage Offers an Unprecedented Inside View of
the Making of a Broadway Show
Airs Friday, June 28th at 8:00pm on WTVP-HD 47.1.
- Primetime special charts one production number from inception to performance,
following the child actors and Broadway production team leading up to Opening Night -
“Everyone knows ANNIE. Even my dog knows ANNIE,” says Tyrah Odom,
currently appearing as one of the orphans in the new Broadway revival of the beloved musical.
ANNIE fans and audiences nationwide are now offered an exclusive, behind-the
curtain look at what it takes to put on a major Broadway production, in the primetime special,
ANNIE: It’s the Hard-Knock Life, From Script to Stage,
airing Friday, June 28th at 8:00pm on WTVP-HD 47.1.
The documentary film follows the development of a single production number in
the musical: the tuneful and rhythmic “It’s the Hard-Knock Life,” defiantly belted out by the
orphans. From the earliest discussions among the set and costume designers, through the casting
process, into choreography and vocal rehearsals, onto the stage, and finally, into performance,
the program follows the young cast’s journey to Opening Night. ANNIE: It’s the Hard-Knock Life,
From Script to Stage will show audiences that actors are only one part of a complex
whole when it comes to a major Broadway production.
Viewers will be introduced to the work of the talented creative professionals who
impact, shape, and contribute to the final production. Broadway veterans — Tony Award winning
choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler (In The Heights), Tony Award winning costume designer
Susan Hilferty (Wicked, Spring Awakening, How to Succeed in Business Without
Really Trying), and set designer David Korins (Chinglish, Godspell, An Evening
with Patti Lupone & Mandy Patinkin, Motown) — reveal their creative process as they
work to prepare the young actors, most of them making their Broadway debuts. Additional interviewees
include James Lapine (director), Martin Charnin (lyricist), Thomas Meehan (book), Charles
Strouse (music), and pre-teen actors Tyrah Odoms, Emily Rosenfeld, and Jaidyn Young, among others.
Of an ensemble cast recruited from all across America, the pint-sized Emily Rosenfeld – the orphan
Molly – is the documentary’s standout star, leaping off the screen with her infectious enthusiasm,
singing and dancing chops, and outsized 9-year-old charm.
A comprehensive accompanying Web site at
features quizzes, historical games, audio presentations, and video interviews with the Broadway
production team, giving kids and families everywhere an opportunity to explore the world of the
musical. The Web site sets a new standard for educational outreach in support of a Broadway
production, and provides an innovative model for re-imagining the way children and their families
relate to live theatre, whether on Broadway, on tour, or in their local high school auditorium.
ANNIE: It’s the Hard-Knock Life, From Script to Stage is directed by
award-winning filmmaker Joshua Seftel (Taking on the Kennedys, War Inc,
This American Life). Seftel and his crew spent more than six months following the Broadway
revival behind the scenes as the show raced toward opening night. “I first saw ANNIE on
Broadway when I was eight,” says Seftel. “Growing up with two sisters, the ANNIE cast
album was constantly playing. Many years later, it is a special experience to get to see the
show reimagined up close.”
ANNIE: It’s the Hard-Knock Life, From Script to Stage is a
presentation of THIRTEEN for WNET. For 50 years, THIRTEEN has been making the most of the rich
resources and passionate people of New York and the world, reaching millions of people with
on-air and online programming that celebrates arts and culture, offers insightful commentary on
the news of the day, explores the worlds of science and nature, and invites students of all ages
to have fun while learning.
Executive-in-charge of production: Stephen Segaller. Executive Producer: Julie Anderson.
Produced and directed by Josh Seftel. Produced by Jill Landaker Grunes.
Funding for ANNIE is provided by The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, the
Helena Rubinstein Foundation, the Henry and Lucy Moses Fund, and the Lillian Goldman Programming
Additional funding for ANNIE educational outreach provided by The Kenneth
and Hazel Roe Foundation and the Leslie and Roslyn Goldstein Foundation.
In 2013, WNET is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of THIRTEEN, New York’s flagship public media
provider. As the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET brings quality
arts, education and public affairs programming to over 5 million viewers each week. WNET produces
and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American
Masters, Need to Know, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children’s
programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in
educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math,
Oh Noah! and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling
content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and
diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJ Today and MetroFocus,
the multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region.
For further information contact Linda Miller, WTVP Vice President of
at (309) 495-0591 or firstname.lastname@example.org