ANNIE: It’s the Hard-Knock Life, From Script to Stage

Education Initiative

Air date: 06/28/2013

THIRTEEN Brings Broadway’s ANNIE into New York City Classrooms with Online, On-air and Hands-on Theater Education Experiences

Three-part education initiative engages students in musical theater through in-school workshops, an interactive website, and a PBS documentary to air in June

THIRTEEN, New York’s flagship public media provider, and Arielle Tepper Madover Productions will bring hands-on theater education experiences to New York City students through the latest component of a three-part education initiative — made up of audience development, an interactive website and a PBS documentary film airing this June — that strives to make the Broadway revival of ANNIE much more than an exciting new production of a classic musical. Through partnerships with the New York City’s Department of Education’s Office of the Arts and the Collaborative Arts Project 21 (CAP21), a Manhattan-based non-profit arts education organization, and with generous support from the New York City Council, a unique audience development program will immerse public school educators and underserved students from across the city in the art of musical theater.

On Tuesday, April 9, 2013, public school educators representing ten New York City schools will attend a kick-off workshop at THIRTEEN in which they will be introduced to the Broadway revival of ANNIE and its associated curricular resources, including an examination of THIRTEEN’s interactive ANNIE web site, a sneak peek at the upcoming PBS documentary ANNIE: It’s the Hard-Knock Life, From Script to Stage, and a preview of CAP21’s in-school workshops. Educators will leave the workshop equipped with resources for bringing ANNIE to life with students, and strategies for integrating these resources into standards-based classroom instruction.

Following the kick-off workshop, CAP21 Teaching Artists will present follow-up arts education sessions to students in each participating school. Students will review the plot and characters of ANNIE and take part in hands-on ensemble activities designed to introduce them to basic acting, singing, and dancing skills. Students will utilize these skills to examine and dramatize their own experiences in the musical number “N.Y.C.”

The audience development program will culminate with students and teachers attending a matinee performance of ANNIE on Broadway. Following the performance, teachers and students will participate in a talk-back session with performers and members of the ANNIE production team. The educational enrichment program will provide students with access to one of New York City’s most iconic and distinctive cultural experiences.

The audience development program provides an exciting new element to THIRTEEN’s existing ANNIE educational initiative, which provides children nationwide with interactive, 21st century learning experiences designed to sharpen literacy skills and foster lifelong interest in the performing arts. Launched in October 2012, THIRTEEN’s online ANNIE environment at allows fans to explore the world of the musical theater through quizzes, historical games, audio presentations, and video interviews with the Broadway production team. A nationally broadcast documentary, airing on Friday, June 28 at 10 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), will provide viewers with an up-close look behind the scenes of a major Broadway musical. ANNIE: It’s the Hard-Knock Life, From Script to Stage follows the development of a single musical number from the earliest phases of the creative process through Opening Night, and shows audiences nationwide that actors are only one part of a complex whole when it comes to a Broadway production.

“Bringing the backstage excitement of Broadway into New York City public school classrooms represents a dynamic new dimension to THIRTEEN’s already fertile partnership with the Broadway production,” says Neal Shapiro, WNET’s President and CEO. “This unprecedented union continues our dedication to creating lifelong learning opportunities and adds to the station’s longstanding support of children, the arts, and arts education.”

ANNIE producer Arielle Tepper Madover adds, “We’re thrilled that New York City students and teachers will have this opportunity to experience ANNIE both in the classroom and at the theater. Through WNET’s Web site, the upcoming documentary, and the face-to-face CAP 21 workshops, we’re providing students in ANNIE’s hometown with learning experiences that will have an impact long after they see they show.”

“The City Council is proud to support the participation of students and teachers in critical arts education workshops,” says New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “In order to give children a full education, the arts must be a part of it. Arts education should not be seen as a luxury, but rather as a tool that can help further children’s development by improving motivation, concentration and confidence – among many other benefits. I want to congratulate all involved in this initiative – the partners, the teachers and especially the children – for their dedication to the arts.”

Funding for the ANNIE education initiative is provided by The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Helena Rubinstein Foundation, the Henry and Lucy Moses Fund, The Kenneth and Hazel Roe Foundation, the Leslie and Roslyn Goldstein Foundation, and the Lillian Goldman Programming Endowment.


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About WNET
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.