WELCOME! WE KNOW YOU’RE GONNA LIKE IT HERE! Dear Educators and Parents, Meet Annie. She’s 11 years old, with red hair and a smile from ear to ear, and she’s back on Broadway! This classic musical is no stranger to the stage, and it has already enchanted over 50 million people of all ages around the world. Now, this shining example of American musical theatre is reaching a new generation of audiences. We are delighted that you and the young people in your life will get the chance to take the journey from an orphanage down on the Lower East Side, to a mansion on Fifth Avenue, to the bright lights of Broadway. This new and fresh production will allow you to experience the magic of Annie’s universal quest for family and belonging, whether you have grown up loving her or you are meeting her for the very first time. The inspiring message that ANNIE offers to audiences of hope and optimism in the face of the darkest of times is perhaps more relevant to today’s young people than ever before. In a world in need of creative solutions, conversations across the country rage on about the necessary components for student success through education in order to prepare young people as future leaders. Many strongly believe in the importance of building character and creativity in addition to the traditional academic curriculum. The New York Times recently published an article that discussed the key characteristics researchers say our young people need, citing “Grit” as one of the most important traits necessary for future success. Based on the research of Angela Duckworth, “Grit” was the word used to describe an individual who “combined a passion for a single mission with an unswerving dedication to achieve that mission, whatever the obstacles and however long it might take.” Annie provides a new generation with a strong role model, one who demonstrates resourcefulness, ingenuity, and unflappable passion in order to achieve her goals. Annie’s definitely got grit, and her story is one that we hope will excite, challenge, and inspire the young people in your lives. In order to get the most out of your experience at the theater, we hope you will take full advantage of this Enrichment Guide, which offers ways to enhance your understanding and personal connection to the show and its themes. We look forward to welcoming you to the theater, and we hope that your visit with ANNIE is filled with laughter, discovery, and fun. -Arielle Tepper Madover
We are thrilled to introduce you to Annie, the orphan who has captivated
countless audiences around the world and now, she’s back in New York on Broadway. This Enrichment Guide will enhance your experience of seeing the show, and deepen your understanding of the production. Full of accessible information and hands-on activities, it will provide you with a comprehensive introduction to the art forms, themes, and content of ANNIE. As you navigate this guide, follow the key below to access information that is geared specifically for you:
* *TEACHERS: Lessons are provided that can be used and adapted for students, elementary through high school. All activities and curricula have been aligned with the K-5 and 6-12 Common Core Learning Standards for English Language Arts Literacy and History/Social Studies National Common Core standards to ensure that they match the goals of your curriculum while at the same time providing a rich and exciting arts education foundation. Reference the STANDARDS ADDRESSED for each activity found in the guide. For more information about the Common Core Learning Standards, visit www.corestandards.org.
“Instead, you’ll have classrooms! And teachers.”
- Daddy Warbucks
*STUDENTS: Handouts are provided for teachers to reproduce to extend the students’ experience of the lesson. These documents are written directly to the student.
*FAMILIES: These activities can be used by families who are interested in enriching their experience of the show. Whether you are interested in creating a craft inspired by the show, sharing a post-show discussion, or exploring New York City through Annie’s eyes, you will find activities and information that will allow you to enhance your trip to ANNIE.
Thank you for joining us and getting to know ANNIE. We hope you’ll take advantage of this resource, and use it as a way to begin or extend your experience of this beloved musical.
You’re only a page away…
ANNIE ENRICHMENT GUIDE TABLE OF CONTENTS
“HER NAME IS ANNIE” : GETTING TO KNOW THE SHOW a. ANNIE Page to Stage b. Annie’s Introductions c. Synopsis d. Bringing ANNIE Back to Broadway
“UP THERE IN LIGHTS I’LL BE” : THE BROADWAY MUSICAL a. Handout: Musical Structure b. Activity: Making it Musical
“I DON’T NEED ANYONE BUT YOU” : THE MEANING OF FAMILY a. The concept of “family” in ANNIE b. Handout: Who is in your locket? c. In-Classroom Activity: Maybe Living Scrapbook d. Extension Activity: My Version of “Maybe”
“N.Y.C., WHAT IS IT ABOUT YOU?” : NEW YORK CITY THEN AND NOW a. Handout: Annie’s New York- Then and Now b. Extension Activity: “I’ve never seen these things!”
“UNTIL NEXT WEEK…SAME TIME, SAME STATION!” : MEDIA AND COMMUNICATION a. The Comic Strip b. In-Classroom Activity: Comic Creation c. Radio Theater d. In-Classroom Activity: Drama on the Radio
“IT’S A HARD-KNOCK LIFE” : ECONOMICS AND ANNIE a. The Great Depression and A New Deal b. In-Classroom Activity: Character and Status c. Handout: Role of Economics in Decision-making d. Economics Then and Now
“THERE’LL BE SUN” : MAKING A NEW TOMORROW a. Optimism in ANNIE b. Writing Prompts c. A NEW DEAL in My Community
“HER NAME IS ANNIE”: GETTING TO KNOW THE SHOW ANNIE: PAGE TO STAGE Annie, the red-headed orphan full of optimism and charm, has delighted audiences for nearly 100 years! Long before she was singing and dancing on Broadway or lighting up the silver screen, Little Orphan Annie appeared in another one of the nation’s major institutions- the pages of the Daily News.
ON THE PAGE Created by cartoonist Harold Gray, the Little Orphan Annie comic strip first appeared in August of 1924. Capturing the political and economic spirit of the time, the strip and its leading lady swept the nation. Featuring the adventures of a young girl without any family to call her own, Annie connected to the American public at a time when people needed hope and an independent spirit. Gray used the comic strip to comment on the state of the country. He was influenced by the stock market crash, the Great Depression, and World War II. Q: Can you name any current examples of entertainment that also reflect the current political and economic issues facing the country? Q: How does popular entertainment allow us to think about the world through the use of a fictional character?
LEAPIN’ LIZARDS! :
According to Harold Gray, Annie was inspired by meeting a young girl on the streets of Chicago while looking for cartoon ideas. “I talked to this little kid and liked her right away,” Gray said, “She had common sense, knew how to take care of herself. She had to. Her name was Annie. At the time some 40 strips were using boys as the main characters; only three were using girls. I chose Annie for mine, and made her an orphan, so she’d have no family, no tangling alliances, but freedom to go where she pleased.”
ON THE AIRWAVES In 1930, Little Orphan Annie became one of the first comic strips adapted for radio. As one of the first radio shows to appeal to young people, the show ran for nearly ten years and gained nearly six million listeners!
ON THE SCREEN Annie has found her way to the movie screen several times, appearing for the first time in 1932 starting Mitzi Green. Perhaps the most well-known film version, an adaptation of the stage musical, premiered in 1982 and featured a star-studded cast that included Carol Burnett, Tim Curry, Bernadette Peters, Albert Finney, Ann Reinking and Aileen Quinn as Annie. ON STAGE ANNIE became a Broadway musical in 1977. Adapted for the stage by Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin and Thomas Meehan, Annie’s story came to life in song. Chronicling her journey from the orphanage to the home of Oliver Warbucks, the musical is perhaps the most lasting and beloved incarnation of this classic character. Now on stage again, the musical’s message of resilience in the face of adversity, and “the sun will come out” idealism will inspire a new generation of audiences.
ANNIE: Leapin’ Lizards! It’s nice to meet you. Let me tell you about
me. I’m 11 years old. I have red hair. And I have one wish: to find my parents. You see, they left me when I was just a baby, but they left half a silver locket around my neck, so that I’ll know it’s them when they come to find me.
Let me introduce you to everyone ya need to know THE ORPHANS: I live in an orphanage with a bunch of other girls, including Molly, Pepper, Duffy, July, Tessie and Kate. For us, it’s “a hard-knock life,” all because of…
MISS HANNIGAN: The lady who runs the orphanage where I grew up, which makes no sense, considering she hates kids. She tries to keep us orphans in line, but she’s no match for me. GRACE FARRELL: The wonderful woman who comes to the orphanage one day to invite an orphan to spend Christmas at the home of… OLIVER WARBUCKS: A man who has lots of money (he might be the richest man in the city!) but has no family of his own. He lives in a big mansion and has lots of people who work for him. DANIEL “ROOSTER” HANNIGAN: The brother of Miss Hannigan,
who has no money. They are always looking for a scheme that will lead them to “Easy Street.” He and his girlfriend LILY ST. REGIS are up to no good…
LILY ST. REGIS: The girlfriend and ditzy sidekick of Rooster, who
joins in on any nasty plot that he and his sister cook up.
BERT HEALY: A swell radio announcer who helps
me spread the word that I’m looking for my parents.
SANDY: How could I forget Sandy, my best friend
(who also happens to be a dog) who has no family but me! Q: Now that you know everyone in my story, what do you think is going to happen to me and
the people I know?
STUDENT HANDOUT – ANNIE’S WORLD Instructions: Draw a line between two characters who you think will be linked in the story, and describe what you think might happen on the line you draw. Try to create a web with as many connections as you can imagine!
Annie Oliver Warbucks Miss Hannigan
Bert Healy President Roosevelt Daniel “Rooster” Hannigan Lily St Regis The Orphans Grace Farrell Sandy
SYNOPSIS Act 1: The year is 1933, and New York City is in the midst of the Great Depression. An eleven year old girl named Annie lives in an orphanage downtown hoping for a better life. Miss Hannigan, who runs the orphanage with a cruel and unforgiving hand, catches Annie when she tries to run away to find her long-lost parents. Because of Annie’s disobedience, she and the rest of the children in the house are forced to clean the whole orphanage. Annie uses this chore as a diversion, and successfully escapes in a laundry basket covered with blankets. On her own in the city, she runs into a stray dog that she names Sandy. Annie and her new friend are caught by a policeman and once again sent back to Miss Hannigan. When it seems like all hope is lost, a woman named Grace Farrell, assistant to the wealthy Oliver Warbucks, invites an orphan to spend the Christmas holiday at the Warbucks mansion, and much to Miss Hannigan’s dismay, she chooses Annie! Grace and the servants make her feel at home when she arrives, but Oliver Warbucks is initially disappointed with Annie, hoping that Grace had chosen a boy. He quickly changes his mind and grows fond of the girl after an exciting night out in “N.Y.C.” In time, Warbucks decides to adopt Annie, and tries to give Annie a new locket to replace the one her parents left her, but she refuses. He realizes that Annie still hopes to find her family. He says he will find Annie’s parents no matter what it takes.
Act 2: Annie goes on the radio, broadcasting a plea to find her parents and a reward of 50,000 dollars from Warbucks for anyone who can find them. Along with her con-artist brother Rooster and his girlfriend Lily, Miss Hannigan creates a plan to trick Annie into believing that she has found her long lost parents by disguising Rooster and Lily. Even though hundreds of couples show up to Warbucks’ house to claim the 50,000 dollars, Grace confirms them all to be fake. Rooster and Lily (in disguise as Ralph and Shirley Mudge) successfully trick everyone by offering information about the locket, and providing the missing other half of it. Just in time, with the help of President Roosevelt himself, it is revealed that Annie’s parents died when she was born and that the Mudges are not really Annie’s parents! Miss Hannigan, Lily, and Rooster are all arrested. Even though she doesn’t find her parents, Annie realizes that Warbucks and Grace have become family to her, and she is officially adopted by “Daddy” Warbucks!
BRINGING ANNIE BACK TO BROADWAY
“Annie really inspired me when I was a kid. Her hope and optimism were such a great joy to see…I believe it’s time for new generations to have the opportunity to see this show on Broadway.” – Producer Arielle Tepper Madover
ANNIE returns to Broadway with new energy and originality fueled by the top-notch creative team bringing the show to life! Meet a few key members of the creative team reimagining ANNIE for this exciting new production: DIRECTOR’S LEADERSHIP The DIRECTOR oversees and orchestrates the mounting of a theater production by leading the cast and creative team in realizing a unified artistic vision. A
Director James Lapine is an award-winning theater artist, known for both his accomplished directing and playwriting career. While he has extensive experience in creating new works of musical theater, he was excited to take on a project like ANNIE, which has been interpreted by other artists in the past, and bring his own unique vision to it. “I was interested in it because I haven’t done anything like this before,” says Lapine.
A CHOREOGRAPHER’S IMAGINATION
The CHOREOGRAPHER creates all of the dance, movement and musical staging in the production.
Choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler was interested in working on ANNIE because it is set in a particular period in history. While much of his experience has been on more contemporary musicals, Blankenbuehler brought his fresh and innovative approach to this classic. According to Andy, “A lot of my work has to do with me paying attention to my imagination.” Andy immerses himself in the script, the music and the history of ANNIE to create his choreography.
SCENIC DESIGNER’S VISION
The SCENIC DESIGNER creates the set that fills the stage and creates the world of the musical around the performers. Scenic Designer David Korins created the visual world of ANNIE on stage, from Miss Hannigan’s orphanage all the way to Warbucks’ mansion. After many conversations and brainstorms with James Lapine and the rest of the creative team, Korins first built small scale models of the set so that he could show his designs to the rest of the team before they were built and finalized. Korins was excited to bring a new look to ANNIE’s world: “We’re making ANNIE for 2012 and beyond, and it will look and feel completely different…” – David Korins For more information and media on the creative team and this exciting new production of ANNIE, visit http://www.thirteen.org/annie
“UP THERE IN LIGHTS I’LL BE”: THE BROADWAY MUSICAL The production of ANNIE you see on stage takes the form of a classic musical. The genre of musical
comedy first became popular in the beginning of the 20th century, and is one of America’s greatest artistic legacies. There are basic elements that can be found in nearly every musical, and ANNIE is no exception. While you watch the show, look for these key features, and think about what role they play in telling the story of ANNIE. OVERTURE: The music that the orchestra plays when the lights first dim at the start of the show, usually before the story has begun. This piece of music will introduce musical motifs and melodies of songs that you will hear later in the show.
Q: What songs or sounds do you recognize in the Overture? H ow does it make you feel?
OPENING NUMBER: This is the song that starts the show, and will usually introduce the audience to the main characters, launch the story and set the tone for the rest of the show.
Q: Who sings the opening number in ANNIE? What is it about? What do you think it tells us about the story we are about to see? Why do you think a musical begins in song instead of a scene?
“I WANT” SONG: Most musicals have an “I WANT” song that happens early on in the show. In this song, the main character(s) or hero sings about the most important thing that they want, the goal they will spend the show trying to achieve. Q: What is the “I Want” song in ANNIE? How does this song communicate the main idea of the show? INTRODUCTION OF THE VILLIAN: Every musical has a villain, or a main obstacle, that stands in the way of the main character from achieving their goal. The villain allows the story to have an exciting conflict that needs to be resolved.
Q: Who is the villain in ANNIE? Does this character also have a mission that he or she is trying to accomplish? How does this character stand in the way of the hero?
THE CLIFFHANGER / END OF ACT I: Many musicals are told in two parts: a first and second act separated by an intermission. At the end of Act I, the audience is left with an unresolved conflict that they will be left to think about during the intermission. This cliffhanger builds suspense and launches the audience into the second half of the show waiting for the resolution. Q: How does the first act of ANNIE end? What do you think will happen in the second half? How do you think the conflict will be resolved? THE “ELEVEN O’CLOCK NUMBER”: This song appears in the latter half of the second act, and it is often the most energizing of the songs in the show. It is intended to excite the audience and lead them into the final chapter of the story. It gets its name from the time in the night when it was usually sung (when musicals started at 8:30 at night, this song would be sung around 11 o’clock!). Q: What do you think the eleven o’clock number is in ANNIE? Who sings it? What is its function in the overall story? THE FINALE: This moment comes at the very end of the show, and is usually an exciting song that happens after the plot has been resolved. The song is often catchy so the audience hums it on the way out of the theater.
Q: How is the plot of ANNIE resolved? What is the finale number? How did it make you feel?
ANNIE THE MUSICAL
In-Class Activity: Making it Musical AIM: To apply musical theater concepts to other areas of study in an effort to understand classic musical theater structure. To understand the art form of adaptation. STANDARDS ADDRESSED: COMMON CORE Speaking and Listening Standards 1, 4, 5 Writing Standards 3, 4, 5 1. Select an area of study in literature or history that you are currently studying in your classroom.
4. First, ask your students to determine the name of the musical, and where they imagine the beginning and end of the story to be (i.e. from the Boston Tea Party
2. Ask your students to think about the academic unit you are studying through the lens of a Broadway musical.
5. Ask the students to create a main character
3. In groups, ask students to design the structure of a musical using the content of your current unit (i.e. if you are studying early American history, ask your students to design a musical around the American Revolution).
to the Signing of the Constitution). 7. Ask students to decide which moments in the plot they feel would be better told through song than spoken dialogue.
8. In outline format, ask the students to decide the main ideas and titles of the OPENING NUMBER, the “I WANT” SONG, the “ELEVEN O’CLOCK NUMBER”, and the FINALE. Decide on the plot points.
rite s w t to oin a s p t o en plot p int cd e stu ajor n u a s e e d f k h k t 10 m bro I) an II). nd o s , T e A y 6. t the stor ACT (AC the e a REFLECTION QUESTIONS: ou the alf ( half hat clud the at e Q: What did this structure illuminate about the t h of rst h ond er ld in eav g w l b u area of study or story you chose? n fi m ho to eri e r s ! d m I Q: Why do you think stories are told in the e n n Re Act ang wo ppe format of a musical? What is different about iffh nce ll ha l c i singing from just telling the story through die w u a spoken scenes? Q: What was it like to adapt a story you were studying into a musical concept? LEAPIN LIZARDS: The creators of the musical ANNIE undertook a similar process when they adapted the musical from the Annie comic strip! The majority of musicals are based on other stories, either from books, poems, movies, or folktales. Why do you think theatrical adaptations are so popular?
“I DON’T NEED ANYONE BUT YOU”: THE MEANING OF FAMILY
When the play begins, Annie is an orphan with no parents to call her own. She lives in an orphanage, with several other girls who also don’t have any families to take care of them. During the course of the musical, Annie finds that she is able to build her own strong family. Her family members come in all shapes and sizes, and each one fills a different role in her life, from Sandy the dog to “Daddy” Warbucks. Annie wrestles with her wish to find her biological parents but finds a love of and attachment to other caregivers. This section will explore the meaning of family through the lens of the production.
STUDENT HANDOUT ACTIVITY: Who is in your locket? Annie’s parents gave her half of a locket when she was born, and it represents her connection to them. In the locket below, draw and/or write about the people in your life who are most important to you. Who is in your family? Who takes care of you when you need help? Q: What is your most prized possession? Is there an object or gift that you have received that represents the connection you have with your family?
In-Class Activity: “MAYBE” LIVING SCRAPBOOK AIM: To analyze a piece of text; To explore the themes of an ideal future and family unit represented by the lyrics of “Maybe”; To dramatically represent text
STANDARDS ADDRESSED: COMMON CORE Speaking and Listening Standards1, 4, 5 Reading: Literature Standards 2, 3, 4, 6, 7
1. Divide the students into four groups. Assign each group one of the following sections of the lyrics from MAYBE below. 2. Explain that these are lyrics from a song describing Annie’s ideal picture of what her parents might be like. 3. Ask each group to read their section of text aloud. What images do they see? What are the sights, sounds and smells associated to those images? 4. Ask each group to create a physical photograph from a scrapbook using their bodies and objects in the room to represent their lyric. 5. Play the song MAYBE. As the verse for each group begins, have them create their image for the rest of the class to see as the lyrics play. Move through the entire song, with each group setting up and freezing in their image when their lyrics come up. In this way, the class will create a living scrapbook of Annie’s imagination.
GROUP 1 GROUP 2 MAYBE FAR AWAY, MAYBE IN A HOUSE OR MAYBE REAL NEARBY ALL HIDDEN BY A HILL HE MAY BE POURIN’ HER COFFEE SHE’S SITTIN’ PLAYIN’ PIANO SHE MAY BE STRAIGHT’NIN’ HIS TIE! HE’S SITTIN’ PAYIN’ A BILL. GROUP 3 GROUP 4 BETCHA THEY’RE YOUNG, BETCHA THEY’RE SMART BETCHA HE READS, BETCHA SHE SEWS BET THEY COLLECT THINGS LIKE ASHTRAYS AND ART! MAYBE SHE’S MADE ME, A CLOSET OF CLOTHES! BETCHA THEY’RE GOOD - (WHY SHOULDN’T THEY BE?) MAYBE THEY’RE STRICT, AS STRAIGHT AS A LINE... THEIR ONE MISTAKE WAS GIVING UP ME! DON’T REALLY CARE, AS LONG AS THEY’RE MINE!
REFLECTION QUESTIONS Q: What do you think of Annie’s picture of her parents? Q: How does Annie’s picture differ from or relate to your ideal image of family life? Q: What was it like to create a frozen image set to music? Q: Did your impression of the lyrics change when you heard it in song, or saw the images your classmates created?
EXTENSION WRITING ACTIVITY
STANDARDS ADDRESSED: COMMON CORE Writing Standards 3, 4, 5 Based on Annie’s version of MAYBE, ask students to write their own version of MAYBE. What does their ideal version of home and family look like? How do they imagine it? Encourage students to create a version of the song using ‘ABAB’ rhyme structure.
“N.Y.C., WHAT IS IT ABOUT YOU?” ANNIE’S NEW YORK CITY “IT’S A HARD KNOCK LIFE” MUNICIPAL GIRLS ORPHANAGE (The Lower East Side) Home to New York City’s many recent immigrant populations at the turn of the century, the Lower East Side is the site of Annie’s orphanage. Walking around the neighborhood, you can still see some of the architecture as it would have looked in the early 20th century. Walking down Orchard Street, can you picture where Annie might have found Sandy? “ENOUGH OF THE CAB DRIVERS ANSWERING BACK…” While most New Yorkers ride the subway, cab drivers have provided service to New Yorkers since 1897. In 1930s New York, nearly 30,000 cab drivers scooted around the city’s streets (compared to the approximately 13,000 yellow cabs today), which meant that there were more drivers than passengers. In 1937, Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia signed the Haas Act, which limited the number of cabs in the city and introduced official taxi licenses and established the medallion system that remains in place today. “WHAT OTHER TOWN HAS THE EMPIRE STATE” EMPIRE STATE BUILDING (34th and 5th) The Empire State Building is a 102-story landmark skyscraper. Grace sings about “the roofs that scrape the sky,” and the Empire State Building definitely looks like it does at a remarkable 1,250 feet! Why do you think New York built so many “skyscrapers”? “UNTIL IT SHINES LIKE THE TOP OF THE CHRYSLER BUILDING!” CHRYSLER BUILDING (42nd and Lexington) The Chrysler Building is an Art Deco style skyscraper, and it was the world’s tallest building for 11 months before the completion of the Empire State Building in 1931. At the time, there was an intense competition in New York City to build the world’s tallest skyscraper! Take a look at the top on a sunny day and see how it shines!
“WE’D LIKE THE THANK YOU HERBERT HOOVER” SHANTYTOWNS AND HOOVERVILLES (East River, Under the 59th Street Bridge; Central Park) A “Hooverville” was a shanty town created by the homeless as a makeshift community during the Great Depression. They were named after President Hoover, who was blamed by many for the economic problems of the time. There were Hoovervilles in Central Park, Riverside Park, and other places throughout the city. “BRIGHT AS A PENNY ARCARDE” BROADWAY/TIMES SQUARE (42nd Street and 8th Avenue) After the New York Times moved to this area in 1904 and the Lincoln Highway, the country’s first transcontinental highway, chose this intersection for its entrance into Manhattan in 1913, this area quickly became the “crossroads of the world.” Times Square evolved into a hub of culture, entertainment and energy in New York City. Many theaters were built, and the lights of Broadway were illuminated. Today, it is still a major attraction for people all over the world, and the brightest part of New York City. Stand in Duffy Square and look south, toward downtown: How many lights do you see? Can you imagine your name in lights on Broadway?
“A MAYOR FIVE FOOT TWO” GRACIE MANSION (East End and 88th Street) Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, standing at 5’2”, was mayor of New York City from 1934 to 1945. He was very popular during the 1930s, and as a “New Dealer,” revitalized the city. He was the first mayor to move in to Gracie Mansion and make it the mayoral residence in 1942. Today, it is open to the public for educational tours. How many New York landmarks are named after Mayor Laguardia? q
“I THINK I’M GONNA LIKE IT HERE!” WARBUCKS MANSION (987 5th Avenue, roughly 82nd & 5th) Oliver Warbucks’ mansion doesn’t actually exist, but take a trip up to 82nd Street and 5th Avenue to get a feel for the neighborhood. Some of the most elegant houses in New York were built by the wealthy around the turn of the 20th century. One great example that is open to the public is at 79th Street and 5th Avenue, the current home of the Ukrainian Institute (and former home of railroad investor Isaac Fletcher). Can you imagine Annie’s overnight change from the orphanage in the Bowery to a mansion of 5th Avenue?
EXTENSION ACTIVITY: When Warbucks takes Annie out on the town, she remarks, “To think that I’ve lived here all of my life, and never seen these things!” - Annie Are there places in your own city that people from out of town come to see? Are there locations that you take for granted, that could be really interesting? Ask your students to create and design a brochure about a location in the city and town where they live. Through this assignment, ask them to see this place through new eyes. How would they describe it to someone who has never been to see it? Encourage them to be as creative as possible when designing the presentation, through photograph, video, drawings, descriptions, or other means of presenting this location to a potential visitor!
“NYC, What is it About you?” - Oliver Warbucks
“Sleep tight in NYC” - Oliver Warbucks 20
“UNTIL NEXT WEEK…SAME TIME, SAME STATION!”: MEDIA AND COMMUNICATION Radio? Comic Strip? Newspaper Ads?
Annie’s New York is filled with modes of communication that are no longer as popular as they once were. In this section, you will be able to investigate a variety of art forms and media that were popular in the 1930s. What are equivalent forms of communication today?
The Comic Strip: The character of Little Orphan Annie first appeared on the drawn frames of a comic strip.
omic strips became a popular art form around the 1890s, when they were introduced to increase readership of American newspapers. Consisting of several drawn frames that would go across the page, these short pieces of storytelling included funny or suspenseful stories that followed recurring characters.
While there was some text delivered through thought balloons or around the frame, much of the storytelling was told through drawn image and perspective. Comic Books, which were longer versions of the classic newspaper comic strip, became popular in the mid-1930s.
Q: Why do you think that people enjoy stories told in comic form? What is unique to the experience of reading a story in drawn format? In-Class Activity: COMIC CREATION! AIM: To explore ways of telling a story visually STANDARDS ADDRESSED: COMMON CORE Speaking and Listening Standards 1, 4, 5 Writing Standard 3
1. Provide students with a short piece of fiction, ideally a piece of text you are already studying in class (*Alternatively, you can use this activity as a way to reflect on the play after seeing it by using a piece of the plot from ANNIE). 2. Give students a piece of paper with four empty comic panels (equal sized squares) across the page. 3. Tell the students to read the assigned piece of text, and decide how they will convey the story in four frames. With only four images, what will they need to depict in order to tell the entire story? 4. Instruct the students to storyboard their ideas on a piece of scrap paper. 5. When they have decided on the four images, ask them to think about perspective: Whose viewpoint will the story follow? How close or far from the scene will the image represented be? Allow students time to explore the options for perspective and storytelling. 6. Ask students to create their four-panel comic strip, telling the story of the assigned piece of text. 7. When it is complete, have the students share their comic strips with each other.
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Q: How did you decide what images to create? Q: What did you leave in, and what did you omit in order to tell the story in four frames? Q: How were your choices the same or different from your peers? Q: How is the comic version different from the written version of the story?
EXTENSION ACTIVITY: STANDARDS ADDRESSED: COMMON CORE Speaking and Listening Standards1, 4, 5 Ask the students to form groups and dramatize their comic strip. They can either create the four images as frozen pictures or tableaus (as referenced in earlier activities) or they can find a way to activate the strip as four improvised scenes. What choices are made in adapting the comic strip into a piece of theater?
Bert Healy and the Boylan Sisters, the characters who Annie meets while broadcasting a plea to find her parents on the radio, are reminiscent of a popular form of entertainment called Radio Theater. This form of performance relied solely on the auditory experience, and offered entertainment through dialogue, sound effects and music to convey characters and story to the listener. Little Orphan Annie was also featured as a radio show for many years. In-Classroom Activity: Drama on the Radio STANDARDS ADDRESSED: COMMON CORE Speaking and Listening Standards1, 4, 5 Writing Standards 3 1. Ask students to collect items from around the room (or provide them with objects) that have the potential to make interesting sounds (i.e. books, tin foil, bells, water in a bottle, etc.). Allow students to get as creative as possible with thinking about ways to create simple sound effects. 2. If you have access to the internet, students can explore free online sound effects through websites like this one (http://www.grsites.com/archive/sounds/). 3. Building on the previous activity and working in groups, ask students to write a simple script based on the four panel comic strip they created. 4. Encourage students to increase the drama in their story that can be conveyed only through sound. 5. Ask students to incorporate some of their created sound effects into their story. 6. Allow students time to rehearse their radio plays with assigned roles to perform. 7. When ready to perform, ask the rest of the class to close their eyes when listening to the performance to simulate the experience of a Radio Drama.
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Q: What was it like to tell a story using only sound? Q: What was it like to listen to a story using only your sense of hearing? Q: What makes storytelling through radio different than other forms of entertainment?
EXTENSION ACTIVITY: MODERN-DAY ANNIE STANDARDS ADDRESSED: Writing Standards 3, 4, 5; History/Social Studies Standards 1, 2, 3 Ask your students to recall the plot of ANNIE through the lens of communication and technology. What plot points relied on older forms of communication (i.e. Annie’s radio announcement)? How would the story change if it were told in modern-day New York City, with the use of smart phones, television, and the internet? Using the synopsis provided, and their memory of the play, ask students to rewrite the story in New York 2012, keeping the same dramatic arc of the story. What changes, and what stays the same? What does this say about the modern world compared to the 1930s?
“IT’S A HARD-KNOCK LIFE”: ECONOMICS AND ANNIE ANNIE takes place during a dark time in American history, and the character of Annie is a symbol of hope in the midst of adversity. This section will explore the history of the Great Depression through the lens of this production, as well as provide ways to understand status and its role in society in a theatrical way. The Great Depression and A New Deal Against the backdrop of economic distress, the people of Annie’s New York are in the midst of the Great Depression, a period of worldwide economic crisis during the 1930s. During the 1920s, the country experienced an era of prosperity, with many investing in the stock market and stock prices soaring to a record high. In 1929, the stock market suddenly crashed as confidence in the market disappeared and many rapidly sold their stocks. The market fell between $8 billion and $9 billion in value. Consumers lost buying power, countless banks and businesses failed, millions lost their jobs, and industry severely suffered. The world seemed to change drastically overnight, and the fear of the public only led to further economic decline. President Hoover didn’t act quickly, and he opposed government intervention in the face of economic failing. When Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected President in 1933 he said, “…the only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” ringing in a new era of hope for the nation. He implemented “A New Deal,” a series of economic programs that focused on relief, recovery and reform. 26
In-Class Activity: Character and Society In ANNIE, some of the characters are archetypal, while others are much deeper and more complex than they appear. In this exercise, explore character and power with your students, examining the stereotypes we associate with status and one’s role in society through dramatic play. This exercise will allow you to prepare your students for the underlying economic and social issues at play in ANNIE in a hands-on creative way. AIM: To explore issues of economics and status present in ANNIE in a hands-on way that also explores character choice and physical expression. STANDARDS ADDRESSED: COMMON CORE Speaking and Listening Standards1 Language Standard 3 1. 2. 3.
Ask your students: What is the definition of “character”? What is the difference between a character in a play and a character trait? Explain that the class will be exploring character through physical expression in this exercise. Ask students to walk around the room at a leisurely pace, filling the entire space as best they can and keeping an equal distance from every other person in the room. When you call out “freeze”, say one of the words from the list below, and ask students to freeze in their place in a physical shape or sculpture that expresses the character or trait you call out:
a. RICH b. POOR c. PRESIDENT d. ORPHAN e. BOSS f. SERVANT g. FATHER h. CHILD 4. 5. 6.
Throughout the exercise, allow the students to observe the choices of their classmates by keeping one side of the room frozen, and asking the other group to observe the physical sculptures created by the other students. After you have completed all of the sculptures, ask the students to find themselves in pairs, and create a sculpture together depicting the relationship between “RICH” and “POOR”. Give each group time to create their sculpture. Share these sculptures with the group.
REFLECTION QUESTIONS Q: What were some interesting or surprising choices made by your classmates? Q: Did you notice similar choices made by the class around specific words? Q: What did the physical sculptures tell us about our impressions of these character traits? Q: What are the stereotypes we associate with these character types? Q: How did you use your body and facial expression to convey a character or idea? Ask students to choose one of the words explored, and EXTENSION: make a list of the words or phrases that come to mind when WRITING PROMPT thinking of that word. Now, ask them to choose a character from literature, history, or media that would be described using this word. Ask the student to discuss how the character either supports or contradicts the list of works of phrases that came to mind around the word. WHEN YOU SEE Look for how these words are associated with the characters THE SHOW: in the play, and how they either coincide with or differ from your initial ideas of character traits associated with these roles. Look for how these words are associated with the characters in the play, and how they either coincide with or differ from your initial ideas of character traits associated with these roles.
STUDENT HANDOUT/ AFTER THE SHOW Each character in ANNIE is influenced in some way by money and the economics of the time. The story allows us to look at how economic influences either allow us to make more creative choices and find optimistic solutions, use wealth for good, or drive us to make bad decisions at the expense of others.
How does the role of money and power influence or motivate the decisions of the following characters?
MAIN MOTIVATION (WHAT I WANT)
ROLE OF ECONOMY IN MY ACTIONS (HOW DOES MONEY AFFECT MY DECISIONS?)
ANNIE MISS HANNIGAN ROOSTER LILY WARBUCKS GRACE PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT RESEARCH ACTIVITY (for older students): STANDARDS ADDRESSED: COMMON CORE Writing Standards 7, 8, 9 Ask students to research the Occupy Movement, and make connections between the 1930s and today in regard to the following issues:
*Economic Depression: Causes and Effects *Hoovervilles of the 1930s and Zucotti Park “Liberty Park” Community *President Roosevelt and President Obama *The influence of Wall Street- Then and Now *Protest Movements- Then and Now
Q: How are times the same? How are they different? How can we learn from the past? How can what we have learned inform our decisions now? 27
STUDENT HANDOUT/ AFTER THE SHOW
“THERE’LL BE SUN”: MAKING A NEW TOMORROW STANDARDS ADDRESSED: COMMON CORE Reading: Literature Standards 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7; Writing Standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Read the following excerpt from the script with your students: MAN 2 Hey kid, what’re ya doing out alone this time of night? ANNIE I’m looking for my Mom and Dad. They’re lost. MAN 2 Lost? How long have you been looking for them? ANNIE Eleven years. MAN 2 Now, THAT’S lost. SOPHIE Hey kid, it’s time to give up. ANNIE No, I’m gonna find them. MAN 2 Hey, there’s something I haven’t heard since 1928. WOMAN 3 What? MAN 2 Optimism. SOPHIE Optimism? Whatta we got to be optimistic about? Look at us. Life’s a nightmare. ANNIE Well, you gotta have a dream. Q: What is optimism? How does Annie embody this quality?
Writing Prompt: Ask your students to write about a moment when they had to exercise optimism in the face of a challenge. How were they able to remain positive? What was the outcome of their optimism? Writing Prompt: A Ask your students to write a wish they have for their community, a hope for making the world a better place.
A NEW DEAL FOR MY COMMUNITY Inspired by the show, work with your students to create a project that will better their school community in some way. Building from the idea that everyone can make a difference, create “A New Deal” for your class or school, envisioning a goal that will make a brighter tomorrow. This project could be a fundraiser to help improve the physical space of the school, choosing a community project (such as a shelter) to volunteer at as a class, or hosting a community arts day. Your students can create this project, and plan it as an ensemble, fueled by the ideas offered by “You’re Never Fully Dressed without a Smile”- what can your class do to increase the number of smiles across the school community? Document your projects, and share them through the ANNIE social media platforms- we want to hear from you! In this way, your students can join a national movement to create a better tomorrow across our school communities! Check out our website at AnnieTheMusical.com to learn more about our partners and get involved!
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES BOOKS: THE GREAT DEPRESSION: AN INTERACTIVE HISTORY ADVENTURE By: Michael Burgan; Capstone Press (January 2, 2011) CHILDREN OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION By: Russell Freedman; Sandpiper; Reprint edition (December 6, 2010) COMPLETE LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE By: Harold Gray; Idea & Design Works LLC (June 1, 2008) THE HISTORY OF LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE By: Bruce Smith; Ballantine Books; 1st edition (April 12, 19 1982)
WEB RESOURCES Official ANNIE 2012 Website http://www.anniethemusical.com LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE RADIO EPISODE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYYAwSYyRy4 TEACHING RESOURCES FOR LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE COMIC STRIP http://www.teachingcomics.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=72:little-orphan -annie-leapin-through-the-depression&catid=36:Lesson+Plans&Itemid=57 THE 1930s http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/1930s.html
Written by: Eva Price & Associates Designed by: Holly Ferguson