Moment in the spotlight

Moment in the spotlight

The streets of New York City feel familiar to Emily Tuffnell. 

Joining the Burnie Musical Society’s cast of Annie, the 18-year-old has spent many moments on a stage set in these gloomy streets rehearsing. 

Annie tells the tale of an 11-year-old orphan who runs away from the New York Municipal Orphanage in search of the parents who left her as a baby. 

Throughout the story, Annie befriends a group of people made homeless by the worst economic downturn of the industrialised world – The Great Depression. 

“I play three characters which is more fun than one I think,” says Emily of joining the ensemble. 

Hooverville, one of the homeless people, is Emily’s top portrayal pick. 

“It’s a very angry song to perform,” she says of ‘It’s a Hard Knock Life’. 

“I’m not there to simply sing, I have to make you feel angry. It’s a fun part to play.” 

Emily also poses as a New York City civilian and a guest at billionaire Oliver Warbucks’ party. 

A natural performer, Emily stole the spotlight in Circular Head Christian School’s productions of Robin Hood, Alice in Wonderland, When in Rome and Esther

In her first Burnie Musical Society production, the Hellyer College student is balancing rehearsals with year 12 studies, including pretertiary subject theatre performance. 

Having worked to finesse her American accent and choreography, Emily is now ready for the curtain to come up tomorrow with the steps down-pat and a wholesome twang in her voice. 

“When we first performed the show in full, it was a surreal feeling to think how far we have come,” she says. 

While she might be set to become a broadway star one day, Emily hasn’t forgotten where she has come from. 

“I’m very thankful to all of my teachers, I couldn’t have done this without the experience I had at the Circular Head Christian School – the guidance and support I’ve had.” 

The Burnie Musical Society’s production of Annie is on from Thursday April 4 to Saturday April 13 at the Burnie Arts and Function Centre. To find out more or for tickets, visit

Smithton local Emily Tuffnell stars in the Burnie Musical Society’s production of Annie. Picture: Ashleigh Force.