By Jill Fox
Parkland actor, singer, and dancer Ellie Rose Pulsifer just made her Broadway National Tour debut in the title role of Annie.
The seventh-grade student at Somerset Parkland Academy has been singing and dancing since she was three. She has appeared in productions around South Florida, including Slow Burn Theatre Company’s Matilda: The Musical.
Along with the rest of the cast, the 12-year-old theater enthusiast will visit more than 50 cities during the 2022-23 season.
Although some would describe the audition process as anything but fun, Ellie thoroughly enjoyed it, saying it all happened very quickly. The director reviewed her tape in June and asked her to fly to New York to meet in person.
“I had to sing Tomorrow three times in a row for the music director and run two scenes with Daddy Warbucks,” said Ellie. “They also wanted to see how I interacted with the dog playing Sandy.”
After her agent gave her the news, she kept the secret for months, finally spilling the beans in September.
Their first stop was Syracuse, followed by Philadelphia, and the tour will end in Tampa in June 2023. With a nine-month contract, Ellie’s mom, Angela, needed to call in some reinforcements for her other two children back in Parkland: Grace, 14, and Ben, 6.
“My in-laws are playing mom,” she said, “And my husband will stop at nothing for all his children and bend over backward to make their dreams a reality.”
While on tour, Ellie keeps up with her schoolwork with a tutor and virtual school. But, she credits her theater education with preparing her for this role.
“Broadway Bound prepared me 100 percent,” said Ellie. “I wouldn’t be here without Miss Nadine (Shapiro).”
A member of the Broadway Bound family since they moved to Parkland, Angela said Nadine, who passed away in September, believed in Ellie. “She made Ellie feel special and have the confidence she could be anything she wanted. Nadine gave that to her.”