Tell us about yourself and how your career led you to work in children’s television. 

As a child, I was always fascinated with characters and the worlds they lived in. This stemmed from TV and movies (Pokémon and Studio Ghibli) as well as computer games I played when I was elementary school age. That quickly evolved into an interest for the voices behind some of my favorite characters in video games — generally Japanese influenced. One voice actor in particular who I highly respected was Charles Martinet (Super Mario). You could say he is an early catalyst for my interest in performing as he brought so much life to a beloved character to so many. Naturally being so drawn to characters and needing an outlet as I was left to my own devices after school, I reconnected with the Muppets again as a middle schooler. I eventually branched out and taught myself how to build and perform with puppets. I started to post YouTube videos of my own puppet content (2011-2015), which were seen by my current friend and colleague, Tau Bennett. Over the years he and I, among several other friends, became a close-knit troupe that would work together. Due to this link, when we were much older (2019) David Rudman [Co-Founder, Spiffy Pictures and Co-Creator/Executive Producer, Donkey Hodie] asked Tau if he knew of any Chicago puppeteers, and I was one of the first names to come to mind. 

Describe your role(s) on Donkey Hodie. 

 My roles on Donkey Hodie include: puppet wrangling (dressing, styling, and rigging all the puppet characters), puppeteering (usually assist puppeteering, right hands, puppeteering musical instruments, or doubling as characters), costume building (build costumes for the characters), puppet building (build smaller scale, background and one-off puppets), and just recently I’ve made a few simple props. 

Do you have a favorite Donkey Hodie episode? 

My favorite episode of Donkey Hodie (so far) is the "Return of the Golden Crunchdoodles." It was our last shoot day of Season 1 and such an amazing shoot day at that. The sound effects, music, visuals, the 360° table rotation effect… it’s all so amazing. And the characters finally get what they have been looking for!   

What was your favorite TV show when you were growing up? 

One of my favorite films growing up (I didn’t have access to much TV) was My Neighbor Totoro. This movie opened up my mind to anime and the rest of the fabulous Studio Ghibli films. I owe a lot of my own personal puppet designs to the Ghibli look. 

What do you like to do when you’re not working? 

When I am not working, I love to work on my own puppetry projects, cosplay, and enjoy indie video games. 






The Renewal of the Fred Rogers Productions Series Will Feature an All-New Format

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood kicks off its seventh season on August 12, 2024 on PBS KIDS. Season 7 of the animated series from Fred Rogers Productions will feature 14 episodes with exciting new interstitials plus one half-hour special. Since its launch in 2012, the relatable Daniel Tiger has become beloved by children and parents alike as he takes viewers along on his everyday adventures in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. Now, viewers will experience the perspective of other fan-favorite characters in an exciting new format change for the series.

For the first time, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood will feature stories from the points-of-view of familiar friends. Each half-hour will include one story from Daniel’s perspective and another from the perspective of characters including Katerina Kittycat, Miss Elaina, O the Owl, Prince Wednesday, Jodi Platypus, Max, and Chrissie. The show’s iconic “Imagination Moments" will also be presented from the unique perspectives of other characters to illustrate each friend’s own imaginative style.

“We’re excited that the new format will give children more opportunities to see themselves and their experiences represented as they get to know Daniel’s friends in a different way,” said Ellen Doherty, chief creative officer, Fred Rogers Productions. “Celebrating friends and neighbors is one of many ways that Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood continues the legacy of Fred Rogers.”

“We’re thrilled to continue bringing stories from Daniel and all his friends to kids across the country on PBS KIDS,” said Sara DeWitt, senior vice president and general manager, PBS KIDS. “Families love to share with us how much these characters and lessons resonate, and we can’t wait for everyone to see more.”

In addition to new songs and stories—including a helpful potty strategy tune—the seventh season will feature an episode where Daniel and friends wonder what's new about Trolley. Young viewers and their families will also get to visit a new location and meet Jodi’s dad, Mr. Plat, who lives outside the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.




Describe your role at Fred Rogers Productions.

As Vice President of Marketing, Communications, and Engagement, it’s my responsibility to provide the vision, strategy, and oversight for all marketing, communications, and outreach functions for Fred Rogers Productions. This includes everything from the direction of the company’s brand strategy, public relations, content marketing, and identity and visual strategy to implementing marketing campaigns, media planning, digital marketing, social media, and community engagement efforts for both the company and the series that we produce.

Tell us about yourself and how your career led you to children’s television.

After I graduated from college, I dreamed that one day I’d be an editor at Gourmet magazine to combine my love of writing, editing, and food. So, I worked for a few years in catering and the food service industry to get a grounding in the culinary industry, but eventually I pivoted to corporate communications. Did that for a while and then moved over to foundation development/grant writing and major gifts when I joined WETA, the flagship PBS station in Washington, DC. While there, I discovered the exciting world of station relations, which is essentially marketing ongoing series and specials to PBS stations across the country. I finally wheedled my way into that department, and one of my first projects was to launch Clifford The Big Red Dog (the series that premiered in 2000), which meant we were convincing stations to air the series on the PBS feed, keeping them updated on new episodes and promotional priorities, and also working with station engagement teams around the country on outreach initiatives and events.

While it was incredible to promote Ken Burns’s documentaries, In Performance at the White House, and cooking series like Martha Stewart’s Cooking School and Sara’s Weeknight Meals, it was the kids’ series that we represented that brought me the most joy. In addition to Clifford, our portfolio included shows like It’s a Big Big World, Super WHY!, Mama Mirabelle’s Home Movies, and Maya & Miguel. The Fred Rogers Company (now Fred Rogers Productions) hired WETA in 2011 to launch Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, and that exhilarating day eventually led to me being hired by FRP as its first director of marketing and communications in 2015.

What do you like most about working at Fred Rogers Productions?

My favorite thing about working at a company like FRP is when I’m at a community event where you can see just how much what we do has an impact on children. Whenever I see a child’s eyes light up when she spies Daniel Tiger or a kid experiences the thrill of solving a problem that’s inspired by Odd Squad, I know that I’m at the right place and this is what I’m meant to be doing.

What was your favorite TV show when you were growing up?

It’s impossible to list just one. When I was a kid, watching cartoons on Saturday mornings was a major event, so a few favorites were Josie and the Pussycats, Shazam!, Schoolhouse Rock, Scooby Doo, and Speed Racer. I also loved Banana Splits and H.R. Pufnstuf, and on WQED (the PBS station in Pittsburgh), I couldn’t miss Electric Company or Zoom. My friends and I mastered Ubbi Dubbi, the secret language on Zoom!

Do you have a favorite PBS program you’re watching now?

Again, it’s tough to pick one favorite. I’ve watched Masterpiece and Mystery! since my middle school years. I read a lot of mysteries and classic literature, so it’s exciting to see adaptations of great works come to life. Genealogy fascinates me, so I try not to miss Skip Gates’s Finding Your Roots. There’s so much drama and suspense at play when delving into a family’s history, and I’m inevitably left astonished by what Dr. Gates unearths from his research. Judging by the celebs’ reactions, they are, too!

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

Music is such an important part of my life, and I’ve been singing with Belle Voci, a community choir comprised of treble voices, since I moved back to Pittsburgh. I love to travel, and Belle Voci has sponsored concert trips every few years, so I’ve been lucky enough to have performed in Vienna, Prague, Slovenia, Cuba, and San Sebastián, Spain. I’m also a big supporter of the arts, and I spend much of my free time going to the theater, the movies, and concerts.




Starting June 22, families can visit The Magic House to experience a new nationally traveling exhibit, Alma's Way: Welcome to My Neighborhood!, an immersive exhibit developed and fabricated by The Magic House in collaboration with  Fred Rogers Productions. The exhibit is based on Alma’s Way, the hit animated series on PBS KIDS®. The series follows the neighborhood adventures of 6-year-old Alma Rivera, a proud, confident Puerto Rican girl who lives in the Bronx with her family and a diverse group of friends and neighbors.

The familiar environments from the show come to life as visitors are transported to Alma’s vibrant neighborhood in the Bronx to explore:

Alma’s Family Duplex: Step inside Alma's welcoming Family Duplex, where generations come together to share traditions. Learn to make mofongo, a Puerto Rican dish, or immerse yourself in the sounds of Puerto Rican music by playing instruments like maracas and hand drums. Outside, play hopscotch on the sidewalk or have a barbecue in the backyard.

Bodega: Explore a Bangladeshi Bronx Bodega, a small neighborhood store that is full of a variety of items like food, drinks, snacks, school supplies, household items, and souvenirs. Contribute to a collaborative community mural, adding a creative touch to the vibrant streetscape.

Community Center: Discover the rich heritage of Puerto Rican culture at the Community Center, where you can participate in Bomba dance lessons and learn to play the Bomba drums.

Pet Clinic: Become a veterinarian like Alma’s papi, Dr. Rivera, and perform check-ups while learning about fascinating creatures like parrots, lizards, and red-eyed tree frogs, then create your own video inspired by Dr. Rivera’s internet animal show.

6 Train: Take a subway ride aboard the 6 train, play The Alma Train game, and be a conductor like Alma’s Tía Gloria.

Park: Go on a quest to find coquÍs, tiny frogs native to Puerto Rico. Enjoy a game of checkers, climb on rock formations, or decorate a cardboard clubhouse.

Alma's Way: Welcome to My Neighborhood! is free with Museum admission and will be at The Magic House from June 22 through January 5, when it will begin traveling to other children’s museums around the country.



Tell us about yourself and how your career led you to work in children’s television.  

While in high school, I talked my way onto set as a production assistant on different low-budget television spots for local businesses (including a night shoot for a crematorium, which was fun). I was hungry to learn as much as I could about all aspects of production, so I soaked in every opportunity sent my way. While continuing to work as a PA, I obtained my bachelor's of fine arts degree in screenwriting from York University in Toronto and my master's degree in screenwriting from Columbia University in New York City. While in NY, I interned on various film and television productions in a slew of different departments. My desire to learn more only grew stronger as the years and jobs came and went. Once I graduated, I moved back to Toronto, started a family, and continued to freelance and build my portfolio. Patience has never been my strong suit, but it was necessary in this case, as I was on the lookout for a position that was more stable. Eventually, a chance opening at Brown Bag Films came my way, and I was granted an opportunity I just couldn't pass up.  While I didn't exactly work in children's television by the time I joined the team, my experience in working with different demographics and styles throughout the years definitely made it easier for me to adapt quickly to what was expected of me. 

What was your favorite TV show when you were growing up? 

I would have to say Tales from the Crypt. I was (and still am) a big horror loving kid and a lot of those stories and gruesome make-up effects have haunted me over the years. Having read reprints of the original EC comics growing up, the show easily dug its claws into my imagination and inspired me creatively in more ways than I can even count. I've always admired the fact that the horror genre, when at its best, can simultaneously frighten and enlighten. 

Describe your role on Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. 

As production manager on Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, it's my responsibility (with the help of our production coordinator) to make sure every aspect of the production runs as smoothly as possible, from the beginning to the end of the pipeline. It involves a lot juggling in terms of schedules, personalities, and expectations, but every day is a thrill and a fun challenge. Since I started my career in the early 2000s (not to age myself AT ALL), I would jump from department to department. Being a PM on Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood removes the vagabond-like nature of constantly moving locales and allows me to comfortably shift from one department to another while staying put on the same production. The biggest and most fruitful lesson I've learned on the show is the people management aspect of the role. While some days are harder than others, it's incredibly fulfilling when I'm able to understand and help a member of our crew by working together to reach the best possible solution. It also doesn't hurt that DTN has the absolute best crew I've ever had the opportunity to work with, so in that regard I consider myself very lucky. 

What is your favorite episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood

My favorite episode of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood has to be “Daniel's New Friend Max.” I think it's a beautiful episode which tackles the subject of Autism in a way that both parents and children can understand and apply to daily life. It's an episode I find myself constantly going back to, as it's deceptively powerful in its simple execution. Truly a standout among MANY standout episodes throughout its run thus far. 

What do you like to do when you’re not working? 

When I'm not working (or being a dad/husband), I write! In addition to writing film and television scripts, I have written and self-published novels (of all genres, but with a specific reverence for horror, of course). Writing has played a huge role in my career and was my first love, as it was the catalyst for making me want to take the plunge into this wild world of entertainment production. I'd consider it an absolute honor to get the opportunity to write an episode of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood; in the meantime, though, I'll proudly continue playing a key part in contributing to the incredible legacy of Fred Rogers. 




Tell us about yourself and your role on Alma’s Way.

My name is Anjel Piñero, and I am a native New Yorker who was born in Brooklyn and raised in the Bronx. I interpreted the role of Alma in Alma's Way.

Did you do any research to prepare to be an interpreter for Alma’s Way?

As an actor myself, I always immerse myself in the roles that I am offered so I can fully embody the character as written into the show. Alma's role resonated with me deeply because she and I share many similarities. Both of us are Nuyoricans, born and raised in New York by the 6 train line, among other things.

Is signing for children different from signing for adults?

Oh, definitely. For this show, there is a lot of lingo spoken in Spanish and the New York language. I made sure I was able to interpret that so the kids can have better access to and understanding of those linguistic nuances as well. That was something I wish I had growing up, and now that this is  accessible for the kids, it never ceases to amaze me how their language understanding integrates the lingo into their self-expression.

What’s something you wish everyone knew about ASL?

Just do it. A lot of people are usually scared of making mistakes when learning a language, and I encourage people to jump into it and get involved with the Deaf community. Once you do, you're already on the fast track to becoming proficient in this language and making a difference.

What was your favorite TV show when you were growing up?

SpongeBob SquarePants, Courage the Cowardly Dog, The Fairly OddParents—any shows from the '90s to the 2010s from Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and Disney were my favorites.

What do you like to do when you’re not working? 

When I'm not working, I love to travel and am always looking for opportunities to further my acting, modeling, and now pageantry careers so I can continue to make a difference in the ASL community worldwide.





Katie Huber joins Fred Rogers Productions as Senior Director of Licensing, positioning the iconic children’s media organization for further growth ahead. Huber brings deep market knowledge that will provide additional capacity for new opportunities across the company’s portfolio.

In her role, Huber is charged with developing and executing comprehensive brand licensing strategies. She will work alongside Matt Shiels, vice president of business and legal affairs, and Micah Southwood, director of product development. This marks the first department expansion since the launch of the company’s acclaimed PBS KIDS series Donkey Hodie and Alma’s Way in 2021. Since then, Fred Rogers Productions has expanded brand offerings through partnerships in the toy, book, and music spaces, among others.

“With her extensive experience in helping to build robust brands and standout consumer products programs in the children’s entertainment space, Katie will be a great asset to our licensing team and the company overall,” said Shiels. “We are delighted to have her on board as she helps to extend the footprint of our properties now and well into the future.”

“I have fond memories of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood from my childhood and am delighted and honored to now be a part of Fred Rogers Productions,” said Huber. “I am thrilled to help extend Fred’s legacy to new generations of children and their families.”

Prior to joining Fred Rogers Productions, Huber was Director of Retail & Ancillary Revenue at Palace Entertainment, a multiplatform entertainment company that operates water and theme parks across the U.S. Previously, she held various positions at The Walt Disney Company, most recently as Senior Manager, Global Merchandising - Disney Parks & Stores. Before her time at Disney, Huber held multiple merchandising positions at Gap Inc. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Arizona.




Tell us about yourself and how your career led you to work in children’s television. 

I am a 26-year-old creative from a small college town called Bloomington, IL where I still currently live with my wife, Keyarra, and our two kids: Mel (the third) and Meledy. Growing up, I was a very "head in the clouds" kind of kid. I enjoyed drawing a lot because it was a way of getting the various worlds and characters I imagined out of my head. In grade school, I would draw comic books and would even have copies printed so I could sell them around school, church, etc. 

When I was ten years old, I got my hands on a Best of The Muppet Show DVD which sparked my love of puppetry. I think what attracted me was how "real" those characters became to me. It introduced me to an art form that would allow me to bring my own characters to life in a way that they just failed to do on the page. Very shortly after that, I started building my own puppets and practicing puppetry techniques by mimicking the performances I saw on TV. As a kid, I also started the puppet ministry at my church where I would train others in puppetry, write the scripts, create the music, and more. I treated the experience as if I was making a TV show. 

As the years went by, I also networked with other kids that were aspiring puppeteers through social media, and it was actually through these connections that I was put on Spiffy Pictures' radar just as Donkey Hodie was about to go into production. So Donkey is very dear to my heart, in that it's actually the beginning of my career. 

Describe your role(s) on Donkey Hodie. 

On Donkey Hodie, I play Cousin Hodie and Rogers The Fish, as well as a variety of "one-off" and background characters. I am also a writer on the show and a music composer. Performing alone is a dream come true, so I am beyond grateful that I get to dip my hand in other aspects of the show as well. 

Do you have a favorite episode of Donkey Hodie? 

It's hard to pick just one, but an episode I always enjoy is "Hidden Orchestra." The combination of playing hide-’n’-seek while playing music is very "silly," which makes it very Someplace Else. I love the song in that show, "One Step at a Time," and I love that I got to play all the mice musicians in that show. Lots of fun memories there! 

What was your favorite TV show when you were growing up? 

Once I was bitten by the puppetry bug, shows like The Muppet Show, Fraggle Rock, and Jack's Big Music Show never left the TV screen. Considering Spiffy Pictures also produced Jack, it makes working on Donkey Hodie that much more of a dream to work on. 

What do you like to do when you’re not working? 

I love spending quality time with my family and playing music (bass guitar is my primary instrument). My work is also very much my leisure, even when I'm not on set I'm home building puppets, writing scripts, and working to produce my own content. For me, creating is just so fulfilling. 



It’s Alma’s Way!, the first album from the hit animated PBS KIDS series, Alma’s Way, is now available on all digital music platforms. The release of the soundtrack comes from the collaboration between Fred Rogers Productions, the esteemed children’s media organization and producer behind Alma’s Way, and Warner Music Group’s Arts Music division. Fans of the acclaimed series, which helps children ages 4-6 develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, will recognize the music celebrating Alma’s Puerto Rican heritage, her adventures in her hometown of The Bronx, and more.

The new album features original music from award-winning composers and lyricists, including Asher Lenz, Stephen Skratt, and Fabiola Méndez, along with fan-favorite songs like the series title track, “Alma’s Way! (Theme Song)” written and produced by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Bill Sherman. Other notable songs include “Alma's Nochebuena Aguinaldo,” “The Bronx Squirrel Stomp," and “Mofongo on the Go Go.”




Tell us about yourself and how your career led you to work in children’s television. 

I love to play the cello and bass guitar and have been performing, studying, and recording music ever since I was a kid. I've always enjoyed performing as an actor in plays at school and as a musician. It's actually music that really got me into children's TV.  Music led me to working in recording studios in Toronto, which eventually led to me becoming both a voice actor and voice director. 

What was your favorite TV show when you were growing up? 

The Simpsons was my favorite TV show growing up. I still watch it to this day. I cannot express how much I love all the extremely talented voice actors in the cast. They all have inspired me greatly throughout my career. 

Describe your role on Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. 

I am the voice director for Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. I get to direct the voice actors who play all the different characters on Daniel Tiger and make sure the voice recording sessions run smoothly and on time. It is an extremely fun job to have! I still pinch myself sometimes because I think I'm dreaming that I'm a voice director! Growing up, I never thought I would end up with my name on the credits of a TV show. 

What is your favorite episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood? 

My favorite episode is season 3, episode 15, "Daniel Takes His Time" where Daniel learns that patience is a very important character trait. I often find myself going too fast for my own good, so this lesson really hit home for me! Plus it features the Grandpere character, who I just love to watch and listen to. He is such a sweet character, and his voice is so soothing and warm. 

What do you like to do when you’re not working? 

In my free time I enjoy playing video games, cooking, and studying Japanese and Italian.