Interview: Meet Adam Dyer, Choreographer of NEWSIES at The REV

BroadwayWorld sat down with the veteran choreographer to learn more about the show and his career.

By: Jun. 25, 2024
Interview: Meet Adam Dyer, Choreographer of NEWSIES at The REV
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The REV Theatre Company will soon present the second production of its 2024 season, Disney's "Newsies."

Inspired by the real-life Newsboys Strike of 1899, "Newsies" celebrates the power of the human spirit. Jack Kelly and his ragtag team of newsies make a meager living selling newspapers on the streets of New York City. But when the prices of "papes" are hiked and the newsies are hung out to dry, there is nothing left to do but "open the gates and seize the day!" Led by charismatic Jack and independent, young newspaper reporter Katherine Plumber, the newsies band together to do the unthinkable - form a union and organize a strike. Can a group of street smart, tenacious, idealistic newsboys win a war against powerful and acclaimed publishers Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst?

BroadwayWorld sat down with veteran choreographer Adam Dyer to learn more about the show and his career.

Where are you from, where did you grow up and where do you live now?

I was born and raised in Appleton, WI and then lived in and out of New York City from 2000 – 2018. Now living near the beautiful mountains of Provo, UT.

How long have you been "in the business"?

My first professional gig was when I was 19, as a back-up dancer for Debbie Gibson at Madison Square Garden…I have now spent the better part of 3 decades performing, choreographing, directing, and teaching. So far, it’s been a ride I never could have imagined.

How did theatre/dance first come into your life?

My parents were great about introducing me to many ways to develop my talents and connect with others growing up, from sports teams to music lessons to theatre. In high school I started to get a little more serious about theatre and applied for a 10-week summer intensive at the National Shakespeare Conservatory. It was there I took my first ballet class to help with stage movement abilities and was hooked.

Describe a time or moment or show that had particular or special impact on you. Why?

I was working on a summer project in Las Vegas and got a free ticket from a friend to see Franco Dragone’s Le Reve at Wynn Las Vegas. It was a 75-minute spectacular featuring flying, diving, and dancing over, in, and through a million-gallon pool of water. I was absolutely mesmerized; I didn’t know theatre could be that transformative. I moved back to NYC that fall and immediately began private aerial and gymnastics training. It paid off…in 2008 I was able to join the cast of that show as an aerialist, acrobat and dancer. The whole experience from being spell-bound as an audience member to learning how to perform that show 10 times a week, redefined what I thought was possible with live theatre.

What does being a choreographer mean to you?

Being a choreographer is beautifully complex. It’s something I am constantly trying to unpack and understand. To me there are many roles and hats we wear within a production. Collaborating and visioning what is possible with the creative team and then inspiring, teaching and leading the cast into their best performance possible. I love having the opportunity to work with dancers, singers, and actors to physically bring a world to life. I’m constantly inspired by the incredible people I get to work with, and being a choreographer means having a vision for how to tell a specific story and then unleashing the potential of the artists I work with in bringing that vision to life.

I believe being a choreographer is also communicating the steps, intent and style of the show to the cast in a clear and collaborative manner. But maybe what is most important is not what we end up doing onstage but “how we do it” that allows the audience to have a transformative experience when they enter the world we’ve created for 2 hours each night.

What is your process for choreographing a show?

I really love to listen to the music over and over again while I’m driving on a long commute or road trip so I am forced to sit still and allow my imagination to visualize formations of bodies and the textures the bodies need to create through movement language and patterns. I then take that inspiration and improvise to the music in a studio, trying out different gestures and articulations that embody the ideas I see in my mind’s eye. Soon after, I’ll invite an associate or two to join me for pre-production studio planning where we talk through intent and start to crystalize all the story telling elements into movement counts and phrases. Working with others helps me start to specifically articulate what we’ll share with the cast when rehearsals begin to get everyone building the physicality of the show. Once rehearsals start, I repeat the above process until the feeling is right, for what message and energy is jumping off the stage.

What are you most looking forward to about working on this show at The REV? 

I’m most looking forward to telling the story of Newsies with the amazing performing artists we cast back in January and February in Manhattan. The authentic, detailed articulation of the grounded, gritty style of this piece was something I saw in the audition process from each person who makes up our cast.

What would you be doing if you weren't working in theatre?

One hundred percent – coaching professional soccer! After performing for about 15 years and doing all I could during that time to stay injury free and in peak fitness, I’ve recently returned to my childhood love of playing soccer. I now play 3 times a week and have coached plenty of my kids youth teams. I would love to work my way up through some of the giant soccer clubs in Europe to either contribute to their strength and conditioning programs or coach their world-class athletes in technical tactics and reading the game.

What brings you joy?

Growth brings me joy, being present in the moment and witnessing growth in others and myself. Joy comes from being able to appreciate a given moment in a deeper way because of what I recently heard from friend or experienced myself. My wife and I have 5 children ages 5 to 14, being in the moment, witnessing their progress and their discovery of life, meaningful relationships and their potential is absolutely joyful.

What is one piece of advice you would give to a young aspiring theatre artist?

There is room enough for everyone to have success. Choose to intentionally avoid jealously and fear. If one of your friends gets an opportunity it’s absolutely a reason to celebrate, it doesn’t mean you didn’t get the opportunity it means the opportunity that is right for your development and journey is just around the corner. It’s also a very competitive industry so find a daily practice that helps you feel like you are moving forward on your own terms, whether that’s strengthening your body, voice or filling up your creative well so you have deeper artistic choices available to you. I’ve found great joy in practicing my art on my own, daily, for years and years. This way whether I’m working on an official project or not, I’m always investing in my craft and my creative options follow the pattern of compound interest.

What perspectives/practices/disciplines have shaped your career thus far?

I have a daily practice of trying my best to let God know I’m grateful that I feel He’s involved in the details of my life, this daily practice has been the biggest grounding influence in my life. It’s allowed me to be grateful during seasons of famine in my career when getting cut from auditions or told “no” was my most common experience. It’s also allowed me to meet the challenges of extremely fruitful moments in my career when I didn’t know if I would have the energy or ability to create and deliver all that was expected of me.

What excites you about the future of the theatre?

I am excited about the talent of the rising generation of theatre makers and doers. We have witnessed the technology revolution in our daily lives, and I think people want a reason to put their phone down and experience the energy of a live performance. To me we are going to have to push physical and creative boundaries and limitations to hold people’s attention and move their hearts. So, I’m excited for the challenges and solutions that lie ahead!

“Newsies” runs from July 10-27 at the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse in Auburn with a “Pay What You Will” performance on Saturday, July 13 at 8:00 PM. Tickets can be purchased by visiting or by calling The REV box office at 315-255-1785.

About The REV Theatre Company:

Headquartered in Auburn, NY, The REV Theatre Company is a dynamic arts organization committed to creating theatrical experiences at the highest levels of artistic integrity. It leverages the power of the arts as a tool for entertainment, education, social awareness and cultural development in its community and in the region. The REV Theatre Company is proud to affirm and accelerate its commitment to equality, diversity, inclusivity, and accessibility ensuring that its workforce, stages, and boardroom reflect its dedication to social and racial equality. The REV is situated in the picturesque Finger Lakes wine region of Central New York. Four hours from NYC and situated between Syracuse, Rochester and Ithaca, The REV is one of the largest producing musical theatre organizations in New York State, outside of New York City. Find The REV Theatre Company on Facebook, follow @TheREVTheatreCo on Twitter and Instagram and visit


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