This Friday NEWSIES Kicks Off VYT's 30th Season

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This Friday NEWSIES Kicks Off VYT's 30th SeasonAs the first show of their 30th season, Valley Youth Theatre (VYT) will present the musical, Newsies, from August 10 through August 26, on Center Stage at the Herberger Theater Center.

Presented by Valley Toyota Dealers and sponsored in part by Edward Jones, this is the first time Valley Youth Theatre has presented Newsies, a production that Producing Artistic Director, Bobb Cooper, and Resident Music Supervisor, Mark Fearey, have wanted to produce for twenty years. "It was a landmark event for young people," states Cooper, "And today, it's more relevant than ever as we see kids band together to support one another for a common cause. The Newsboys' Strike is one of the first strikes carried out by children and it ended in a compromise that not only met their needs, it also created awareness and a platform that led to labor laws that still exist to protect children, today."

First-time VYT performer, Kale Burr, portrays lead character Jack "Cowboy" Kelly, the charismatic leader who initiated the strike. Burr is eighteen and a recent graduate from Mountain View High School. Five-time VYT alum Kendra Richards takes on the role of ambitious reporter, Katherine Plumber. Richards is a sixteen-year-old junior at Horizon high School. Thirty-seven local performers, ranging in age from twelve to eighteen complete the cast and twenty-one Valley musicians comprise the orchestra for this production.

Also serving as Director for this production, Cooper enlisted Broadway performer, director and choreographer Tony Spinosa to choreograph this important season opener.

As with all VYT productions, the theatre has partnered with HopeKids to give terminally ill boys and girls and their families a complementary performance, at 7:00 pm, August 9. They will also perform for local schools, as part of their Literacy and the Arts and Field Trip programs, August 21 and 22, at 9:30 am and 11:30 am.

Tickets for Newsies range from $16.50 to $35.50 and can be purchased via telephone at 602.252.8497 or online, for an additional fee, at

Founded in 1989, Valley Youth Theatre (VYT) is a professional-quality theatre company dedicated to helping young people achieve their full potential through meaningful engagement, education and excellence in the performing arts. By "building character from characters," VYT empowers kids of all ages and backgrounds to learn and grow as individuals, performers and leaders. Over the past five seasons alone, the organization has positively impacted more than 200,000 children and their families through public and school performances, workshops and youth development programs.

Winner of more than four dozen National Youth Arts awards, voted "Best Live Theater" on, heralded as "Best Place to Take a Bow" by Phoenix Magazine, and rated one of the "Top Ten Places to Become a Future Star" by the Arizona Republic, VYT produces six mainstage shows each season, including two at the Herberger Theater Center.

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