BWW Previews: NEWSIES SHOWCASE YOUTH NEWSPAPER STRIKE IN 1899 at Arts In Motion Community Youth Theatre
Presented by Arts in Motion Community Youth Theatre, on stage March 17-19, Newsies the Musical tells the story of Jack Kelly, Crutchie, Davey and a scrappy group of kids trying to survive by hawking newspapers throughout New York City in 1899.
Newsies the Musical features a cast of 59: Jack Kelly- Roman Ricardo; Davey Jacobs- Connor Mirrop; Les Jacobs - Alyssa White/ Carly Bowling; Pulitzer- Aidan Kender; Katherine Plumber- Annie Sardouk and Shelby Surratt; Crutchie- Rhett Ricardo, Tristan Haberland; Medda Larkin- Megan Phillips, Amanda Cloversettle; Race- Bernadette Richter; Romeo- Kellen Kender; Finch- Reagan Ricardo; Weisel/Seitz- Zachary Trenkle; Jojo- Hannah Butler; Specs- Mikayla Mauradian; Mike- Ellie Chase; Albert- Kevin Grumbley; Buttons- Jayden Parsons; Tommy Boy/Nun/Hannah/Nunzio- Cassidy Haberland; Sniper/Nun/Hannah/Nunzio- Jessica Haberland; Jacobi/Elmer- Harley White; Spot Conlon- Jacob DeClaire and Rowan Heyman; Delancey Brothers- Rhett Ricardo/Tristan Haberland and Josh Blomeley; Stage Manager- Amelia Hesting; Synder- Marque Morales; Mush- Olivia Welbon; Mayor/Henry- Parker Medlin; Bunsen- Matthew Cloversettle; Roosevelt- Spencer Lowe; Darcy- Zoe Schambeau; Bill- Joey Principato; Newsies-Annie Russo, Alexis and Kayla Hopkins, Ashlyn Masson, Aubrey Welbon, Brianna Dias, Ella Reynolds, Gabi Jones, Jadyn Mills, Karis Williams, Liliana Ruck, Lily Richter, Rhys Ricardo and Elijah Boone, and Beauties- Adrie Jones, Dakota Henry, Sarah Hoerbelt, MacKenzie Trenkle, Marissa Mesuch, Isla Hutcheson, Rio Ricardo, Kendall Grumbley, Eden Drovanti, and Violet Ruck.
"The newsboys' strike of 1899 was a U.S. youth-led campaign that challenged the country's most famous and wealthy men. This strike shined a light on the child labor crisis and our desperate need for change. Most newsies were orphans, runaways, homeless or were children from poor families who sold papers to scrape together meager earnings for survival. To me, this show represents EVERYONE having a voice and standing for what you believe is right. At the end of the day, it may be a hard journey and you may not win," said Director Capria Pichette. "For the newsies of 1899 the price of papers was not lowered BUT the strike was successful in forcing the World and Journal to offer full buybacks to their sellers, thus increasing the amount of money that newsies received for their work - A compromise due to one voice becoming a choir. The second message out of many that can be pulled from this beautifully written show is SEIZE THE DAY! Maybe for you, that is taking a stand for something or maybe it's as simple spending more time with family or friends. Jack Kelly (the male lead in the show) spends his days and nights dreaming of a place he has never been only to realize that place means nothing if he makes it there alone."
Actress Annie Sardouk (Katherine Plumber) agreed and added, "My main takeaway is to fight for what you believe in no matter how slim the odds are of winning."
"My goal behind each production is to help students build confidence, stimulate originality and creativity, and cultivate teamwork and collaborative environment. Arts in Motion is a community youth theatre and arts organization. EVERY student from K-12 grade that registers gets to be a part of the process and production. This production has 59 students in it!" said Capria, "This plays a part in how I envision and piece the show together. For example, I may take a character in the show and turn into 2-3 characters so more students have an opportunity to have a speaking line or a solo. There are also concepts I wanted to make sure we kept from the original Broadway production such as the scaffolding set and the students actually completing all the scene changes like they are choreographed dance numbers. This gave the kids an opportunity to really appreciate the volunteers and parents who normally would be the stage crew for them."
Annie said, "One of the things that I love about this show is its complexity. There are several stories within the main story. And there's something in it for everyone. Love ballads and tap numbers! There are all of the different emotions that the characters are feeling and you feel all of them with them. There's Love, injustice, desperation, comedy, grief, and joy."
When asked if she had a favorite line or scene in the musical, Capria said that it changed with each rehearsal.
"I find myself drawn to the students who keep growing and taking risks. My leads and supporting leads earned their role due to their diligent and professional work ethic and I could not be prouder of them and their development. But it can also be the student who isn't speaking at all but is on stage in the moment. So often kids who have little experience on stage will do their line or solo great but then when they are not speaking they end up watching the show rather than being the show," she said. "One of my favorite scenes is seized the day because it is all encompassing giving the audience the chilling vocal harmonies, demanding dance and beautiful message all in one."
A youth rebellion in song and dance, Newsies the Musical urges the oppressed to band together to rise up against a corporate conglomerate. In this day and age, it seems more relevant than ever.
Newsies the Musical is May 17 at 7:00 p.m., May 18 at 2:00 and 7:00 p.m. and May 19 at 2:00 p.m at Pasco Middle School, 13925 14th Street, Dade City, Florida 33525. For more information or to purchase tickets at http://www.artsinmotionpasco.org/tickets.html.