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Newsies is Another Student Crafted Hit

Jack, played by senior Robert Myers, shares his plan to strike with the other ‘newsies’.

   From Thursday, Oct 12th, to Sunday, Oct 15th, UHS’ theatre team premiered Newsies. An amazing musical set in New York City at the turn of the century, it follows the story of Jack Kelly (played by Robert Myers), who’s an aspiring artist, rebellious newsboy, and leader of a teenage band of ‘newsies’. After newspaper titan Joseph Pullitzer raises newspaper prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack leads his fellow newsboys to the fight against Pullitzer. 

    Played by Norah Perfetto, the beautiful reporter Katherine Plumber assists Jack’s team of newsboys in spreading the word of Pullitzer’s mistreatment, and soon enough, all of New York city recognizes the power of the underdog as Jack and his team rallies newsies from all across the city to fight for what’s right. 

   Theatre director Mr. Alex Mendez, who orchestrated the show stated that he chose Newsies because it’s an uplifting show that shows us that we can fight for what we believe in. It’s a great season opener and helped set the tone for the school year in regards to dance, music, acting, and tech training. “The Newsboys Strike of 1899, which serves as the backdrop for our production, was a real-life event where young newspaper sellers stood up against unfair working conditions. Their courage, determination, and resilience remind us that even the smallest voices can create significant change,” said Mendez.

     Dozens of students have been working tirelessly on producing Newsies, whether that be with back to back dance lessons, auditioning, acting, or creating the set, they all  came together to create an exemplary experience. “We’ve been taking tap dance classes since like july in preparation for this show, so it’s just been a long trudge,” said actor and dancer senior Chloe Christiansen.

    The production was large enough that some students doubled as set designers and actors. “The biggest challenge I had to overcome in the show was just making the switch between set designer and actor, because it would be two different fields. I would be painting one minute and acting the next one,” said senior Lydia DeBaggis 

    The set, which was a replica of the one used on Broadway, was mobile and its design was produced by the students. “The short amount of time we had to do newsies and having such an advanced show, it was hard to put together but was worth it in the end. There’s always certain moments in every show in which I can get a chance to just breathe and watch the show and those moments I cherish the most,” said set designer senior Christinnia Lutman. 

   Confident in the success of the show, Mendez is planning to submit this show as a Mainstage Musical qualifier for the Florida State Thespian Festival.  According to Mendez,  “If we are chosen, we will have to physically transport the entire show, set, costumes, tech, etc. on a semi truck and take it to Tampa to perform at the Straz Center. It’s a huge task and we are hopeful that we will be able to embark on this challenging journey!”

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About the Contributor
Ashton Young
Ashton Young, Staff Writer
Ashton Young is currently a sophomore at UHS, and this is his first year as Staff Writer on The Torch. He enjoys reading and visiting national or state parks. He appreciates and listens to all kinds of music and his favorite film is Reservoir Dogs.
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