Dover-Sherborn Middle School will be bringing the high-spirited, energetic, and enormously entertaining smash hit Broadway musical “Newsies” to Mudge Auditorium on December 5 through 7. Over 100 Dover-Sherborn students from grades six through twelve have been involved in all aspects of the production – as members of the cast, stage and tech crews, student directors, choreographers, orchestra musicians, as well as student volunteers heading up production committees for hair, make-up, costumes, props, publicity, and business advertising.
Newsies is based on the real-life 1899 newsboy strike that pitted the “newsies,” a group of rag-tag teenaged street corner paper boys, against New York City publishing titans. When publishing giant Joseph Pulitzer decides to raise the cost of his newspapers at the newsboys’ expense, things quickly escalate as the newsies rally from across the city to strike against the unfair conditions and fight for what's right.
Watching the cast sing and dance to the musical’s powerhouse songs, it is apparent that the Newsies’ story has resonated with the middle schoolers, teaching them important life lessons. “'Newsies' is such a great show; every song has its own lesson," states eighth grader, Patrick Lombard. "In the song, 'The World Will Know,' our director told us to think of anything in the world that makes us angry. It didn't just have to be the 'Newsies' strike, it could be anything from inequality to pollution. We needed to think that if you fight hard enough you could end this problem for good. She told us this so we could put ourselves in the Newsies shoes and understand how they were feeling. This really helped the cast put a lot of emotion into the song as it gave us a better understanding of the problems in our world and how anyone can make a difference.”
The energetic choreography brings the story to life as the newsies perform a steady stream of exhilarating spins, leaps, and acrobatic tricks. Director Claire Mackay, a Sherborn resident who also doubles as the choreographer, states: “'Newsies' is such an exciting show to choreograph. It was so much fun to incorporate unique tricks and props into the dance routines such as cast members dancing with drumsticks to emphasize the beat of the song and energy of the newsies. A choreographed brawl, tap dancing on tables, and utilizing the multi-leveled scaffolding set draws the audience into the power of the newsies’ rallying anthem.”
“The dances are difficult," says Sherborn eight-grader Hayden Hoffmann, who plays Hannah, "but once we perfect them it is very rewarding and incredibly exciting to perform them.”
On Broadway, "Newsies" received 23 major theatrical nominations and won Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Score and Choreography. The performances will be Thursday, December 5, at 6:30 p.m.; Friday, December 6, at 7:00 p.m.; and Saturday, December 7, at 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. at Dover-Sherborn Mudge Auditorium. Tickets are on sale now at www.ticketstage.com.