King of Heritage

Fine arts wows student body with "Newsies" production


Photo by Hunter Freeman

Lexi Hughes (12) plays the role of Katherine in her last high school theatrical production.

Alyssa Phillips, Print Managing Editor

With amazing choreography, acting, and singing, the Heritage theater department blows the community away with their production of Disney’s “Newsies” on Feb. 1-3. The action-packed musical is the most ambitious production they have done to date. With a cast larger than 50 students, they will fill the auditorium with the sounds of the Newsboys strike of 1899.

This musical follows the journey of a 17 year old newspaper boy, Jack Kelly (Jonathan Benham 12/Hunter Spears 12) who is the leader of the rambunctious group of kids who decide to take on the almighty Pulitzer (Jacob Graham 12/Jaren Weldon 11). They rally together to take down the paper they work for, The World. During this time, Kelly falls in love with the headstrong Katherine (Alexis Hughes 12/McKenna Cooper 11). Together, they strike and take on The World.

“The beauty of having family and brotherhood is so important in the show,” Cooper said. “I feel like it brings a really supporting atmosphere when it comes to relationships.”

The beauty of theater is that everyone can relate to their character in one way or another. Whether they share similar ideas, or have the same vivacious spirit, they can embody the character by finding ways they are alike. Jacob Crim (9) plays Crutchie, a newsie who has a limp due to contracting polio at a young age.

“[Crutchie] and I are both very wholehearted in everything we say and do,” Crim said. “We’re kind of like the younger brother in every group we’re in.”

The cast and crew has been working diligently on the production since November. Spending nine hours a week, not including weekend rehearsals, allows the cast to get to know each other and befriend people they would have never met otherwise.

The relationships built can last a lifetime.

“Nobody’s left out, it’s one big family,” Benham said.

One of the great things about the musical is that it is open to everyone, even if they have never had prior theater experiences. Most of the cast is not involved in theater. Colton Landon (10) decided to audition after his friends pushed him to be a part of it.

“[The exciting part is] being able to be a part of something bigger than yourself,” Landon said.

What entrances the audience the most about “Newsies” is the over-the-top dance numbers. Many of the dance moves are very intricate, so the Belles graciously stepped in to help increase the quality of the show. All of their turns and leaps will draw the audience in and enhance the performance.

“The tap dance is my favorite,” Eleanor Toon (11) said. “I grew up tapping.”

After working for three months, the Heritage theater department amazes the audience with their amazing production of Disney’s “Newsies”. They pour their hearts out into every performance.