Theater to perform “Newsies” this weekend


Photo by Yasmin Haq

The fine arts departments will perform “Newsies” on Jan. 19 at 7 p.m., Jan. 20 at 2 p.m., and Jan. 24, 25 and 26 at 7 p.m.  

The cast is lead by senior Joseph Hoffman, who plays Jack, seniors Addie Thrower and Caitlin Kresta, who alternate nights as Katherine, senior Sahil Panjwani, who plays Davey, sophomore Macey Newman, who plays Les, and senior Shawn Merchant, who plays Joseph Pulitzer. The show also has an ensemble cast of students from all fine arts departments.

“Everyone in the musical becomes really close,” Newman said. “We all support each other and we help each other out. I’ve run lines with people, gone over dances and sung through every song. It makes the show run better because it’s being done by a group of people who are focused on making the show the best they can.”

Newsies is a musical based on the 1992 film, which was inspired by the Newsboy Strike of 1899.

“I think that this show is really important,” sophomore Shae Duggan, who plays Race said. “It has themes that are relevant today, especially with the government shutdown, and all of the claims about ‘fake news.’ This is a show that shows how powerful resistance and the power of the press is, and how even kids can make a difference, and that everyone deserves to have a voice and a say in things that affect them.”

Hebron is one of the first high schools to perform this Tony Award -winning musical. The rights were released to high schools and community theaters after the touring show closed last March.

“I believe that there’s a lot of pressure on this cast,” Hoffman said. “Because this is a really new musical that a lot of high schools haven’t performed yet, everyone will be expecting us to set an example. It’s a great show, one of, if not the best show that Hebron has ever put on.”

Choreography was done by seniors Maddie McPherson and Hannah Lee.

“My favorite part of the show is the dancing,” junior Elizabeth Reed said. “That was definitely the most challenging, and rewarding part for me. A lot of the choreography goes really fast and is more difficult that I’m used to. But Hannah and Maddie just worked on it with us until everyone got it, and it looks great.”

Senior Dalton Currey, who plays Spot Conlon, said being in the musical taught him a lot of new and different things.

“It’s great to see all these artistic people come together and work on something that we all are really passionate about, Currey said. “It’s a massive piece of art, and I’m grateful to have been a part of the process.”

The cast has been rehearsing since October. The cast and crew meet after school and on Saturdays.

“When I’m backstage watching all of my best friends, who I’ve grown up with performing their hearts out onstage I tear up a little bit every time, Kresta said. “It’s been amazing, watching all of us succeed and do what we love.”