Theater department stuns audience with “Newsies” choreography


Camila Flores

Coppell High School senior Angeli Smith plays Race in the CHS fall musical. “Newsies” is showing November 1, 2, 3, 9 and 10 with Fridays and Saturdays showing at 7:30 and Sunday matinees at 2:30.

Trisha Atluri, Staff Writer/Photographer

On Friday, the Coppell High School Theater Department witnessed months of hard work coming to fruition with the opening night of “Newsies”. 

Set in New York City at the turn of the 20th century, newsie Jack Kelly (senior Ryan McCord) forms a union to stand against child labor when greedy newspaper owner Joseph Pulitzer (senior Alex McCord) raises the price of newspapers for the newsboys. Reporting on the strike is Katherine Plumber (senior Charlotte Vanyo), Jack’s love interest. 

“I would encourage people to watch “Newsies” because it’s an amazing time period piece,” stage manager senior Ashlyn Peterman said. “It talks about the equality of class and jobs and how all employees should be treated equally and paid fairly.”

Kelly’s desire to escape the harsh city life of a homeless orphan in New York causes him to dream about running away to the picturesque, care-free land of Santa Fe. This desire holds him back in accepting the family he has with the other newsies, a character weakness that is developed throughout the show.

In addition to poignant solos such as “Santa Fe”, “Newsies” features rousing tunes such as “Seize the Day” and “The World Will Know”. The dance corps also surprises the audience with its tap dancing skills during the energetic number “King of New York”.

With such versatility in the show, it is no surprise that “Newsies” outsold the theater department’s 2018 fall musical “All Shook Up” in two days of ticket sales. The cast and crew strongly believe this is well-deserved, especially when considering the hours of hard work spent preparing for “Newsies”. 

“The end result was really hard to get to, but it definitely all worked out and it’s really put together now,” said senior Rachel Tanel, who plays a nun and a bowery beauty. “We did have some rough patches at first, but we worked through those.”

According to Peterman, the actors spent at least four hours a day four days a week rehearsing for the show, while technicians were at the school for up to 13 hours at a time building sets.

“‘Newsies’ has been a labor of love,” Peterman said. “A lot of work was put into this show, especially in our programming departments and building scaffolding.”

The musical holds a relevant message for theater-goers in the 21st century learning about the strike’s history. 

“[‘Newsies’ shows] that no matter what, you should stick together,” dance corps member freshman Mary Roach said.

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