Hot Off the Press: Broadway Hit ‘Newsies!’ Selects Staples High School as Testing Ground for National High School Rollout

Courtesy+of+StageAgent.com

Courtesy of StageAgent.com

By Charlie Colasurdo ’18

Over 100 members of Staples Players gathered on May 12, in the Staples auditorium for an annual theater tradition: the announcement of their fall production. Unbeknownst to the cast, crew and supporting members, this year’s gathering would host a familiar face: Adam Kaplan ’08, a Players alumnus who made it big on Broadway. He appeared as a major character in “Newsies!” and currently as Charlie Price in a national tour of “Kinky Boots.”

 

Appearing via video, sporting an array of “Newsies!” logo wear, Kaplan was a clear giveaway for the upcoming show. As he proclaimed “Newsies!” as the group’s next musical, he told the group: “I’m so excited to work with you [Staples Players] next fall. Seize the day everyone!”

 

Kaplan’s surprise “Newsies!” announcement set cheers and waves of elation throughout the ranks of Players and faculty members. “It was wild,” said cast member Charlie Zuckerman ’18, an avid “Newsies” fan. “We had no idea performing the show was even possible, since the rights hadn’t been released.”

 

“Newsies”, the Broadway hit that draws upon Manhattan’s Newsboys Strike of 1899, is “the story of how a group of poor teenagers banded together to overcome and topple corporate greed,” explained Players’ Director David Roth. “The show is a timely fit,” he said. “The underdog being oppressed by the rich and powerful is certainly topical right now, and was also the theme of our recent production, ‘Urinetown’.”

 

So how did Staples wind up with the honor of being selected to pilot the production’s national release? According to Roth, Disney Theatricals reached out earlier this year, inquiring about the possibility of Staples serving as the testing ground for rolling out the musical in high schools nationwide. Roth explained, “The opportunity to be one of the first high schools in the country has put the excitement level through the roof — both for the students AND the community as a whole.”

 

Just weeks before their performance of the sold-out black-box production of “Peter and the Starcatcher,” the buzz surrounding the fall production of a pilot production of “Newsies” turned last Friday’s announcement into “front page news” for Staples Players. This will be one Players production you won’t want to miss, so check the Players’ website early for ticket availability.