For this year’s fall musical, Harding Academy’s Wildcat Theatre Company will perform Disney’s “Newsies,”a musical inspired by the historical 1899 newsboys strike in New York City.
Harding Academy senior Asher Patten plays the lead male role, Jack Kelly, one of the newsboys who leads the strike against the newspaper The World.
“The thing that sets this show apart from other previous shows is the insane amount of talent this cast possesses,” Patten said. “Every single person plays a huge role in completing the bigger picture of the show. There’s something in the musical for everyone: singing, dancing, fighting, action, jokes, love, drama and more.”
Harding Academy junior Kadyn Harris plays the female lead, Katherine Plumber, a reporter who writes the article about the newsboys strike.
“Katherine has taught me to be brave. She is very headstrong and not afraid to say what she wants,” Harris said. “She is so devoted to help the newsies in their fight, and this character has taught me to value loyalty above all else and to trust myself and what I believe in.”
The “Newsies” hosted Camp Newsies on Nov. 9-10. More than 50 kids showed up to learn a song and dance from the show and how to “strike” and talk like a newsie over the course of three hours at the academy. The purpose behind this event was to raise money for the Child Safety Center of White County. The “Newsies” cast and attendees raised more than $500.
Melanie Blansett, director of “Newsies” and the Wildcat Theatre Co., oversaw the fundraising effort and said that it helped to encourage interest and involvement in the show with elementary-aged students and the community.
“Traditionally, these types of events are much-needed fundraisers for our department,” Blansett said. “This year, we were in a good position with our budget and felt strongly that we should use the event as a fundraiser for a group in our community. Using our talents to give back to others is part of our mission.”
Junior public relations major Ava Galyean has assisted the “Newsies” cast as the public relations intern and dance captain for the show.
“You can always learn something from people who are younger than you,” Galyean said. “Watching how these young adults love each other and love what they do has been so eye opening and has reminded me why I do what I do. They give this show everything they’ve got and do it all for the glory of God.”