Theater students perform “Newsies, Jr.”

Les (played by Madeline Yzaguirre), Davey (played by Ki Rash), Katherine Plummer (played by Marie Wallace) and Jack Kelly (played by Keegan Baughman) perform a musical score.

The Lebanon High School’s Musical Theater Production class raised the curtain on its first play of the school year, “Newsies, Jr.,” providing full cast entertainment on Feb. 9-10.

“It was so fun,” sophomore Sami Lovely said. “I was very nervous, but once you’re on stage all the adrenaline just goes away.”

Lovely played two roles, that of newsgal Hazel and vaudeville performer Ada.

Disney’s “Newsies Jr.” is a 60-minute version of the 2012 Broadway musical based on the 1992 film. Based on a true story out of New York City at the end of the 19th century, the musical play follows charismatic leader Jack Kelly, a newsboy who wants to be an artist out west. When publisher Joseph Pulitzer raises his newspaper prices at the newsboys’ expense, Kelly leads the city’s newsies in a strike that ultimately teaches the kids resilience and unity.

Saphira Brown, left, and Abigail Ghio, right, adjust the makeup for Izabel Scott who played two roles in “Newsies Jr.”

Senior Keegan Baughman, who played the role of Kelly, said the opening night was “amazing,” even though he noticed they made errors throughout the night.

“I don’t think anyone (in the audience) noticed the things that were missed because we improv-ed, which is what you do when that happens,” Baughman said. “Everyone involved in this, they did a great job; I’m so proud of them.”

He said the hardest part for him during the school semester was memorization of all his lines, but for the crew as a whole, he noted one of the hardest things was the ice storm in mid-January, which forced them to push forward the production a few weeks later.

The character of Katherine Plummer, Pulitzer’s daughter, was played by junior Marie Wallace. She echoed Baughman’s sentiment that opening night was “amazing.”

“I was absolutely terrified, but it went so well,” she said. “Everyone worked so good together and I’m just so happy that we all got to do this together. It was awesome.”

Characters Katherine Plummer and Jack Kelly, at far left, watch the “Bowery Brigade” perform.

Led by choir teacher Emma Christensen and band teacher Aaron Smith, the class consisted of about 60 students. After the school year began on Sept. 6, 2023, they began work on the Disney production.

“We fiddle around for about the first month,” Smith said.

This was the first year both Smith and Christensen took the helm of the high school’s bi-annual presentation. The band teacher said he especially liked the weekend construction builds when a lot of the students come in and “just demo and build, demo and build, demo and build.” They take old stage builds, tear them down and rebuild what’s needed for the current play. Given that most or none of them have construction experience, they used online videos to try to “figure it out,” he said.

“I think the best part was in the last few weeks, once everyone got really comfortable with their lines and memorization and everything,” Christensen said. “It just really seemed to come to life on stage and see people be a lot more confident and expressive; it’s fun to watch.”


Cast and Crew

Jack Kelly played by Keegan Baughman, Crutchie played by Six Easton, Katherine Plummer played by Marie Wallace, Joseph Pulitzer played by Dallen Myler, Davey played by Ki Rash, Les played by Madeline Yzaguirre, Spot Conlon played by Baily Hartman, Darcy played by Kaleigh Young, Bill played by Kaeson Smith, Wiesel played by Stanley North, Oscar Delancey played by Brayden Lambert, Morris Delancey played by Forrest Stocking, Seitz played by Rachel Costa, Bunsen played by Isabella Milam, Hannah played by Vixxen Vielbig, Snyder played by Julius Warren-Henrikson, Medda Larkin played by Josie North, Gov. Teddy Roosevelt played by Danny Fredrick, police chief played by Isabella Milam, Dorothy played by Shylo Wheat, Pat played by Emma Lodes.

Newsies played by Sam Scott, Xander Barker, Autumn Baldizan, Carmen Bradshaw, Sailor Brubaker, Olivia Spradlin, Sami Lovely, Danny Fredrick, Kaeson Smith, Izabel Scott, Dipper O’Farrell. Bowery Brigade played by Sami Lovely, Carmen Bradshaw, Izabel Scott. Scabs played by Baily Hartman, Josie North, Rachel Costa.

Directors: Aaron Smith, Emma Christensen. Choreographer: Six Easton. Stage manager: Valen Andruss. Asst. stage manager: Sophia Dalziel. Stunt coordinator: Carmen Bradshaw. Construction lead: Sophia Dalziel. Costume designers: Saphira Brown, Abigail Ghio. Tech leads: Micah Sanchez, Castiel Suitsev. Props master: Emmy Klym. Backstage tech: Shelby Maclaughlin-Johnson. Drama supervisors: Baily Hartman, Forrest Stocking.

Light & Sound crew: Aaron Bradbury, Anne Buchert, Eel Hammer, Andra Ramos, Colton Whittier. Stage crew: Hailee Busse, Sarah Froman, L. Hatchard, Nathan King, Cheyenne Treleven, Melanie Wilder, Shawn Whitney. Costume/Makeup: Rigel Benson, Ellie Birch. Construction team: Gracie Hansen, Quinn Harriman, Alivia Perry.