Liberty News

‘Newsies’ leaps onto Tower Theater stage

September 15, 2017 : By Victoria Conner/Liberty University News Service

'Newsies' show times: Sept. 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30 at 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 16, 23, 30 at 2 p.m.; Sept.17, 24, Oct. 1 at 3 p.m. Click image for ticket information or call (434) 582-SEAT (7328) during weekday business hours. (Photo by Leah Seavers)Alluvion Stage Company is bringing the Virginia premiere of Disney’s “Newsies” to the Tower Theater at Liberty University starting tonight. Running Sept. 15 - Oct. 1, “Newsies,” is an engaging story packed with inspiring truths.

Based on the real-life New York City newsboys’ strike of 1899, the musical tells the story of Jack Kelly (based on an actual person), a newsboy who dreams of life as an artist away from the big city. When newspaper prices are raised at the newsboys’ expense, Kelly and his fellow newsies take action against the industry.

Department of Theatre Arts chair and Alluvion Artistic Director Linda Nell Cooper said the thrilling musical is a great way to welcome in a new school year, because “Newsies” features themes such as coming of age and finding purpose.

“It is a show about youth who have a voice to make decisions about the future, and their voice needs to be heard,” Cooper said. “It is just as important, sometimes more so, than those that have been established in an environment.”

The Newsies cast, which is primarily male, includes 36 actors and 12 student interns. Two of the cast are members of the Actors’ Equity Association, a first for Alluvion. About a dozen people, both professionals and students, work behind the scenes in the crew.

'Newsies' is based on the real-life New York City newsboys' strike of 1899. (Photo by Leah Seavers)

“Alluvion is bringing in professional musicians in the orchestra pit and a professional stage manager and wardrobe managers, which brings a whole new level of experience to the backstage area,” Cooper said, referencing the differences between an Alluvion production and Liberty’s other main stage productions.

The choreography for “Newsies” is some of the highest caliber ever in a Liberty production, according to Cooper, and showcases strong dance moves as well as leaps and tumbling.

“You feel like you’re watching an athletic team,” Cooper said. “It brings a different energy to it and a different quality of dance, all men dancing with masculine vigor.”

Liberty junior and assistant dance captain Brandon Shawl said the show can encourage the audiences’ younger members that they can make a difference, despite their age.

“Even though we’re younger, we have as much of a voice as anyone else, whether that be about our politics, our faith, or anything,” said Shawl. “Our voice matters and that is expressed in this show.”

To purchase tickets, visit the Tower Theater website or call the Liberty University Box Office at (434) 582-SEAT (7328) during weekday business hours. On the night of a performance, call the Tower Box Office at (434) 582-2085.