The Student News Site of Urbana High School


The Student News Site of Urbana High School


The Student News Site of Urbana High School


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Newsies is Coming to UHS! : Everything you need to know about the 2024 Spring Musical

Alyssa Tyler
Technical Director, Chis Mcguire (11th grade) works on projections that are going to be featured in the musical.

Singing, dancing, and acting.

The UHS Drama Department is proud to announce that they are going to be putting on Disney’s Newsies! Though rehearsals have just started and opening night is months away, the cast and crew of Newsies are already so excited for the show.

What is Newsies?

Based on the real-life Newsboy Strike of 1899, this musical tells the story of Jack Kelly, a troubled newsboy who dreams of a life as an artist, away from the big city. Meanwhile, in an attempt to make more money, the owner of The World Newspaper, Joseph Pulitzer, raises the price of the newspapers at the expense of the newsboys. The Newsies decide to form a union and strike against Pulitzer. With help from the reporter Katherine Plumber, all of New York City soon recognizes the power “the little man” can have. 

“The Newsies that sell newspapers were striking for prices to be fair so they could afford to live,” is how Maddy Behling (12th grade; Katherine Plumber) described the musical. 

The Rehearsal Process

Opening night for Newsies is April 18th, and the cast is just getting started with rehearsals. “So far, we have really only done just blocking rehearsals and figuring out our motivations are as characters,” Ryan Crean (12th grade; Joseph Pulitzer) said when asked what rehearsal has been consisting of.

Blocking is when the director goes through each scene in the play or musical and tells the actors where to stand and what to do while delivering their lines. Sometimes it takes a whole rehearsal just to block one scene! “Crew wise, I am working on making transition lists and set pieces, getting everything ready for crew to come in later,” said Lily Weiksner (12th grade; Stage Manager).

With Newsies being a musical, the cast has the added challenge of singing and dancing. Singing rehearsals have already started and, with the help of choir teacher Mrs. Thompson, the cast of Newsies is learning how to properly sing their parts. More recently, dance rehearsals have started. The cast will learn song specific dances, choreographed by dance teacher Mrs. Jones, that they will have to perform while singing the songs. It proves to be difficult but the actors always find ways to pull it off.

One of the last things the actors do is work with the pit orchestra. The pit orchestra practices on their own, then joins the cast for specific music rehearsals, full of singing and dancing to the live music provided by music conductor Mr. Moran and the pit.

Once songs and dances are learned, and scenes are blocked, everything gets put together into one performance. This is when rehearsals consist of running through Act 1 and Act 2 of the show over and over again until it becomes second nature to the actors and dancers on stage, as well as crew backstage.

Finally, they arrive to tech week. This is the week of the show, when it all comes together. This is the week when the costumes for the cast arrive and when lights and tech get programmed just right for the stage. 

 During the four days leading up to opening night, cast and crew, alongside the pit orchestra, run through the entire show daily, with everything that they will be using or doing on the nights of the show.

The cast of Newsies in singing rehearsal with Mrs. Thompson (Alyssa Tyler)

Why Should UHS Students See Newsies?

The drama department works long and hard to put on a show that is entertaining and that honors the school. Attending one of their performances is a great opportunity to support your peers who may be on or behind the stage.

“Support the arts, there is a lot of talent and a lot of people from different parts of the school involved.” -Maddy Behling

“It’s a great story that a lot of people should see and hear and understand… and go hawks.” -Ryan Crean

“It is a very good show to see as a young adult, with all the strikes going on in the world, it’s important for people to understand it is real people behind these things.” -Chris Brookes (11th grade; Crutchie)

“We have one of the better drama departments in Frederick County, and people in the department put their whole heart and soul into what they do, and it really reflects on stage.” Brooke Dress (11th grade; Assistant Stage Manager)

“It’s a fun time, the cast and crew put a lot of effort in, working really hard, and students should see the work we have done.” -Lily Weiksner

Come see UHS Newsies April 18th-20th! Tickets will soon be available at! Go Hawks!

The cast of Newsies working on blocking a scene, under the direction of Mr. Ward (Theater teacher and Musical director) (Alyssa Tyler)
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About the Contributor
Alyssa Tyler, Reporter
Alyssa Tyler is a senior at Urbana High School. Alyssa has moved from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Urbana Maryland at 14 years old. “It was definitely a culture shock, but I’m glad I’m here,” she mentioned.  She has loved her time at Urbana and has loved all the friends and experiences she has had here. Alyssa’s biggest dream is costume designing for broadway. She also enjoys music, books, singing, and traveling. The dream of costume designing started after seeing Lion King on Broadway and then sketching wedding dresses in the 9th grade with inspiration from Say Yes to the Dress. This has led her to becoming the costume manager in Urbana High School's drama department.  Alyssa Tyler has loved traveling for a long time. She loves the idea of going to new places as well as seeing and doing new things that she would have never done at home. Alyssa is also a huge fan of music. Her top genres are 90’s grunge and modern pop. One of her favorite artists is Taylor Swift and she actually attended the Eras tour concert  in June. “It was such an amazing experience, I’m really glad I went,” she said.  Other artists she likes include Tate McRae, Foo Fighters, and Nirvana. She plays guitar as well as sings! Books are also an escape for Alyssa, saying that books are a way to escape the world and music is a way to drown it out.

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