by Helen MacGregor
The newsboys’ strike in the summer of 1899 lasted two-weeks and resulted in a considerable decline in circulation of the two most powerful papers in the USA. The strike drew rallies of more than 5,000 as the young newsboys called on the public to boycott newspapers, The World and The Journal. The public showed their support and stopped buying the offending papers. The newsies’ strike spawned similar actions in other parts of the country as well. The strikes would eventually lead to the introduction of urban child-welfare practices.
“Newsies The Musical” is coming to our town March 30-April 14! This musical is based on this true life story and is Kemptville Youth Musical Theatre’s 25th production. Here is your introduction to the rest of the fabulous cast members.
Oscar and Morris Delancey, tough brothers who work at the distribution window for The World, take the side of the publishers in the strike and are known to use their fists to make a point. Brent Geertsema has fun acting evil as Morris and then coming out as a Brooklyn newsie to save the day! Spot Conlon played by Hannah Marceau, is the proud leader of the Brooklyn newsies. Hannah also plays a goon, a nun and a Bowery Beauty. Braxton Bowers is otherwise known on stage as Wiesel. “Weasel,” runs the distribution window for the World and knows most of the newsies by name and is Pulitzer’s disgruntled paper-pusher. Braxton likes how this story shows youth empowerment.
Freddy Simonyi plays Seitz, the Editor who advises Pulitzer, but ultimately admires the kids’ newspaper. Freddy also plays Mr. Jacobi, who allows the newsies to congregate in his restaurant to plan their strike. Bunsen, Pulitzer’s bookkeeper, comes up with the idea to raise the newsies’ price per paper. Katelyn McGahey likes playing Bunsen, the character that in the end ignites the strike! She also plays the Stage Manager who introduces Medda’s act.
Aby Robbens has fun playing Hannah, Pulitzer’s practical and insightful secretary. Maxime Tufts enjoys being both Pulitzer’s barber, Nunzio and then switching to the Mayor of New York City who rebuffs Pulitzer’s attempts to shut down the newsies’ strike.
Morgan Belhumeur plays Bill, the son of William Randolph Hearst who joins the newsies’ cause. Darcy is the upper-class kid of a publisher who sides with the newsies. Christopher Landry enjoys playing this part, as well as being a scab, goon and Newsie. The cast is well rounded out with actors that play Brooklyn Newsies, Bowery Beauties and Goons. These talented multirole players are Jana Szpala, Arden Leahy, Sophie Jackson, Kira Peskett and Elisha Whelan. This is an awesome cast so don’t delay and get your $18 tickets now! Go to Scotiabank, or buy online. Go to www.kymtc.org for more information.