“Seizing the Day” at Cherry Hill West


Sonia Kangaju '19, Editor-in-Chief

This fall, the West Theatre Department is putting on a musical production that will prove to be fun for the whole family: Disney’s “Newsies.” The award-winning show tells the story of a group of struggling paper boys in 19th century New York City that chooses to stand up for their rights when their employers make it harder than ever for them to make a living. It is loosely based on an historical event known as the Newsboys Strike of 1899, where newsboys who worked for the New York World and the New York Journal, owned by Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, respectively, went on strike when the prices they had to pay for their newspapers were spiked up.

In order to prepare this production in time for opening night on October 26th, auditions and casting were completed in June, just after the school year closed out, and rehearsals began on Tuesdays and Thursdays in August. Mr. Jonathan Hunt leads vocal rehearsals and reminds the cast of the importance of putting every ounce of one’s passion into every performance. Also, Ms. Hallie Berger, a West graduate from the Class of 2013, has returned to the school to choreograph the show. She has challenged all of the performers with dynamic dance moves that will be sure to please the crowds, and she has made a point of giving students with special athletic talents opportunities to showcase them in various numbers.

Junior Javion Saunders will be starring in his first principal role in a West production as Jack Kelly, the charming paper boy who becomes the face of the strike. He says that his favorite part about having the lead is “bringing diversity to the faces that people usually see in West performances” as an African-American actor. He and the entire cast are very excited to bring this tale of courage and persistence to life.

Tickets are now on sale for the West Theatre Department’s fall musical, “Newsies.” The four show dates for the production are Friday, October 26th at 7PM, Saturday, October 27th at 2PM and at 7PM, and Sunday, October 28th at 2PM. Tickets can be purchased online at www.showtix4u.com.