“Newsies” to open after months of preparation


Elly Kenninger

Fargo North’s Theater puts on a musical during the first semester of each school year. This fall, students are performing the Disney production, Newsies. Countless hours of work have been put into this show by everyone involved to present the best possible performance.
Preparation for Newsies began the first week of school with casting auditions taking place on Aug. 23-25.
“Every student who wants a part has to sing so they have to prepare… some sort of song and they have to get up in front of a handful of their peers and do their piece,” said Thomas Gillen, co-director of Newsies.
Additionally, they were expected to participate in a dance audition as well.
“A choreographer taught them a piece of choreography who took a pretty good amount of time to let them ask questions,” said Rachel Gillen, who directs alongside Thomas Gillen.
She added that they split them into small groups and used this to see who had the ability to learn choreography quickly, an important skill for this production. After receiving their roles, the group rehearsed for about three to four hours a day.
Not too long after, auditions for the pit began. Junior Jaden Zander, is an auxiliary percussionist. He described the music as jazzy with some pop elements. In September, student musicians began practicing a couple times a week for one to two hours at a time. However, as the show dates near, rehearsals have extended.
“We rehearse for four hours a day,” said Zander.
This extra time requirement applies to the actors as well.
“Now that we are getting closer to the show, they (rehearsals) are more like five or six hours long,” said junior Mackenzie Conlin, who plays Specs in the musical.
Day after day of hours of work have been done with a purpose. The co-directors are hoping the audience, especially teenagers, grasp a deeper meaning.
“This show is interesting right now because it tells the story of the little guy who… can make a change,” said Thomas. “Teenagers today should be able to take away that if they (Newsies) could do it then, we can do it now,” added Rachel.
Newsies will be performed six times at North. The cast will take the stage Oct. 26-27 and Nov. 1-4. Everyone involved is excited to perform and finally show off all the work they have put in.