Newsies actors shine bright on stage

As the cast of Newsies reflect on their performance, members break down each night


Arden Ray

FISTS TO THE SKY: Members of the Starlight Theater Company (STC) hold their hands up high as they beam their smiles into the audience. The whole cast gathered together onstage to joyfully thank the students and staff who took the time to come out to the theater to watch their show. “I really believe that all of our audiences enjoyed the show,” Fleming said. “We put our all into every production, every night. We really tried to make sure everyone in the audience left the theater feeling happy and fulfilled with the show we put on for them.”

Arden Ray, Photo Essay Editor

Crumpled newspapers flying through the air and into the audience, singing, dancing, intricate set designs, and emotional expressions. That’s what the James Bowie High School Starlight Theater Company (STC) production of Newsies was all about. 

On Thursday, Jan. 19, the STC had their opening night. Production and rehearsal started in November. Sophomore Jayden White, who is a member of the STC, describes his experience rehearsing for his role Tommy Boy in the musical. 

“In November, we focused solely on vocals, making sure as an ensemble the songs sounded good,” White said. 

The production team wasn’t brought on stage until December and dress rehearsal didn’t begin until January. Cast members were expected to rehearse everyday including weekends for two months straight until opening night. Senior STC member Jack Fleming played Davey.  

 “The time frame we were given was shorter than usual, however there was still enough time for everyone to prepare,” Fleming said.

Musical preparation process takes time and commitment from STC members. A lot of thought goes into the decisions for how rehearsal time is spent. Rehearsals are spent running lines, stage blocking, set designing, costume fitting, practicing scenes, singing, and much more. 

 “I honestly think that if I were to have more time then I would have tried to over-correct things that were already good enough,” Fleming said. 

With quick set changes, fast costume swaps, and challenging monologues, directors try to eliminate stress come time of show night. Many STC members think there was enough time to get ready for opening night. 

 “I definitely had enough time to prepare for my role because we rehearsed for about two months and had a lot of time to practice music, lines, etc.,” White said.

“I really believe that all of our audiences enjoyed the show. We put our all into every show night and really tried to make sure everyone left the theater feeling fulfilled.”

— Jack Fleming, Senior

Although the audience sees the work of the actors on stage, many of the STC members play large roles behind the curtains, where they cannot be seen. Each part in making production flow smoothly is imperative.

“I think upperclassmen definitely have a big part in leading behind the scenes because whether they are actors or serve as assistant directors, they have the experience in the company to be able to guide people through the process,” White said.

For the STC actors, audience reaction can have a huge impact on actors and directors keeping them on their toes with anticipation of how the crowd will receive their performance.

“The audience response to the show was incredibly positive, our director said he got nothing but compliments, which is all you can really hope for in a performance,” White said.

Newsies is the third official show in the new Performing Arts Center. STC members now have a bigger and more updated space to rehearse and put on a show. The larger space gives actors more space to let their performances come to life. 

“ It’s a really nice space with more backstage area and room to move around onstage, and a great audience space as well,” White said. 

Newsies will not be the final show of the year for the STC. There are still two more shows to go in the next three months. After Newsies, the company has plans in store to create more shows for their beloved audience in the new Performing Arts Center. 

“Bowie theater is an incredible thing to be a part of and I’m glad I have it as an extracurricular for my high school years,” White said.