By Aubrey Hertle
Throngs of students, teachers, and reporters crowded into Studio One at 3 p.m. on Tuesday evening, eagerly awaiting the news from Theatre Director Robbie Steiner. He wrote in an email that is was “A pretty big deal regarding the theatre department.” Going into it nobody had an inkling of an idea what this tidbit of news was going to be. The energy in the room was anxious and excited.
After almost 20 minutes of buildup Steiner finally took stage to announce the news. He stated that while he and a few team members were sitting at lunch last summer in Nebraska they were approached by some representatives from Disney who said that they were very impressed with the program and might be interested in a deal in the future. Almost a year later he was contacted by the same representatives saying that they had chosen the FC Theatre Department to possibly pilot a new show the next season.
The show they were chosen to pilot is none other than “Newsies the Musical,” an infamous broadway musical. It is based off of the 1992 musical film “Newsies” that was inspired by the real-life Newsboy Strike of 1899 in New York City.
The Theatre Department will be working directly with Disney Theatricals and Music Theatre International (MTI) to make changes to the script before it is officially released for any school to produce.
MTI has also presented the opportunity for FC to have the production screened for possible performance at the International Thespian Festival in 2018. If FC is selected they will perform for the entire festival (a crowd of around 4,000 students, teachers, and professionals), just like they did with “42nd Street” in 2016.
The offer came as a complete surprise and was excitedly accommodated into the show schedule for next school year.
While the production of “Newsies the Musical” is still quite far off, the Theatre Department is planning a physical training session as the musical is an extremely physically demanding show as well as the normal workshops that are offered.
Auditions are to take place sometime in the fall. Steiner noted that the auditions are open to the whole school and are especially welcome to those with the ability to perform stunts like cartwheels, backflips, and tumbling experience.
He also made a note of saying that this opportunity was presented to FC, not because of one particular person in the program this year, but was built up over decades of hard work and dedication to the program.