The Newsies

Every year, NCAI musicals are a highlight for many of us, whether you are participating or cheering on the cast from the audience. This year, directors Mrs. Uhl and Miss Hoogeveen, brought the excitement of Newsies to the NCAI stage! Inspired by the real-life Newsboys’ Strike of 1899, Newsies follows Jack Kelly, a rebellious and charismatic newsboy with dreams bigger than the city itself. When ruthless newspaper tycoon Joseph Pulitzer hikes distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack rallies his fellow newsies to fight for what’s right and bring about change once and for all.  

I have interviewed two of the cast members to share their experiences. Sofia Santamaria played Katherine Plumber, a journalist who plays a significant role in helping the newsies, while Caleb Star played ruthless media mogul Joseph Pulitzer who tries to crush the newsies’ strike. 

Sofia Santamaria

What is it like to be a main character? 

Being a main character is kind of scary at first. People expect a lot from you and observe you constantly, so you have to take it seriously and practice. However, it’s nice to be able to show all of the hard work you’ve done once you get it and start to enjoy it once you make the role your own. 

What was your favorite part of the musical? What was the most stressful part? 

My favorite part of the musical was singing “Something to Believe In”. It is such a pretty song and in the scene Katherine expresses many different emotions for the first time. ⁠The most stressful part was doing my solo, “Watch What Happens”, because I had never sung or acted in public by myself. I had to show many expressions at the same time and the song was also very complicated. Which means that I had to practice a lot during rehearsals and by myself.

Do you have any advice for students who want to be in the musical next year?

⁠For students who would like to be in next year’s musical, don’t be scared to join. You don’t have to be an expert in acting, singing or dancing to enjoy it. It’s a very fun and exciting experience, where you get to learn new things and make relationships with new people. And once you get on stage, you won’t want to leave.

Caleb Star

What was it like to be the antagonist? What’s the most fun part of being the opposing force in the story?

It was fun to be the antagonist because for the last two musicals, I’ve been a force for good, but this was a totally new experience and it needed a different kind of acting that I haven’t done before. It was fun to have the opportunity to truly be the guy in charge of the room, and who causes the audience to question who’s going to win. Having lines that I could deliver with anger and force made it a lot more believable and convincing. 

What will you miss the most about being in musicals at NCA?

I will miss the community most. The friendships that we form leading up to the musical are a different kind of friendship, and that’s something that I’ll miss being able to build with people that I normally wouldn’t interact with. We become like one big family, and we just have to trust each other during the show. That’s a type of experience that you don’t really get anywhere else. 

You have been in multiple musicals. Do you have any advice for people who want to be in the musical next year?

I would tell people that even if they’re not someone who loves music or acting, most of the fun in the show comes from the people you do it with. Two years ago I was not the type of person who enjoys going up on stage, and it took a lot of courage for me to participate, but being in the musical helped me step outside of my comfort zone and that’s something that’s shaped me in a lot of ways. So, audition, try out, whatever, and if you get in, it’s an amazing experience, even if you don’t expect it to be at first. Because I didn’t, and now I know that it’s one of the things that I’ll miss most from my time at NCA.

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About Maria Renee Solano 6 Articles
Hello! My name is Maria Renee Solano and I am in 10th grade. My hobbies are drawing, reading and playing guitar.