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BHHS Musical Newsies: The Power of Theatre, Bringing Community Together

The Bloomfield Hills High School Performing Arts department is excited to present Newsies, Disney’s musical that was a 1992 film and a Tony-award winning Broadway production from 2012 - 2014. The show is set in 1899 in New York City, and presents a fictionalized version of the newsboys strike. The characters provide inspiration to cast, crew, and audience members alike. Nicky Little (grade 12) who plays Jack Kelly, shares, “The characters' persistence is incredibly inspiring. In spite of all their hardships, they continue to fight for what they want even though the odds are stacked against them. This message of persistence is incredibly relevant because life can be challenging. Even today, kids are protesting for what is right, and although the problems are different, the drive is the same.” 

Student technical director Nathan Modell (grade 11) adds, “The characters in Newsies are very inspiring. Most of them come from nothing, making a nickel a paper and living in very poor conditions, working to provide their loved ones support. The overarching theme of Newsies is to stand up for yourself, and that you can’t take a backseat and let big business owners kick you around.”

Theatre Director Mary Bogrette chose this musical in part for its inspirational message, especially on the heels of covid. Producing a show in which the characters rise above expectations and stand up for themselves gives all of those involved a sense of confidence and inspiration. Pallavi Ploucha (grade 10), who is a stage manager and artist for the show, notes, “Theatre is such a powerful thing. It teaches us to be empathetic and forces us to experience different perspectives that we never thought of and tell the stories that need to be heard. Theatre goes beyond just people on a stage ‘pretending’ to be someone else, or pretty lights and music. It reaches and impacts people in a way that nothing else does. It helps us articulate and express our thoughts and helps us work out things in our own lives.”

Robin Beaney (grade 12), the production’s set designer, reflects: “I think that theatre is remarkable in its ability to bring people together. This show in particular is such a good example of everything we stand for here - it is a story of the might of the many, and of the power of community. Our incredibly strong theatre community and our belief in the abilities of young people are key to our theatrical practice. Our shows are also almost entirely student-led! We really trust in the abilities of the students who are part of our productions, and their amazing designs are some of the best in the state. Both the ideas behind Newsies and our theatre troupe as a whole are so inspiring to me, from the creative, determined individuals who work here, to the sense of community we have built, to the things we have created.”

Come see what our talented students - and supportive theatre department staff - have created! If you haven’t yet purchased tickets to this inspirational, family-friendly production, go to bhhs.ludus.com today. Performances take place on Thursday, November 17 and Friday, November 18 at 7 p.m., Saturday, November 19 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. 

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