Newsies Jr ACT 1John Chan

Stop the presses! Arts Collective Theatre (ACT) Windsor’s recent production of “Newsies Jr.” at the Capitol Theatre has made headlines – and for all the right reasons. This powerhouse show, fueled by the boundless energy and talent of its young cast, is a testament to the importance of nurturing the next generation of theatre stars. Under the guidance of director Becca Miinch and her top-notch production team, these newsboys (and girls!) delivered a performance that was nothing short of sensational.

The musical, based on the 1992 Disney film and the real-life newsboy strike of 1899, brings to life a pivotal moment in American labor history. Set in New York City at the turn of the 20th century, “Newsies” follows the story of Jack Kelly, a charismatic and rebellious newsboy who dreams of a better life beyond the streets. When powerful publishing titans Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst raise the prices of newspapers at the newsboys’ expense, Jack rallies his fellow “newsies” to strike against the unfair conditions and fight for their rights.


The themes of courage, friendship, and standing up for what’s right resonate strongly throughout the show, as the young newsboys unite to challenge the powerful forces that seek to exploit them. With the help of the determined reporter Katherine Plumber, the newsboys find their voice and become unlikely heroes in a battle that captures the attention of the entire city. The musical’s powerful message of social justice and the importance of standing together in the face of adversity struck a chord with the young cast, who brought a unique perspective and understanding to their roles, making the story all the more poignant and relevant to today’s audiences.

ACT’s commitment to nurturing youth through professionally staged productions and meaningful mentorships was evident throughout the show. By providing young performers with the opportunity to work alongside experienced directors, choreographers, and technical staff, ACT is not only helping to develop their skills but also instilling in them a deep appreciation for the art of theatre.

The impact of strong mentorship was certainly visible in every aspect of the production. From the confident performances of the cast to the seamless execution of technical elements, it was clear that the young artists had been guided and supported every step of the way. By investing in the growth and development of these talented individuals, ACT is ensuring a bright future for theatre in the region.

From the moment the curtain rose, the stage was filled with the vibrant energy and enthusiasm of the talented ensemble. The well-choreographed dance numbers were a highlight of the show. The cast executed the complex and dynamic routines with impressive precision and passion, making each performance a visual spectacle.

The vocal performances were equally impressive, with the cast showcasing their remarkable singing abilities throughout the production. Vocal Director Avonlea Smith’s guidance was evident in the harmonious and powerful renditions of the show’s memorable songs, including “Seize the Day,” “King of New York,” and “Once and for All.”

The lead role of Jack Kelly was portrayed by the talented Rowan Alice, who delivered a charismatic and emotionally charged performance. Alice’s ability to embody the character’s dreams, struggles, and leadership qualities was truly commendable, and his vocal prowess shone through in every musical number.

The supporting cast was equally strong, with each performer bringing their own unique energy and talent to the stage. The camaraderie and chemistry among the newsboys were palpable, creating a sense of unity and shared purpose that elevated the overall performance.

The production’s attention to detail was evident in every aspect of the show. The costumes, designed by Valentine Yaghoubzadeh, effectively transported the audience to the streets of New York City in the late 19th century. The set design and props, managed by Pam Hartford, created an immersive and authentic atmosphere that complemented the story and performances.

ACT’s commitment to fostering inclusivity and providing opportunities for all cast members, regardless of prior experience or background, was crystal clear. The welcoming environment created by the directors and mentors allowed each performer to shine and contribute meaningfully to the show.

The fight choreography, coordinated by Tiffany Chan and assisted by Peter Corio, added an extra layer of excitement and realism to the production, especially during the massive fight scene. The cast executed that carefully crafted fight scenes with skill and precision, showcasing their dedication and hard work.

“Newsies Jr.” serves as a shining example of the importance of youth theatre programs like ACT’s Youth Creative. By providing young performers with the opportunity to explore their talents, develop their skills, and be part of a supportive and collaborative community, ACT is helping to shape the future of theatre in Windsor and beyond – and it’s not going unnoticed.

ACT Windsor’s production of “Newsies Jr.” was a resounding success, showcasing the incredible talent and potential of the region’s young performers. The show’s powerful themes, combined with the cast’s energy, skill, and dedication, made for an unforgettable theatrical experience that left audiences cheering for more. Bravo to the entire cast and crew for a job well done!


Newsies Jr ACT 2John Chan
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