Newsies
Seize the day and go see “Disney’s Newsies,” being presented by the University of Findlay’s Theatre Program Feb. 22-24 at the Marathon Center for the Performing Arts. (Kevin Bean / The Courier & Review Times)

They delivered the papers, and then they were in them! Seize the day by joining the University of Findlay Theatre Program for its production of “Disney’s Newsies.”

Showtimes at the Marathon Center for the Performing Arts will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22, and Saturday, Feb. 23, as well as 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24.

Tickets are on sale for $12 at the Marathon Center’s box office at 200 W. Main Cross St. They can also be purchased online at www.mcpa.org or by calling 419-423-2787.

Set in turn-of-the-century New York City, the musical tells the tale of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a band of teenaged “newsies.” When titans of publishing raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack rallies newsies from across the city to strike against the unfair conditions and fight for what’s right.

The lead role of Jack will be played by senior Brent Hoggatt from Wilmington, Ohio. Ashley Oakley, a senior from Copley, Ohio, will play Katherine, a reporter covering the strike whose personal interest in the cause puts her in a perilous position.

Based on the 1992 motion picture and inspired by the true story of the 1899 newsboys strike, “Disney’s Newsies” features a Tony Award-winning score by Alan Menken (also known for “Little Shop of Horrors” and “Sister Act”) and Jack Feldman along with a book by Tony Award-winner Harvey Fierstein (“Kinky Boots”). Including the now-classic songs “Carrying the Banner,” “Seize the Day” and “Santa Fe,” the play is packed with thrills and a message of hope and integrity geared toward a family audience.

The UF Theatre production will be accompanied by an 11-member professional live orchestra led by music director Micheal F. Anders.

Director Meriah Sage said the charisma that emanates from the cast and crew is contagious.

“The passion and energy that our cast and crew have for this show radiates off the stage,” she said. “The energetic dancing is choreographed by Brenda Hoyt-Brackman, the music led by Dr. Anders is fun for the whole family, and the set, designed by guest designer Kristin Ellert, is dynamic and uses the beautiful Marathon Center stage to its fullest,” she added.

Sage said “Disney’s Newsies” has only been available for outside groups to perform for less than a year. The University of Findlay “is among the first in the area to do this show,” she said.

The 38-member cast is all students, the vast majority of them attending UF. Members of the creative team include costume designer Kathy Newell; lighting designer Jeff Dean; props designer Jessica Leszkowicz; technical director Mathew Stimmel; fight choreographer Alexis Black and her assistant, Bryahah Austin; and stage manager Destiny DeWar with Sara O’Bryan, Elaine Schaffter and Leah Chizmar serving as assistants.

“Disney’s Newsies” is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI), with The Courier serving as community partner for the show.

All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI, with further information at https://www.mtishows.co/newsies-0.

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