Disney's Newsies JR. is a 60-minute version of the 2012 Broadway musical, based on the 1992 film. Inspired by the rousing true story of newsboys in turn-of-the-century New York City, Newsies JR. features a Tony Award-winning score by Alan Menken and Jack Feldman and a book by Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein.
When powerful newspaper publishers raise prices at the newsboys' expense, the charismatic Jack Kelly rallies newsies from across the city to strike against the unfair conditions. Together, the newsies learn that they are stronger united and create a movement to fight for what's right.
Including the now-classic songs "Carrying the Banner," "Seize the Day," and "Santa Fe," Newsies JR. is a timeless story full of spirit and heart.
The charismatic leader of the Manhattan newsies, is an orphaned dreamer and artist who yearns to get out of the crowded streets of New York and make a better life for himself out West. Fiercely protective of his best friend, Crutchie, and very loyal, Jack isn't afraid to use his voice to attain better conditions for the working kids of New York City. Look for an actor who can command the stage with ease, possesses strong vocal abilities, and can exude Jack's tough-guy exterior and his big heart.
Vocal range: F5 - B3
An ambitious young reporter, works hard to make a name for herself as a legitimate journalist in a time when women aren't taken seriously. Quick, funny, and resourceful, Katherine should be a strong singer with excellent diction for her showstopping number, "Watch What Happens." Because Katherine and Jack possess a strong bond, consider auditioning these roles together to get a sense of the performers' repartee.
Vocal range: D5 - A3
Jack's best friend and a dedicated newsie with a "bum leg" from polio that causes pain, but helps sell more papers. Walking with the assistance of a crutch doesn't define the ever-positive newsie, so look for an actor who can portray Casey's goofy-sweet sense of humor and optimistic resilience. Crutchie is accustomed to modifying daily activities for their disability, so consider both the character and actor's abilities when blocking and choreographing.
Vocal range: F5 - A3
Les's straight-laced, bright big brother, starts selling newspapers to help his family earn a living but becomes swept up in the fervor of the strike. A leader in his own right, who is learning to use his voice to uplift others, cast a strong actor and singer who can lead "Seize the Day" while smartly portraying the brains of the resistance.
Vocal range: D5 - B3
Davey's cheeky younger sibling, is excited by the newsies' freedom and loves their independent lifestyle. This pint-sized charmer should present as younger than the other newsies.
Vocal range: F4 - B3
Inspired by the African- American vaudeville performer, Aida Overton-Walker, A big-voiced singer and star of the Bowery (see the "Dramaturgy" document in Downloadable Resources). A proud supporter of the newsies, she offers her theater as a safe haven for their revolution. Look for a performer who can portray this astute entertainer with great comic delivery, while standing firmly behind the newsies in their fight for justice.
Vocal range: D5 - G3
A pompous businessman through and through, owns the World and is concerned solely with the bottom line. Katherine's no-nonsense father, Pulitzer doesn't sympathize with the strikers, but he does eventually - and grudgingly - respect Jack. For this non-singing role, cast a strong actor with a sharp and imposing presence.
Aka "Weasel". A disgruntled paper-pusher who uses the Delancey brothers as his muscle, runs distribution for the World and has little patience or sympathy for the newsies. Feel free to incorporate this actor into the newsies ensemble when possible.
The hard-working kids of New York City who go on strike for a livable wage. Find moments to showcase any talented tumblers or dancers within this group. Given the nature of this show, most other characters can double as newsies to help fill in the musical numbers. Within the newsies ensemble, consider dividing the group into featured dancers and singers in order to play to the strengths of your performers.
These include the following roles: Race, Albert, Muriel, Nancy, Specs, Pigtails, Hazel, Buttons, Tommy Boy, Romeo, Jo Jo, Scabs, Brooklyn Newsies, Spot Conlon
A photographer who works with Katherine.
Katherine's upperclass friend whose parents own the New York Tribune and help the newsies print the Newsies Banner.
Katherine's upperclass friend whose parents own the New York Journal and help the newsies print the Newsies Banner.
Featured in "Once and For All," they represent all of the other child laborers who receive the Newsies Banner and ultimately become a part of the children's crusade. These working kids can be pulled from your larger newsie ensemble.
The editor of the World who advises Pulitzer, but ultimately admires the kids' newspaper.
Pulitzer's bookkeeper who helps Pulitzer come up with the idea to raise the newsies' price per paper.
Pulitzer's secretary who is a clever advocate for the newsies.
The crooked warden of The Refuge. A filthy and horrible juvenile reformatory, is concerned only with catching enough kids to keep their government checks coming. Look for an actor who can evoke an imposing and sinister presence.
A well-respected lifelong public servant who inspires Jack to stand up to Pulitzer. Cast an actor with the ability to portray the maturity and stature of this well-respected leader.
Includes the roles of the upbeat and charming Ada, Olive, and Ethel. A group of vaudeville performers in Medda's act. While only three performers have solos, feel free to make this ensemble group as big or small as best fits your production.
Includes the role of the Police Chief. They intimidate the newsies and arrest Crutchie. Cast as many officers as suits your production.
An efficient stage manager who introduces Medda's act.
A newspaper customer.