The Student News Site of Wylie E. Groves High School

The Groves Scriptor

The Groves Scriptor

The Groves Scriptor

“Newsies” comes to life

Piper Benaim
Lead actor Josh Kroll and other Groves students are seen on stage rehearsing for the Groves fall musical: “Newsies”.

The curtain rises and the stage comes alive with dancing newsies. Groves actors and actresses take the stage to tell the story of the 1899 Newspaper Boys’ Strike in New York City. Groves director, Mr. Rutherford, and a group of students work both on stage and behind the scenes to bring Newsies to life.


Before anyone is cast or rehearsals begin, the eager actors must audition. Groves thespians, Jayda Evans, who plays Crutchie shared her experience auditioning for her role. She started to practice for the role as soon as the announcements were made for the show.

  “I wanted the role and I got it,”  said Evans.

She spent time researching her character, who has a mobility impairment, and learning what life was like for the disabled in 19th-century New York.  Research helps her relate more to the characters, and playing the role respectfully was more important to her than waiting for callbacks(which is when the director asks you to audition again for a specific role).


The first auditions for “Newsies” were in June, with callbacks in August.  The show’s director, theater and English teacher Mr. John Rutherford, explained what he looks for in performers for his musicals.

“Ideally the right people, who have the most potential to be successful in a role. So in terms of a musical, I might be looking for students who can sing the part or people that can actually dance or can act with some type of believability,” said Rutherford.

The actors interviewed, seniors Josh Kroll and Ellie Frank and junior Jayda Evans, have all had experience in acting, singing and dancing since elementary school.  


There are more parts to a successful production of Newsies than the actors.  Stage manager Jai Downing, a senior, described the role of the stage manager, who is responsible for lights, sound and the stage crew. Downing is helped by technical director Mr. Steven Carpenter. With lost still to do, Downing remains excited and eager to learn. They have had experience directing the stage crew and learning set building, and have had a chance to work with many different people as a stage crew member and manager. Downing plans to continue studying stage management after they graduate.  


Junior Reese Rosenberg joined the lighting crew at their parents’ urging. This is their second year working the light board. “It sets the mood and the tone,” said Rosenberg about stage lighting.


Mr. Rutherford has done over 100 shows, and he has worked in theater for 32 years. The actors, lighting and stage crew are just a few of the teams he has to manage.  He shared that he has to be extremely organized with his rehearsal times and scheduling. 


“I’m very organized and I try to utilize the time we have very specifically.  I don’t have everyone at every rehearsal, so when I say I need you, I need you.” Rutherford said. Mr. Rutherford does not have a favorite show he has directed, but he shared that he had criteria for shows he was most proud of. “I always start the rehearsal process with a vision, and sometimes I’m like, ‘This is exactly what I wanted’ and at the end of the opening night, I’m like ‘I achieved that’,” Rutherford said.


The cast and crew of Newsies are experienced and eager to get onstage and behind it. All of the sets, lighting and acting will be performed this upcoming month, where they’ll display what their months of work have led to.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Groves Scriptor

Your donation will support the student journalists of Wylie E. Groves High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Piper Benaim
Piper Benaim, Reporter
Piper Reina Benaim is a junior, and a writer for the Groves Scriptor. She is currently taking Anatomy and Physiology, in hopes of following in her mother's footsteps and working in the Medical Field. She enjoys taking photos and going to school games with her friends. This is her first year taking journalism, and using her love for photography she hopes to take great photos for sports, gatherings, etc.
Donate to The Groves Scriptor

Comments (0)

All The Groves Scriptor Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *