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2022 Middle & Senior School Production – Newsies

Our combined Middle and Senior School Production of Newsies was never the plan for 2022, however, we all know that our new world has forced us all to be flexible in so many ways. Against all odds, Newsies took to the stage in Week 1 of Term 3, and was a triumphant return to the stage – 15 months since our last Major Production. Newsies was also the first production performed in the comfort of the refurbished Auditorium, and began a new and exciting era of Performing Arts here at Kristin.
In the current climate, the Production Team decided to stage this 70 minute long Junior adaptation of the Disney musical Newsies as a concert. This eliminated the requirement for many big and changing set pieces, complex entrances and exits, and dozens of costume changes. Instead, the Newsies company remained on stage for the entirety of the performance, putting the students at the forefront of the story. This unique ‘semi-staged’ format allowed the audience to focus solely on the music and characterisations to engross themselves in this historical flashback to New York in 1899.
With only five weeks of rehearsal to put the show together, this seemingly impossible task was made hugely successful for several reasons. Firstly the dedication and perseverance of a very special group of students. Newsies included a student cast and crew of 145 Middle and Senior School students. From performers, to lighting, sound, hair and make up, wardrobe, front of house, props and backstage support – each student owned their moment in the production and gave their all to create a high-quality, professional performance experience for themselves and all of the audience members who had the privilege to enjoy Newsies.
Secondly, Newsies would have been nothing without the extreme generosity of the inspiring Production Team (made up of staff, parents, community members and alumni). The commitment to excellence that all Production Team members displayed through a turbulent production process allowed every student involved to flourish and shine. I offer them my immense gratitude for their efforts in bringing Newsies to life.
Finally, the success of Newsies is thanks to the wonderful community spirit that allow the Performing Arts to be such a celebrated entity at Kristin. In times like these, it would be very easy to say no to productions. However, Kristin has continued to champion these opportunities wherever possible. Involvement in live theatre, whether on stage or off, gives every student the opportunity to develop crucial skills that will enhance them in their schooling life, and beyond. Theatre encourages the advancement of motor skills; oratory skills; memorisation; communication; confidence; inter-personal skills; teamwork; poise; and, offers a sense of belonging. In addition to all of these skills and life-lessons, rehearsals have provided escapism for everyone involved, away from the stresses that our new world imposes daily.
Comments from audience members following the three performances affirmed these beliefs. The glowing feedback represented not only how moved audience members were by the power of the show, but also the joy that resulted in returning to the auditorium again, and we look forward to more magic in our refurbished Auditorium ahead!
Hamish Mouat
Artistic Director of Major Productions

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