Newsies JR., a 60-minute adaptation of the 2012 Broadway musical designed for young performers, is now available for licensing from Music Theatre International. Like the full-length version, Newsies JR. is based on the 1992 cult favorite film.
Inspired by the real-life newsboy strike of 1899, Newsies is the tale of newsboy Jack Kelly, who dreams of a better life far from the hardship of the streets. When Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst raise distribution prices, Jack finds a cause to fight for and rallies his army of newsies to strike. The stage musical version features a Tony-winning score by Alan Menken and Jack Feldman, and a book by Tony winner Harvey Fierstein.
MTI kicked off the release with a special Newsies JR. panel at Junior Theater Festival in Atlanta, Georgia, held Jan 14-16. On hand were Newsies original Broadway cast members Kara Lindsay and Tommy Bracco, who discussed backstage memories and performed songs from the show.
The first licensed production of the new release was staged by The Penguin Project in Peoria, Illinois January 14. The company is focused on empowering children with special needs through theatre, pairing cast with a dedicated group of peer mentors who volunteer to work side-by-side with the performers through the four months of rehearsals.
"I am amazed at how popular Newsies JR. is with the kids," shares Penguin Project CEO Dr. Andy Morgan. "They just love it! Many came to the rehearsal process already knowing the movie, the Broadway show, and the songs.”
MTI will hold a town hall-style event called MTI Classroom on Zoom centered around Newsies JR. January 26 from 2-3PM ET. The free event will give educators a chance to submit questions and find out information on the new release. To register for this virtual session, click here.
For more information about licensing Newsies JR., visit MTIShows.com.