Franklin Junior High Drama Club To Present Disney Newsies JR.


Written by Peggy Darragh-Jeromos Communications Consultant Franklin City School District

FRANKLIN, OH -- 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. The Franklin Junior High Drama Club will bring this story to the stage with the production of Disney Newsies Jr on March 1 and 2 at 7 p.m. 

Carolyn Kennedy, who is directing her third musical at Franklin Junior High said, "I chose Newsies because it is about the power of standing up for what you believe in, even in the face of challenges. The energetic music and choreography, along with the themes of friendship and courage, make Newsies Jr. an exciting and impactful choice for our production." 

She noted that students were familiar with the show, which is based on the real-life newsboys' strike of 1899, and they are excited about the opportunity to perform it.

The production has a few challenges, including a large cast with many smaller parts. Main roles are played by students in grades 7 and 8, some of whom are playing multiple parts. A few high school students are playing adults, and 5th and 6th grade students are playing smaller parts.

Another challenge, said Kennedy, is the choreography. "This is a dance-heavy show, and I knew I would have to find someone with more dance experience than I have to teach the choreography, so I am so thankful for Kirsten Jones who stepped up to help us."

(Submitted Photo) FJHS Students practicing their dance moves for their spring production.

Kennedy added, "Our goals for putting on a musical at the junior high level are to provide students with a fun and educational experience that allows them to grow their confidence, teamwork skills, and creativity. We strive to create a positive and inclusive environment where everyone can showcase their talents and have a memorable and enjoyable time participating in the musical production. Our ultimate goal is to inspire a love for the performing arts and create lasting memories for our students."

Kennedy said she chooses shows based on a variety of factors, including casting opportunities, production resources, and thematic relevance. "Ultimately, my goal is to select shows that challenge, entertain, and inspire both our performers and audience members," and added, "Please come see our production of Newsies JR. The students have worked so hard and are excited to perform for you."

Tickets are $7 for adults; $5 for seniors; and $5 for students. They'll be available at the door and may be pre-purchased at Both performances will be in the McDade Auditorium, 750 E. 4th St., Franklin.

The music is by Alan Menken, the lyrics are by Jack Feldman, and the book is by Harvey Fierstein.  Disney’s Newsies JR. is presented through special arrangement with and all authorized materials are supplied by Music Theatre International, New York, NY (212) 541-4684

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