The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

‘Newsies’ is sensational in first showing

Choir production expresses the power of youth

The auditorium at Park broke open March 21 with its debut performance of “Newsies,” which Park’s choir has been working on for around three months. The show was musically directed by choir teacher John Myszowski and stage-directed by Lil Zumberge.

Sophomore Shepherd Cox, who played Henry, said the musical was striking because of its message, which is that teenagers’ voices matter.

“This musical stands out from others because it touches on some serious topics of child labor and unfair treatment, but it also has powerful themes of community and uniting for fairness and equality,” Cox said.

Middle school teacher and director, Lil Zumberge, said students took the initiative in educating themselves and practicing the choreography needed for the show.

“They learned the choreography from students who taught it to themselves by watching Broadway productions and other YouTube productions and just developed it on their own in some cases,” Zumberge said.

Senior Coco Gruen, who played Katherine Plumber, said, for many, practicing for the show was a laborious process.

“The cast preparing for their roles was a very individual process. A lot of people were very invested and prepared in class,” Gruen said. “I did some research about this time period. I watched the version, memorized and practiced our songs.”

Cox said he wants audiences to know that performances are a form of expression and empowerment for Park students.

“I hope the audience walks out of the show impressed at all the work we put in to make this show happen,” Cox said. “I also hope they understand (that) kids have a voice too and should use it.”

Junior Declan Gaines, who played the lead role, Jack Kelly, said the swift pace from rehearsal to the theater was a challenge.

“Some challenges with this production was the short time frame we had to get the show done. It was hard to work around people’s busy schedules and ensure that we had optimal rehearsals,” Gaines said.

Zumberge said she wishes that audiences are entertained, and that they appreciate the show in the way that she has.

“I hope the audience has fun. I hope they enjoy themselves, and I hope that they are as impressed by the dedication and hard work of our kids as I am,” Zumberge said.

Gruen said a lighthearted attitude among the cast will manifest in the show’s quality.

“The most important aspect for a successful performance is energy. As long as the cast is having fun, and putting 110 percent into it, I think it makes a major difference,” Gruen said. “I think if the cast is having fun, the audience would too.”

“Newsies” will have its final performance at 7 p.m. on March 26 at the Park Middle School Auditorium.

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Nicholas Garrett, Copy Editor
I’m Nicholas, and I’m a junior. I love to write, read, and practice storytelling in my free time. I also love journalism and anything really to do with literature. My aspiration is to leave college with the tools to become a professional writer and news reporter.  
Kalsang Wangmo, Echo Staffer
Hi, My name is Kalsang. I’m a sophomore and this is my first year on Echo. When I'm not writing for Echo I like playing sports, I play basketball and do track. In my free time, I enjoy traveling and listening to music. I also enjoy deep woods hiking.  
Kayleigh Bishop, Copy Editor
Hi! My name is Kayleigh and I am a sophomore. This is my first year of Echo, and when I’m not writing I am busy being part of the golf and tennis team. I love hanging out with friends, skiing, playing cards and listening to music. You can usually catch me playing Taylor Swift or Zach Bryan. I am really excited to be a part of Echo this year! 

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