SOUTH PORTLAND — After rehearsing two hours a day for almost two months, more than 100 students in grades 7-12 are using their newfound skills to perform the 1992 Disney musical “Newsies.”

“This performance gives them a real education in how to work together, and how to use music and drama and dance to create something of beauty,” said Michelle Snow, the production co-director with Sarah Gay. “Kids are coming together to work on all aspects of the show; some are performing, some are set building, others are playing music.”

Based on true events, “Newsies” tells the story of the 1899 newsboys’ strike in New York City: a moment that redefined children’s rights and changed the publishing industry forever. Snow said the film also teaches students about the history of child labor laws during that time period, and highlights how people can work together to overcome difficulties and bring attention to injustices.

“We decided to do newsgirls and newsboys also, because even though the original only featured boys, there were girls in 1899 selling newspapers and experiencing the same difficulties,” she said.

Snow said the cast will also feature school officials, including Superintendent of Schools Ken Kunin, South Portland High School Assistant Principal Christopher Hughes and Latin teacher Tom Major.

“We’ve got a lot of community support with this. School officials volunteered and parents have been super involved, as well,” Snow said. “This musical tells the story of children banding together to seek justice for not being treated fairly … there’s an educational aspect to that.”

The show is being performed at South Portland High School through Sunday, May 5, with performances at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $8 for students and seniors, $12 for adults and can be purchased online at www.purplepass.com/#mm=allevents/Newsies.

Krysteana Scribner can be reached at [email protected] or 780-9094. Follow her on Twitter: @krysteana2016.

More than 100 students in grades 7-12 are in the cast of “Newsies” this weekend at South Portland High School


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