Valley Youth Theatre to premiere Disney’s ‘Newsies’

As the first show of its 30th season, Valley Youth Theatre will present the musical “Newsies,” Aug. 10-26, on Center Stage at the Herberger Theater Center.

Presented by Valley Toyota Dealers and sponsored in part by Edward Jones, this is the first time Valley Youth Theatre has presented “Newsies,” a production that Producing Artistic Director Bobb Cooper and Resident Music Supervisor Mark Fearey have wanted to produce for 20 years.

“It was a landmark event for young people,” states Mr. Cooper. “And today, it’s more relevant than ever as we see kids band together to support one another for a common cause. The Newsboys’ Strike is one of the first strikes carried out by children and it ended in a compromise that not only met their needs, it also created awareness and a platform that led to labor laws that still exist to protect children today.”

First-time VYT performer Kale Burr portrays lead character Jack “Cowboy” Kelly, the charismatic leader who initiated the strike. Mr. Burr is 18 and a recent graduate from Mountain View High School. Five-time VYT alum Kendra Richards takes on the role of ambitious reporter, Katherine Plumber. Miss Richards is a 16-year-old junior at Horizon High School.  Thirty-seven local performers, ranging in age from 12 to 18 complete the cast and 21 Valley musicians comprise the orchestra for this production.

Also serving as director for this production, Mr. Cooper enlisted Broadway performer, director and choreographer Tony Spinosa to choreograph this important season opener.

As with all VYT productions, the theatre has partnered with HopeKids to give terminally ill boys and girls and their families a complementary performance, 7 p.m. Aug. 9. They will also perform for local schools, as part of their Literacy and the Arts and Field Trip programs, Aug. 21 and 22, at 9:30 and 11:30 a.m.

Tickets range from $16.50 to $35.50 and can be purchased via telephone at 602-252-8497 or online, for an additional fee, at

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