The Empress Theatre is pleased to announce auditions for: Newsies

Set in turn-of-the century New York City, Newsies is the rousing tale of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a band of teenaged “newsies.” When titans of publishing raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack rallies newsies from across the city to strike against the unfair conditions and fight for what’s right!

Creative Team

Direction By
Sarah Bringhurst

Choreography By
Sarah Bringhurst
Stephanie Benson

Music Direction By
Skyler Bluemel

Auditions will be held in person June 8th and June 10th from 7pm through 9pm. Those with an audition form filled out by 9pm will be seen for an audition. Callbacks will be by invitation only.

Video submissions will also be accepted. Please submit a video audition to

For your audition, please prepare 16 bars of a song in the style of the show and a list of conflicts from June 12th through October 2nd 2021. No conflicts will be allowed after August 1st without approval from the Director.

All roles available. The Empress encourages performers of all ethnicities, gender identities, and ages, as well as performers with disabilities, to attend every audition. The Empress is committed to providing a space for community and inclusion free from discrimination.

Callback Date: June 12th, 8AM
First day of rehearsal: June 19th, 2021
Range of rehearsal hours: Rehearsal times are blocked in the hours of 6pm to 10pm.
Tech begins: August 21st
First preview: September 16th, 2021
Opening: September 17th, 2021
Closing: October 2nd, 2021
Days/times of planned performances: Sep, 16th, 2021 through Oct. 2nd, 2021. Fridays, Saturdays 6:00pm Call 7:30pm Performance. Matinee call 12:30pm Call 2:00pm Performance. One Thursday and One Monday, 6:00pm Call 7:30pm Performance.
DISCLOSURES (check all that apply):
☐ There is a possibility that the production will be extended through ___________________.
☐ Costumes will be supplied by the production.
⬣ Actors will be expected to help build and strike the set.
☐ There will be understudies for this production.
☐ There will be pay for this production in the amount of ____________________________.
☐ This production contains sexual content.
☐ This production contains nudity.
☐ This production contains violence.
☐ This production contains culturally sensitive content.
⬣ This production is accessible to actors who use a mobility device.
☐ This production will have a nontraditional audience seating arrangement.

Other Disclosures:
Casting Authority: The Production Team with Artistic Director Approval.
Who is in the Audition Room: Director, Music Director, Choreographer.
Who is at Callbacks: Artistic Management and The Production Team.
A full copy of the script is available if needed.
Portions of this audition may be recorded or photographed at the Director’s discretion. All recordings will only be used by the production team and will be destroyed after callbacks.

Character Breakdown: Ages listed not necessarily the age of the actor portraying the role.

Jack Kelly
The charismatic leader of the Manhattan newsies, is an orphaned dreamer and artist who yearns to get out of the crowded streets of New York and make a better life for himself out West. Must have a great pop tenor voice and sense of physicality.
Gender: Male
Age: 16 to 20
Vocal range top: A4
Vocal range bottom: Bb2

A dedicated newsie with a bum leg that’s painful, but helps sell more papes. Though he walks with the assistance of a crutch, Crutchie doesn’t let it define him.
Gender: Any
Age: 13 to 17
Vocal range top: A4
Vocal range bottom: C3

Les’s straight-laced, bright big brother starts selling newspapers to help his family earn a living, but becomes swept up in the fervor of the strike. A leader in his own right who is learning to use his voice to uplift others, Davey is the brains of the resistance.
Gender: Male
Age: 15 to 20
Vocal range top: A4
Vocal range bottom: D3

Davey’s cheeky younger brother is inspired by the freedom of the newsies and loves their independent lifestyle. A precocious and natural newsie, Les is an intuitive salesboy and a pint-sized charmer. He should present as younger than the other newsies.
Gender: Male
Age: 10 to 15
Vocal range top: Bb3
Vocal range bottom: Db3

Including Albert, Buttons, Elmer, Finch, Henry, Ike, Jo Jo, Mike, Mush, Race, Romeo, Specs, Splasher, and Tommy Boy, are some of the hard-working kids of New York City that go on strike for a livable wage.
Gender: Male
Age: 13 to 20

Three newsies who are hesitant to join the strike.
Gender: Any
Age: 10 to 20

Spot Conlon
The proud leader of the Brooklyn newsies, boasts an intimidating reputation and a short singing solo in “Brooklyn’s Here.”
Gender: Any
Age: 17 to 20

Katherine Plumber
An ambitious young reporter, works hard to make a name for herself as a legitimate journalist in a time when women aren’t taken seriously. Katherine should have a great contemporary pop voice with a high belt – diction is key.
Gender: Female
Age: 17 to 20
Vocal range top: F5
Vocal range bottom: A3

The upper-class kid of a publisher who sides with the newsies. Can double as a newsie.
Gender: Any
Age: 15 to 20

The son of William Randolph Hearst who joins the newsies’ cause. Can double as a newsie.
Gender: Male
Age: 15 to 25

Or “Weasel,” runs the distribution window for the World and knows most of the newsies by name. Assisted by the intimidating Delancey brothers, who keep order by any means necessary, Wiesel is Pulitzer’s disgruntled paper- pusher.
Gender: Male
Age: 35 to 50

Oscar and Morris Delancey
Tough brothers who work at the distribution window for the World, take the side of the publishers in the strike and are known to use their fists to make a point.
Gender: Male
Age: 15 to 20

Assist the Delanceys in roughing up the newsies at the end of Act One.
Gender: Male
Age: 15 to 20

Joseph Pulitzer
A pompous businessman through and through, owns the World and is concerned solely with the bottom line. Katherine’s no-nonsense father, Pulitzer doesn’t sympathize with the strikers, but he does eventually – and grudgingly – respect Jack.
Gender: Male
Age: 35 to 50
Vocal range top: F4
Vocal range bottom: C3

Editor, advises Pulitzer, but ultimately admires the kids’ newspaper.
Gender: Any

Pulitzer’s bookkeeper, comes up with the ideas to raise the newsies’ price per paper.
Gender: Any
Age: 35 to 50

Pulitzer’s practical and insightful secretary.
Gender: Female
Age: 20 to 40

Pulitzer’s barber.
Gender: Male
Age: 30 to 50

The Guard removes the newsies from Pulitzer’s building.
Gender: Any
Age: 20 to 60

The crooked and sinister warden of The Refuge, a filthy and horrible orphanage, is concerned only with catching enough kids to keep his government checks coming.
Gender: Any
Age: 45 to 65

Medda Larkin
Inspired by vaudeville performer Aida Overton Walker, this big-voiced saloon singer and star of the Bowery offers her theater as a safe haven for the newsies. An astute entertainer with great comic delivery, she’s a good friend to Jack and stands firmly behind the newsies in their fight for justice.
Gender: Female
Age: 25 to 45
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: F3

The Bowery Beauties
Female performers at Medda’s Theater.
Gender: Female
Age: 18 to 30
Stage Manager
Introduces Medda’s act.
Gender: Any
Age: 25 to 55

The three nuns offer breakfast to the hungry newsies. Feel free to cast additional nuns.
Gender: Female
Age: 20 to 60

Takes the triumphant photo of the newsies at the end of “Seize the Day.”
Gender: Any
Age: 15 to 25

A newspaper customer.
Gender: Any
Age: 15 to 45

Mr. Jacobi
Allows the newsies to congregate in his restaurant to plan their strike – when he doesn’t have any paying customers, that is.
Gender: Any
Age: 35 to 55

Assist Snyder and turn against the newsies in the fight that concludes Act One.
Gender: Male
Age: 20 to 60

The Mayor of New York City rebuffs Pulitzer’s attempts to shut down the newsies’ strike.
Gender: Male
Age: 45 to 60

Governor Teddy Roosevelt
A well-respected lifelong public servant, inspires Jack to stand up to Pulitzer.
Gender: Male
Age: 50 to 65


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One Response to Newsies

  1. Adrian Brewer says:

    Where do we sign up? Is there an audition form?

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