The McCormick Middle School Drama Club in Wellington is preparing to present its new production this weekend.
This year, Emily Campofredano, director of the McCormick Drama Club and vice principal of Wellington High School and Community Theater, chose “Newsies,” originally produced by Disney, as the club’s project.
“Newsies” revolves around a group of young paperboys protesting unfair labor practices by their employers.
The story is based on real events that initiated child labor laws in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
“I always like to choose meaningful stories,” Campofredano said. “The attraction I felt for this musical started over five years ago, but I sat on the idea without saying a word to anyone.
“I knew it would take a specific group of individuals who would not only have the ability, but also the drive and alignment in the message of the story. There is power in the college age group.
“Yes, it’s turbulent and drama-filled with a nerve-wracking and emotional roller coaster. But these same children who are on stage and behind the scenes (of the show) are the same age as the children this story is based on.
The Drama Club includes students in grades 4-8.
Although Campofredano generally notices more younger students joining the Drama Club, she said this year’s group was mostly evenly split across grade levels.
“Everyone just wanted to join this year, and I was just like, ‘That’s good,'” she said, speculating that restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic may have caused the increase in interest. This year.
The production includes 45 cast and crew from the Drama Club, Campofredano said.
Additionally, the production includes three community members as well as a handful of older students who mentor the youngsters in the technical operation of the event, she said.
“I’m so proud of these kids and this middle school drama program,” Campofredano said. “What they do is so difficult, especially at such a young age.
“They allow their vulnerability to show, their talents to grow and their wills to be tested. They worked hard for hours, fought illnesses, balanced schoolwork/extracurricular activities/etc., and continuously supported each other; forming (what I think) is a wonderfully flawed theater family.
“I hope the bonds they have made here will continue for years to come,” Campofredano said.
Shows like Newsies don’t magically happen, she said.
This musical will be a success thanks to the hard work of the cast, crew, and countless volunteers and parents who spent long hours, on and off stage, working on set, scouting for props and sets. unique to the show and the promotion of the Newsies spirit, Campofredano said.
“I hope that by the end of the show you will see and believe in the power and magic that can happen when people (of all ages) come together to work towards a dream and a goal,” he said. she stated.
The public is invited to attend the event at 7 p.m., March 11 and 12, at the Wellington Schools Patricia Lindley Center for the Performing Arts, 627 N. Main St. in Wellington.