Those who missed the Troy University Department of Theatre and Dance’s live performances of “Newsies” have the opportunity to view a complimentary stream of the production online from March 10-12 at 7 p.m. nightly.
This event is TROY’s first foray into online streaming of full productions. Tori Lee Averett, Assistant Dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts and “Newsies” director, said the idea behind the decision to offer the online showing was to continue to meet the needs of their audiences and student performers while also evaluating the interest in online streaming of productions for future events.
“As we return to the idea of live performances and in-person audiences and crowds, we want to be considerate of the many different needs and comfort levels of our audience members. We also know that many of our students have family members who may not be able to travel to Troy for every show, so we wanted to extend the experience to them as well,” she said. “The free stream was a way that we could offer a ‘welcome back’ gift to our audiences from Troy University. It’s also a way we can check the appetite of audiences for the idea of streaming theatre and dance performances online—we first want to see if people are interested in this, then we can assess things like cost of admission and ticket sales to help offset costs of production and streaming.”
The performance was filmed by TROY TrojanVision, and Averett said this partnership was another way TROY strives to stay up-to-date with current technological and social trends.
“We are always experimenting with theatre trends and technologies as they evolve, and working with our talented TrojanVision team has allowed us to experiment with filmed performances and streaming theatre and dance online,” she said. “We have that responsibility as a learning institution to expose our students to all the creative ways we can make, produce and share performing arts with our audiences and communities.”
Loosely based on the New York City Newsboys’ Strike of 1899, Disney’s 1992 hit musical “Newsies” features the plight of 17-year-old newsboy Jack “Cowboy” Kelly and friends Davey and Katherine. When a large newspaper publisher sets new rules that make it harder for the young salesmen to earn money, they go on strike. Along the way, aspiring reporter Katherine works against the industry to tell their story as the newsboys’ battle grips a rapidly expanding city hungry for news in the midst of the American Industrial Revolution.
“It’s about this unlikely group of underdogs, fighting essentially for justice and humanity. They want to be treated with equity, not equality,” Averett said. “They want to be treated fairly. They want to be treated humanely. This was a show that mattered. It wasn’t just a fun Disney show with singing and really awesome dancing and all these likable characters.”