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Newsies Auditions

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Box Office:
Theatre Cedar Rapids
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Newsies Auditions

March 24, 2019 @ 7:00 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every day that begins at 7:00 pm, repeating until March 25, 2019

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You must be 12 years of age or older to audition for this show.

Volunteer actors of any gender, race, ethnicity, age, language, disability/ability, sexual orientation and gender-identification are encouraged to audition. Should you need accommodations for your audition, such as an interpreter or wheelchair assistance, please email For all other questions related to the audition, contact



Please arrive to the TCR lobby no earlier than 6:30 p.m. to check in and to fill out an audition form. Be prepared to state all potential rehearsal conflicts. You need only attend one night of auditions, then callbacks if requested. Auditions won’t necessarily go until 10:00 p.m. if things move quickly.

  • Sunday, March 24 – 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. 
  • Monday, March 25 – 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. 
  • Potential Callbacks: Tuesday, March 26 – 7:00 p.m.

Callbacks for specific roles will be announced the morning of March 26 on the TCR website and Facebook page.


  • MOVEMENT: Come dressed to move and bring tap shoes if you have them! You will learn a dance combination at the audition and then do a dance audition in small groups. We will not post a choreography video ahead of time for this show. (TIP: Check out our dance audition workshop 3/2!)
    • Please prepare a memorized verse and chorus (16-32 bars or, basically, 60-90 seconds) of a song in the style of the show but not from the show.
    • Your song should be accompanied, not acapella. Your options for this include:
      • Bring sheet music (TCR will provide an accompanist)
      • Bring a CD with your accompaniment and we will play for you
      • Play the accompaniment for yourself from your phone or tablet
      • Have questions or need help? Check out Frequently Asked Questions at the bottom of the page.
  • READING/SIDES: Your singing and dancing audition is absolutely part of your acting audition. There will be no sides read at general auditions. If you’d like to familiarize with the script, Newsies scripts are available through the TCR Box Office. Sides will be provided for callbacks.
  • VIDEO AUDITIONS: Though your chances are always better if you can attend in person, if you cannot attend Sunday or Monday, please feel free to submit a video audition by Monday, March 25 at 6:00 p.m. The video should show the song you choose. With your video, please send your rehearsal conflicts as well as dance experience or (even better) a dance sample on the video. Send all to


Newsies may be played by boys or girls as indicated below. Ages listed represent “story age,” not the required age of the actor. Do not rule out a role if you are older or younger than what is listed, though you must be 13 years of age or older to audition for this show.

  • Jack Kelly: Male-identified. Appears age: 16 to 20. Vocal range top: A4. Vocal range bottom: Bb2. 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. Fiercely protective of his best friend, Crutchie, and strongly loyal, Jack isn’t afraid to use his voice to attain better conditions for the working kids of New York City. Though living on the streets has given him a tough-guy exterior, Jack has a big heart and can demonstrate a sweet vulnerability.
  • Crutchie: Male-identified OR female playing male. Appears age: 13 to 17. Vocal range top: A4. Vocal range bottom: C3. 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; when in a jam, Jack Kelly’s best friend relies on a goofy-sweet sense of humor and optimistic resilience. Crutchie is the heart of the resistance. Though his movement will suggest his bum leg, Crutchie will still be included in dance numbers.
  • Davey: Male-identified OR female playing male. Appears age: 15 to 20. Vocal range top: A4. Vocal range bottom: D3. Les’ 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.
  • Les: Male-identified OR female playing male. Appears age: 10 to 15. Vocal range top: Bb3. Vocal range bottom: Db3. 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.
  • Katherine Plumber: Female-identified. Appears age: 17 to 20. Vocal range top: F5 (high belt). Vocal range bottom: A3. 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. Quick, funny, and resourceful, she boldly captures the voice of a new generation rising in her coverage of the newsies’ strike. While she generally has no time for cocky, streetwise young men, she makes an exception for Jack Kelly. She has a dance solo in “King of New York.”
  • Joseph Pulitzer: Male-identified. Appears age: 35 to 50. Vocal range top: F4. Vocal range bottom: C3. 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.
  • Medda Larkin: Female-identified. Appears age: 25 to 45. Vocal range top: E5. Vocal range bottom: F3. 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.
  • The Newsies: Must be strong movers. Male-identified OR female playing male. Appears age: 13 to 20. Some of the hard-working kids of New York City that go on strike for a livable wage.
    • Albert
    • Buttons
    • Elmer
    • Finch
    • Henry
    • Ike
    • Jo Jo
    • Mike
    • Mush
    • Race
    • Romeo
    • Specs
    • Splasher
    • Tommy Boy.
  • Ensemble Roles – All ages and genders considered. Ensemble will double roles, including with some of the newsies and some of the other roles above:
    • Darcy and Bill 
    • Wiesel
    • Oscar and Morris Delancey
    • Goons
    • Seitz
    • Bunsen
    • Hannah
    • Nunzio
    • Guard
    • Snyder
    • The Bowery Beauties
    • Stage Manager 
    • Nuns
    • Photographer
    • Woman
    • Mr(s). Jacobi 
    • Policemen
    • Mayor of New York 
    • Governor Teddy Roosevelt
    • Brooklyn Newsies
    • Scabs
    • Kids at the Refuge
    • Newsie – other Boroughs


  • First Read/Orientation: TBD
  • Rehearsals: Begins late April/Early May. Tend to be weeknights 6:30-10:00 though some sessions might be scheduled on weekends or days (pending actor availability).
  • Tech Rehearsal: Saturday, June 22
  • Performances:
    • Fri. June 28, 2019 @ 7:30 p.m.
    • Sat. June 29, 2019 @ 7:30 p.m.
    • Sun. June 30, 2019 @ 2:30 p.m.
    • Fri. July 5, 2019 @ 7:30 p.m.
    • Sat. July 6, 2019 @ 7:30 p.m.
    • Sun. July 7, 2019 @ 2:30 p.m.
    • Thurs. July 11, 2019 @ 7:30 p.m. Potential added performance
    • Fri. July 12, 2019 @ 7:30 p.m.
    • Sat. July 13, 2019 @ 7:30 p.m.
    • Sun. July 14, 2019 @ 7:30 p.m.
    • Thurs. July 18, 2019 @ 7:30 p.m. Potential added performance
    • Fri. July 19, 2019 @ 7:30 p.m.
    • Sat. July 20, 2019 @ 7:30 p.m.
    • Sun. July 21, 2019 @ 2:30 p.m.
    • Thurs. July 25, 2019 @ 7:30 p.m. Potential added performance
    • Fri. July 26, 2019 @ 7:30 p.m. Potential added performance
    • Sat. July 27, 2019 @ 7:30 p.m. Potential added performance
    • Sun. July 28, 2019 @ 2:30 p.m. Potential added performance
    • Strike: 7/21 or 7/28 Strike (if last weekend added)


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are you looking/listening for? We are looking/listening for actors that we think can sing the music in the show! We want actors who can stay with the music, stay on pitch, and who are not just singing the song but are acting while singing (because that’s what a musical is all about). Each character in the show also has a specific vocal range, so we are looking for actors who can sing the notes assigned to specific characters in the show.
  • Why don’t you want me to sing a whole song? Because there are a lot of people auditioning and it really doesn’t take very long for us to know if we want to see more from you at callbacks. Also, many songs repeat, so we don’t need to hear the same thing more than once.
  • What part of the song should I choose? You can choose any part of the song, you don’t have to start at the beginning or finish at the end, choose the part you are most comfortable singing and that you think best shows off your voice.
  • Why can’t I just sing my song acapella? The creative team would like for you to come in with sheet music or with a karaoke track so we can hear how you are able to stay with the music and match your pitch to the music. There are a couple options for finding a track or sheet music See below for information and tips for tracks and sheet music.
  • What does “dressed to move” mean? Wear comfortable shoes with flexibility and traction, and bring tap shoes if you have them. If you have dance shoes feel free to wear them but they are not required. Wear comfortable clothing you might work out, do yoga, or dance in. Make sure your clothing isn’t going to fall off or become a distraction for you when dancing (example – deep off-shoulder tops or crop tops that move around a lot). We want you to be able to focus on your moves and expression, not adjusting your clothes!
  • How do I find and use accompaniment tracks? A Karaoke track is a track that only includes the accompaniment (background music) not the leading voices. So, bringing in a track from a Broadway cast recording would not be the right choice. You will want to find the karaoke version of your song. The best karaoke tracks have no voices on them, just the accompaniment, but sometimes it is hard to find a track without some backup voices. If you can only find a track with voices singing backup, that’s okay, it is most important that the leading voice is not on the track, because you are going to be the leading voice!
    • Bring your track on a CD or on your phone. Make sure you know what time in the music you want to start singing, so you can start your track just before you want to sing in the music. If you cannot use your phone, we might be able to pull it up for you on our devices but no guarantees!
    • Places to find tracks:
      • Youtube – You may find free tracks on Youtube for many songs. Since we will have the ability to play from your phone, you can play a youtube karaoke video to sing with for your audition. On Youtube there are often great tracks for free that you can use.
      • Spotify – You can search for and play karoake tracks from your phone.
      • Itunes – Itunes has lots of karaoke tracks. Search for your song title and the work “karaoke” and if they have a track it will come up. You will have to purchase the track, but typically they are only about $1-$2.
      • Amazon Music – Amazon digital music sells lots of karaoke tracks too. Just search for your song and the word “karaoke” on Amazon and if they have a track it will come up. Amazon may also bring up an entire karaoke album, but you should be able to just buy one track. Amazon tracks are also usually $1-$2.
  • How do I find and use sheet music? If you choose to use sheet music that the accompanist will play…
    • Make sure that you bring in sheet music that is in the same key that you’ve been practicing in.
    • Please make sure that all the music is visible. The accompanist needs the bottom of the music as well as the top (where the melody line is). Also please make sure that the copy you bring is clear and not blurry.
    • A photocopy or printed sheets are preferable to a bound book, as it can be hard for the accompanist to keep the book open. It is also preferable to put your sheets into a binder, so the accompanist can easily turn the pages.
    • Places to purchase sheet music:
      • – though there are lots of places to buy sheet music online, music notes tends to have the best selection and features. When you purchase sheet music from musicnotes, you can choose what key you want the music in, so you can print it at the place you like to sing it, and each purchase includes access to the digital version of the music you bought that will play on the musicnotes player, that allows you to practice with the music you are bringing into the audition!
      • If you can’t find what you are looking for at musicnotes, here are a few others to try, but again, I suggest trying music notes first: Sheet Music Plus, Sheet Music Direct, Sheet Music Now.
      • The other option is to get an analog copy of the music. Amazon has a great selection of sheet music, individual songs, books of music from a particular show, and anthologies of music. Just make sure if you have sheet music from a book that you make a copy of the song you want to do so it is easier for the accompanist to play it.