Newman Theatre 2016-2017

Coming Soon to a Theater Near You!


The cast of Grease.

Edited by: Rebecca French

Last year, Newman’s theatre program reached a new creative high with three excellent productions. The first play, I Hate Hamlet, was a witty comedy with six characters.  Although small, the cast worked well as an ensemble and bonded during the two busy months they spent preparing the play. Cora López recalled, “I had my birthday during the show, on a day where we had to rehearse until 9pm…all of the cast made me feel so at home and we had a little birthday party for me and we joked around and had a blast. I won’t ever forget it.” Next, the middle school play, The Lion King, astounded audiences with its lavish costumes and talented cast. The most impressive scenes included hilarious banter between Timon (Max Jacobson) and Pumbaa (Audrey Gold), and the infamous – and emotional – wildebeest stampede. Finally, in the spring, the upper school put on a production of Grease, which quickly became the largest and most popular Newman musical since Hairspray in 2010. Donovan Bendana and Emma Lopez were spot-on as the leads, and Rebecca French’s mournful solo “There Are Worse Things I Could Do” left audiences teary-eyed. In contrast to the fall play, Grease had a huge cast, with over 20 people onstage. Still, the cast bonded through activities such as dinners and sleepovers. Rebecca French remembered, “All of the girls went to my house after the Cast Party and spent the night. We stayed up all night and sang Grease songs and ate guacamole that Breely made. In the morning, Emma McAlister and I made a big breakfast of bacon and pancakes for everyone who stayed. It was one of the most fun experiences from the play.” Last year was full of close casts and outstanding performances, making it one of the strongest seasons in recent Newman theatre.

This year, three exciting new shows will arrive at the Henson Auditorium. The season begins in late October with the upper school play Leading Ladies by Ken Ludwig, a hilarious comedy complete with British accents, Shakespearean misunderstandings, and thrilling duels. The cast has started rehearsing, knowing that they only have a little over a month to prepare for their peers. There will be a teaser for the upper school on Wednesday, October 19th. Performances will be October 20th-22nd (Thursday – Saturday) at 7pm. Then the week after Leading Ladies finishes its three-night run, auditions have been scheduled for The Addams Family, the upper school musical, and rehearsals will begin in early January. Meanwhile, the middle school will take over the stage to rehearse for their play Seussical the Musical, based on the humorous writings of the beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss, which will then be performed in early 2017. As previously mentioned, the main theatre productions in Henson will end with The Addams Family in the spring. The Addams Family is a Broadway musical based on the television show that aired in the 1960s. In the 1990s it was split into two films  starring Anjelica Huston and Christina Ricci. The story takes place in a haunted mansion, the home of the supernatural Addams family: Gomez and his wife Morticia, their children Wednesday and Pugsley, Gomez’s brother Fester, Grandma Addams, and Lurch the butler. As the play unfolds, Wednesday arranges to have her “normal” boyfriend and his parents spend the night at the Addams home so they can meet the family – unfortunately, not everything goes as planned. The play originally debuted in 2009 with Broadway legend Nathan Lane as Gomez Addams and Bebe Neuwirth as Morticia.