Newsies Audition Information

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Audition Times:


      • February 16th Dance Only/Specialty Skills Audition* (6:00 pm – 8:00 pm)

      • February 17th (3:00pm – 5:15pm)

      • February 18th, (1:45pm – 3:15pm)

      • February 24th, (10:00am – 12:15pm)

      • February 25th – Callbacks TBA as needed

    Performance Dates:


        • July 5-7 & 11-14, 2024

      About the Show

      Based on the 1992 motion picture and inspired by a true story, Newsies features a Tony Award-winning score by Alan Menken (Little Shop of Horrors) and Jack Feldman and a book by Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein (Kinky Boots). Featuring the now classic songs “Carrying the Banner,” “Seize the Day,” and “Santa Fe,” Newsies is packed with non-stop thrills and a timeless message, perfect for the whole family and every audience.

      General Audition Information

      Known for its athletic choreography and invigorating score, Newsies requires a strong ensemble of actor-dancers who excel at creating characters through movement. We’re looking for performers with endurance and the ability to maintain strong vocals while dancing. 

      Beyond these movement- and vocal-heavy roles, Newsies offers a large cast of characters (many of whom are based on real people) with plenty of opportunities for non-dancers to shine! In addition to named characters, an adult ensemble will fill roles of assorted newspaper customers, policemen, guards, New York citizens, goons, nuns, Bowery Beauties, stage manager, scabs, photographer, Pulitzer and Hearst’s staff and/or family, etc. Strong vocals are needed for both on-and offstage singing!

      While, historically, as many as one in six newsies were between the ages of 5 and 10 years old, this musical generally presents them as teenagers and young adults. The required minimum age at the time of audition is 6th grade and older, unless auditioning for the role of Les the required minimum age is 10 years old or in 5th grade at the time of audition. The larger ensemble of newsies can also be played by boys and girls.

      Please be prepared to sing 16-32 measures of a song in the style of the show that best shows off your vocal skills and musicality. Bring legible sheet music. Accompanist will be provided. Pre-recorded accompaniment will not be allowed. Please also be prepared to learn a short dance routine if you wish to be considered for the Newsies dance ensemble or principal roles. Please bring tap shoes if you have them and note any specialty skills (jumps, tumbling, etc.) when auditioning. 

      Rehearsals begin May 13 and continue Monday – Friday from 6:30 – 9 PM. Please note rehearsals may begin earlier and run later the last two weeks before production opening along with a potential dance ensemble rehearsal on Sunday afternoon. A detailed rehearsal schedule will be provided to cast members prior to the first rehearsal.

      We are anticipating a cast of between 25 – 30 members including principal roles.

      *DANCE ONLY/Specialty Skills Audition Details:

      Extra! Extra! Read all about it!! Quad City Music Guild is holding a DANCE ONLY audition for their July 2024 show Newsies on Friday Feb. 16 from 6-8 p.m. at QCMG, 1584 34th Avenue Moline, IL (in Prospect Park).

      Calling all tumblers, cheerleaders, gymnasts, dancers, or acrobats that would love to be part of a couple of ensemble numbers within the show for DANCE ONLY; no singing needed.

      Show us your turns, tricks, stunts, leaps, jumps, etc. Whatever is in your wheelhouse and makes you feel confident, we want to see!

      We are looking for 4-8 people (in 6th grade-adult at time of audition) to fill these roles.

      If you are a singer as well and still want to audition, please come to one of the OTHER general audition dates (Feb. 17, 18, 24) during the times posted at 

      If you are a tapper, don’t forget to bring your tap shoes!

      Any questions about this special DANCE ONLY audition? Call or message our choreographer, Shana Kulhavy, at 309-230-6131.

      Character Breakdown

      (All ages are approximations. All genders listed are male and female identifying.)


      JACK KELLY, male, 19-24, 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 – especially when it comes to bantering with a certain female reporter. Must have a great pop tenor voice and sense of physicality.  (Vocal Range Bb2-A4)

      KATHERINE PLUMBER, female, 19-23, 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. Though she only has a brief dance solo in “King of New York,” Katherine should have a great contemporary pop voice with a high belt – diction is key. Tapping experience is also a plus. (Vocal Range A3-F5)

      CRUTCHIE, male, 16-20, is 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 the dance numbers. (Vocal Range C3-A4)

      DAVEY, male, 17-22, 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. (Vocal Range D3-A4)

      LES, male, 10-13, 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. (Vocal Range Db3-Bb3) MUST BE 10+ to audition for Les.

      SPOT CONLON, male, 15-20, the proud leader of the Brooklyn newsies, boasts an intimidating reputation and a short singing solo in “Brooklyn’s Here.”

      NEWSIES, male and female, teen to young adult, 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 who go on strike for a livable wage.


      MEDDA LARKIN, female, age 25-45, 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. (Vocal Range F3-E5)

      JOSEPH PULITZER, male, 50-65, 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. (Vocal Range F4-C3)

      PULITZER’S STAFF: SEITZ, male or female, Editor, advises Pulitzer, but ultimately admires the kids’ newspaper; BUNSEN, male or female, age 35-50, Pulitzer’s bookkeeper, comes up with the ideas to raise the newsies’ price per paper; HANNAH, female, age 20-40, Pulitzer’s practical and insightful secretary; Nunzio, male, age 30-50, Pulitzer’s barber.

      WIESEL, or “Weasel,” male, age 35-50, 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.

      OSCAR & MORRIS DELANCEY, male, age 15-20, 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.

      SNYDER, male or female, age 45-65, 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.

      MR. JACOBI, male or female, age 35-55, allows the newsies to congregate in his restaurant to plan their strike – when he doesn’t have any paying customers, that is.

      GOVERNOR TEDDY ROOSEVELT, male, age 50-65, a well-respected lifelong public servant, inspires Jack to stand up to Pulitzer.