Newsies, and The Crew Behind The Curtain

More stories from Braelynn Anthony


Before the school year even began, the schools’ theatre and stage crew began to prepare to perform The Drowsy Chaperone. On a whim, however, they decided to apply to attain the rights to perform Newsies. Not knowing whether or not they’d actually get them, the crew went on with The Drowsy Chaperone. Much to everyone’s surprise though, they ended up acquiring the rights. So Newsies began production immediately.  I spoke with Erik Gunn, the school’s current stage crew teacher and former technical director to see how the crew is preparing for the show and how he feels being able to perform such a cult classic.

How is the crew preparing for Newsies?

“We are working hard; the set is already starting to come together. In crew 1 we watched the Broadway musical and discussed how we were going to this, here’s something we have to design, how are we gonna accomplish this, etc. So the crew is already hard at work with Newsies trying to make sure that it’s ready to go on time.”

This is your first year of no longer being the technical director, how do you feel?

“I miss it a little bit, it’s hard to give up control of something that you love but I know it’s in good hands. Our new technical director is well trained, he knows what he’s doing and he’s gonna be great. Our new director is fantastic, he also has a good solid background in stagecraft. So between the three of us, we hopefully have covered our bases enough so that it’s gonna be great.”

Do you feel confident in handing the reigns to a new technical director?

“Absolutely. I’ve worked with him since I started here on day 1, he was a student and I’ve worked with him every year since. He knows how I like things run and he knows how the program is supposed to run. He has more experience than anyone on the crew or the staff. So I feel very confident.”

Are you excited to perform Newsies?

“Absolutely, it’s one of those shows that if you get the chance to perform you jump at it. There is a list of shows that everyone wants to be a part of, Les Mis, Phantom of the Opera, Newsies, Mary Poppins; I’ve checked almost all of them off. Newsies was the last one left that I needed to check off.”

Davis High will be the first school in Utah to perform Newsies and with that, there’s a lot of pressure riding on their shoulders. Knowing how talented the stage crew and the actors are though and how hard they’re working to make it great the show is bound to be amazing.