Journey to a Trauma Informed Life

Auditions for Disney’s Newsies and Shawshank Redemption

Auditions for the Erie Playhouse productions of  Disney’s NEWSIES and SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION will be held on May 19 and 20 at 6:30 pm at the Erie Playhouse Rehearsal Hall at 1158 East 12th Street. 

Actors are asked to arrive and to sign in within the first hour of the audition start time. All roles are available. The Erie Playhouse practices Color Conscious casting.  All ethnicities  and newcomers are especially welcomed. Crew and other volunteers are also needed for these events. Perusal scripts are available after April 1, 2024 in the box office for 24 hrs. with a refundable $10 deposit.  Questions?, please contact


Music by Alan Menken, Lyrics by Jack Feldman

Book by Harvey Fierstein

Directed by Ryan Ingram

Choreography by Leah Johnson and Heidi Sheehan

Assistant Director Tara Hart-Lewis

Music Director Patrick Rose

Show dates: July 26, 27, August 2-4 and 8-11

Rehearsals begin Late May 2024

You must be at least 14 years old by the time of auditions.  The exception is the role of Les. Les can be as young as 10.

Audition Requirements: Please prepare to sing a brief (32 measures)musical theatre style song of your choosing. Please bring sheet music in the appropriate key or karaoke track. An accompanist will be provided.  Also prepare a brief monologue no longer than 1 ½ minutes. There will be a dance audition as well so wear appropriate footwear and clothes you can move in.

Synopsis: Based on the real-life Newsboy Strike of 1899, this new Disney musical tells the story of Jack Kelly, a rebellious newsboy who dreams of a life as an artist away from the big city. After publishing giant Joseph Pulitzer raises newspaper prices at the newsboys’ expense, Kelly and his fellow newsies take action. With help from the beautiful female reporter Katherine Plumber, all of New York City soon recognizes the power of “the little man.”

Roles available in Newsies

Jack Kelly 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. Gender: Male, Age: presents  16 to 20 Vocal range top: A4 Vocal range bottom: Bb2

Crutchie A dedicated newsie with a bum leg that’s painful, but helps sell more papers. 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 should still be included in the dance numbers. Gender: Any          Age: presents  13 to 17 Vocal range top: A4 Vocal range bottom: C3

Davey 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. Gender: Male Age: presents  15 to 20 Vocal range top: A4 Vocal range bottom: D3

Les 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. Gender: Male Age:presents 10 to 15 Vocal range top: Bb3 Vocal range bottom: Db3

Newsies 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 that go on strike for a livable wage.  Gender: Male Age: plays 13 to 20

Scabs Three newsies who are hesitant to join the strike. Gender: Any Age: presents  10 to 20

Spot Conlon The proud leader of the Brooklyn newsies, boasts an intimidating reputation and a short singing solo in “Brooklyn’s Here.” Gender: Any Age:presents  17 to 20

Katherine Plumber 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. Gender: Female Age: presents 17 to 20 Vocal range top: F5 Vocal range bottom: A3

Darcy The upper-class kid of a publisher who sides with the newsies. Can double as a newsie.  Gender: Any Age:presents  15 to 20

Bill The son of William Randolph Hearst who joins the newsies’ cause. Can double as a newsie.  Gender: Male Age: presents  15 to 25

Wiesel Or “Weasel,” 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. Gender: Male Age:presents  35 to 50

Oscar and Morris Delancey 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. Gender: Male Age: presents 15 to 20

Goons Assist the Delanceys in roughing up the newsies at the end of Act One. Gender: Male Age: presents  15 to 20

Joseph Pulitzer 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. Gender: Male Age: presents  35 to 50 Vocal range top: F4 Vocal range bottom: C3

Seitz Editor, advises Pulitzer, but ultimately admires the kids’ newspaper. Gender: Any

Bunsen, Pulitzer’s bookkeeper, comes up with the ideas to raise the newsies’ price per paper. Gender: Any Age: presents  35 to 50

Hannah Pulitzer’s practical and insightful secretary. Gender: Female Age:presents  20 to 40

Nunzio Pulitzer’s barber. Gender: Male Age: presents  30 to 50

Guard The Guard removes the newsies from Pulitzer’s building. Gender: Any           Age:presents 20 to 60

Snyder 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. Gender: Any Age:presents  45 to 65

Medda Larkin 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. Gender: Female Age: presents 25 to 45 Vocal range top: E5 Vocal range bottom: F3

The Bowery Beauties Female performers at Medda’s Theater. Gender: Female        Age:presents  18 to 30

Stage Manager Introduces Medda’s act.  Gender: Any 

Nuns The three nuns offer breakfast to the hungry newsies. Feel free to cast additional nuns. Gender: Female 

Photographer Takes the triumphant photo of the newsies at the end of “Seize the Day.” Gender: Any

Woman A newspaper customer.  Gender: Any

Mr. Jacobi Allows the newsies to congregate in his restaurant to plan their strike – when he doesn’t have any paying customers, that is. Gender: Any

Policemen Assists Snyder and turns against the newsies in the fight that concludes Act One. Gender: Male

Mayor The Mayor of New York City rebuffs Pulitzer’s attempts to shut down the newsies’ strike. Gender: Male Age: presents  45 to 60

Governor Teddy Roosevelt A well-respected lifelong public servant, inspires Jack to stand up to Pulitzer. Gender: Male Age: presents  50 to 65

Ensemble In the original Broadway production, the adult (non-newsie) ensemble comprised eight actors who doubled and understudied as indicated below. All other featured roles and understudies were cast from the ensemble of newsies. Feel free to follow these tracks or expand as your resources allow.

FEMALE ENSEMBLE 1 – Nun / Hannah / Bowery Beauty
FEMALE ENSEMBLE 2 – Nun / Woman / Bowery Beauty
FEMALE ENSEMBLE 3 – Nun / Medda Larkin
MALE ENSEMBLE 1 – Wiesel / Stage Manager / Mr. Jacobi / Mayor
MALE ENSEMBLE 4 – Nunzio / Guard / Policeman / Roosevelt


Adapted for the stage by Owen O’Neill and Dave Johns

Based on the Novella Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King

Directed by Brendan Daugherty

Assistant Director Kate Thiem

Show dates: September 13, 14, 20-22. 26-29

Rehearsals begin mid July 2024

You must be at least 16 years old by the time of auditions.

Audition Requirements: Please prepare a dramatic monologue.  You may be asked to do a cold reading from the script.

Synopsis: When Andy Dufresne is convicted of murder and sentenced to life in the notorious Shawshank prison, he must find a way to keep himself and his hope alive by using his wits and forging friendships. Based on the novella by Stephen King, The Shawshank Redemption brings the story of resilience made famous by the acclaimed film to the stage.

Roles Available:

Andy Dufresne – Age- Plays 30-35 

Red (Ellis Boyd Redding) – Age – Plays 40-45

Warden Stammas – Age – Plays 40-50

Hadley – Age – Plays 40-45

Bogs Diamond – Age – Plays 35-40

Brooksie – Age – Plays 65-70

Entwistle – Age – Plays 35-40 


Rico – Age – Plays 35-40, Ethnicity – Latinx

Tommy Williams – Age – Plays 20-25

Dawkins – Age – Plays 35-40

Pinky – Age – Plays 25-35 doubles as the prison Cook.