New actors in Newsies


Josiah Payne

Martin Pfeil listens to Newsies rehearsal feedback from Musical Director Amber Gilbert in the PAC on April 12, 2023.

By Paige Johnson, Reporter

Newsies cast members received their roles Feb. 3, 2023 for their upcoming musical in May. They’ve featured a large cast of 51 for this production which includes six younger actors, one of which is seventh grader Martin Pfeil, with a lead. 

Pfeil took on the role of Crutchie; main character Jack Kelly’s best friend, for the upcoming musical. Pfeil has been acting since he was in elementary school with The Playhouse; a children’s theater in Duluth, where he was in Newsies before as main character Jack Kelly. Pfeil has also been involved in the Lake Superior Youth Choir (LSYC). Pfeil feels supported by fellow cast and crew, which is a nice change for the young actor.

“In a middle school, where I’m at, everyone is so judgemental but I feel like these people here, they accept me for who I am,” Pfeil said.

There were some concerns about such a young actor with such a large role.

“My main concern was his inexperience, but with how much work he puts in, I have no doubt that he’ll have made up for it by performances,” Sophomore River Opack said.

Sophomore Dorian Ackman plays the lead of Jack Kelly. He spends a lot of time with Crutchie on stage, including multiple dances and songs. The actors both have challenging high notes they have to learn, along with difficult choreography they’ll have to perform at the same time.

“He doesn’t hesitate really, and that’s always great to have,” Ackman said.

According to Theater director and English teacher Amber Gilbert, Pfeil has fit in well with the cast and easily adapts to feedback and has a natural flow on stage. 

“He seems very passionate about this, and that alone in theater is already a step up from somebody who doesn’t want to be there,” Opack said.

You can catch Newsies showings from May 12 to May 14 at the SHS Performing Arts Center. Tickets can be purchased at the door or found through an online link found on the Instagram of the drama department.