Stage actors often have items designed to support and enhance their performance.
For Cian McCarron, it’s literally a crutch.
McCarron has the role of Crutchy in the Cobequid Educational Centre’s presentation of Newsies, based on the New York City newsboy strike of 1899.
“I’ve been doing musical theatre my whole life,” he said. “Being on stage is one of my favourite things to do and I always wanted to do this show but getting around with a crutch is hard.”
He said he’s enjoying playing a character who is nice, as it allows him to channel positivity.
This will be the last year for McCarron, a Grade 12 student, to take part in the CEC musical. He plans to go to Mount Allison University and study for a degree in classical piano. But he’ll continue to be involved in musicals.
Grade 11 student Gabe Purdy auditioned for the show because his brother, who had taken part in musicals, had said many good things about his experience. Purdy is playing Jack Kelly.
“I didn’t expect a major role and I was quite awestruck,” he said. “This is an amazing thing to be part of. The hardest part, for me, is trying to do a New York accent.”
The boys find taking part in the show to be a bonding experience and they’ve become good friends.
Newsies is being directed by CEC staff members Lori Sharpe and Sheena Henderson.
“We both had a love for this show and we have some strong males to feature this year,” said Sharpe. “It’s set in 1899 but a lot of the issues are still important today and we have underdogs fighting for their rights.
“It’s also fun. The big dance numbers and songs give you goosebumps.”
The show has a cast of 50, with about 25 major characters.
Colchester Credit Union is the general sponsor for the show, but more supporters are welcome. Businesses or individuals interested in sponsoring are encouraged to call the school at 902-896-5700 and leave a message for Sheena Henderson.
Tickets for the show can now be purchased through Ticketpro and at MacQuarrie’s Pharmasave Esplanade location for $15, students and seniors $12. Prices at the door are one dollar more.
Show times are March 30 at 7 p.m., March 31 at 2 p.m. and April 3, 5 and 6 at 7 p.m.