Disney's Newsies Character Breakdown

Character Descriptions

Jack Kelly
The charismatic leader of the Manhattan newsies, is an oprhaned 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 top: A4
Vocal range bottom: Bb2

Crutchie
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 should still be included in the dance numbers.
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.
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.
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.

Scabs
Three newsies who are hesitant to join the strike.

Spot Conlon
The proud leader of the Brooklyn newsies, boasts an intimidating reputation and a short singing solo in “Brooklyn’s Here.”

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 resourcesful, she boldy 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.
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.

Bill
The son of William Randolph Hearst who joins the newsies' cause. Can double as a newsie.

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.

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.

Goons
Assist the Delanceys in roughing up the newsies at the end of Act One.

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.
Vocal range top: F4
Vocal range bottom: C3

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

Bunsen
Pulitzer’s bookkeeper, comes up with the ideas to raise the newsies’ price per paper.

Hannah
Pulitzer’s practical and insightful secretary.

Nunzio
Pulitzer’s barber.

Guard
The Guard removes the newsies from Pulitzer’s building.

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.

Medda Larkin
Inspired by vaudeville performer Aida Overton Walker, a black woman. 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 top: E5
Vocal range bottom: F3

The Bowery Beauties
Female performers at Medda’s Theater.

Stage Manager
Introduces Medda's act.

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

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

Woman
A newspaper customer.

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

Policemen
Assist Snyder and turn against the newsies in the fight that concludes Act One.

Mayor
The Mayor of New York City rebuffs Pulitzer’s attempts to shut down the newsies’ strike.

Governor Teddy Roosevelt
A well-respected lifelong public servant, inspires Jack to stand up to Pulitzer.

Ensemble
FEMALE ENSEMBLE 1 - Nun / Hannah / Bowery Beauty / Katherine understudy
FEMALE ENSEMBLE 2 - Nun / Woman / Bowery Beauty / Medda understudy
FEMALE ENSEMBLE 3 - Nun / Medda Larkin
MALE ENSEMBLE 1 - Wiesel / Stage Manager / Mr. Jacobi / Mayor / Pulitzer understudy
MALE ENSEMBLE 2 - Seitz / Roosevelt understudy
MALE ENSEMBLE 3 - Bunsen / Male Ensemble 1 understudy
MALE ENSEMBLE 4 - Nunzio / Guard / Policeman / Roosevelt
MALE ENSEMBLE 5 - Snyder / Pulitzer understudy