PITTSBURG — Area children had a sneak peak at the Pittsburg Community Theatre’s production, “Newsies” at the Lincoln Center.
Not only did they get to listen to the cast sing and watch them dance, they got to join on in with a simplified tap number.

The event was led by Matthew Buck who has been in theatre going eight years. Buck graduated from Pittsburg High School in 2018 and he’s currently studying Integrated Marketing Communications at Wichita State University. He came back to the area for Pittsburg Community Theatre’s summer musical “Newsies”, he said.

Buck also happens to work for the Pittsburg Parks and Recreation’s Camp Now and Then as a camp leader.
“I came home this summer so I can do ‘Newsies’ and because I love this job and I want to hang out with the kids again,” Buck said.

Because of this, two ideas collided.

Led by Buck, he and several of the cast members from the musical came together to teach the campers — who were between the ages 6 and 12 — choreography from the show.

In “Newsies,” Buck plays the role of Crutchie — the heart of the resistance. He performed a song whilst holding on to his crutch, hence the name Crutchie.
“I fell in love with theatre as a kid and so it’s just really cool to get to show these kids a good time and get to give them the experience some of them might not have had otherwise,” Buck said.

Several other cast members hopped into character and sang songs for the children — including “Seize the Day”.

This summer’s PCT show “Newsies” is being directed by Kaye Lewis of Midwest Regional Ballet. She helped lead the choreography during the special event for the children. The children followed her lead on a simplified dance numbers of the show.
“I really thank PCT and all of the other people who devoted their time today,” Buck said.

About PCT’s summer musical ‘Newsies’
“Newsies” opens on July 18 at Memorial Auditorium in Pittsburg and involves 45 cast members from cities across the Four State Area, including Webb City, Joplin, Parsons, Baxter Springs, Franklin, Girard, and Pittsburg.
According to a release from PCT, "Newsies," a Disney show that was a hit on Broadway and on the silver screen, is based on a real-life historical event.
“It brings to life the story of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a band of teenaged ‘newsies’,” the release said. “When titans of publishing raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Kelly rallies newsies from across the city to strike against the unfair conditions and fight for what's right.”

The musical will be at 7:30 p.m. on July 18 through July 20 and 2 p.m. on July 20 and July 21. Tickets are on sale at Memorial Auditorium.