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Premier Art a finalist to win first rights to 'Newsies'


Premier Arts in Elkhart is a finalist in a competition for the rights to put on the first amateur production of Disney’s musical Newsies.

Premier Arts is the house community theatre company for the Lerner Theatre. Newsies is a Disney musical about the New York City news boy strike of 1899. It started as a film, then opened on Broadway in 2012.

Rights to bring musicals like this to the Lerner usually cost about $10,000.

Craig Gibson is the Executive Artistic Director for Premier Arts. Back in the 90s when Newsies the movie had just come out he wrote a letter to Disney every month for nine months, trying to get them to make it into a stage production.

“Finally I got a letter from Disney saying, ‘please stop sending this letter to us, it’s not going to happen.’ And then fast-forward 15 years and then here it pops up on broadway. So, it would be sweet justice for me to be able to do it for sure.”

The winner of the five finalist is chosen by a popular vote. It will be announced March first.