Silver Bay native cast in Duluth Playhouse's 'Newsies'
Silver Bay native Lane Greer is getting ready to "Carry the Banner," "Seize the Day" and "Find Something to Believe In."
The 2018 William Kelley graduate has been cast in the lead role of Jack Kelly in the Duluth Playhouse's Family Theater production of "Newsies."
"Newsies" is a 1992 Disney film turned Broadway musical based on the newsboy strike of 1899. This production is directed by Emily Parr with music direction by Tanya Moore. Performances are set for Feb. 28 to March 10 at the Duluth Depot. The cast consists of actors ages 13-18.
"I'm really excited," Greer said. "It'll be a lot of work, but it's great that I can still use my spare time to continue pursuing theater."
Greer has been involved in theater since childhood, starting with the summer productions by Prairie Fire Theater. He said he was inspired by his older sister, Chandler, to start acting.
"She was very good whenever she was in shows and I wanted to be like her," Greer said.
He was also very involved in the one-act competition at William Kelley; Greer acted in every play from his freshman to senior years.
While acting at William Kelley, Greer met one of his other major theater inspirations — one-act director Katie Fritz.
"She's a huge inspiration as well. She's just so awesome and enthusiastic about everything," Greer said. "And what she did for the theater was so cool."
Fritz led a recent campaign to restore the Kelley theater and replace the seats, sound system, lighting system and more. Greer wishes he'd had the opportunity to act in the newly refurbished auditorium, but he graduated before the work took place last summer.
Greer also starred as Tony in "West Side Story" with Lake Superior Community Theatre in Silver Bay. This role stands out in his mind and inspired his audition song choice.
"Wow, that was a lot of work, especially for just being a sophomore at the time," Greer said. "But it was a really good experience."
Greer sang "Something's Coming" from "West Side Story" during his audition for "Newsies." Greer was among around 120 people who auditioned for the show. He heard about the audition from his mother, Carrie Greer, who works with props at the Playhouse.
He said he's most nervous about scheduling his work and education around rehearsals. Greer is a freshman studying biochemistry at University of Minnesota Duluth. He's also in an a capella group on campus. Greer works part time as a host in Silos at Pier B to cover his schooling costs.
Greer is excited to take on the role of Jack. He's somewhat familiar with the show, but he's starting to prepare more. He's downloaded the Broadway cast album and listens to it on repeat.
"I think I'm most excited to play someone who's so passionate," Greer said. "There are parts in the show where he (Jack) sings so passionately, it's like he's about to cry, but he's still so triumphant."
Rehearsals for the show start in late December or early January.