Niceville High School’s Theatre Department is gearing up for an exhilarating season, featuring two classic shows that promise to captivate audiences. The department’s director, Ritchie Jackson, has revealed that the fall production will be “12 Angry Jurors,” followed by Disney’s beloved musical, “Newsies,” in the spring.
The highly anticipated fall production of “12 Angry Jurors” will take place at the prestigious Sprint Theater located at Northwest Florida State College. Jackson expressed his enthusiasm about returning to the venue, stating, “We loved working at the Sprint a few years back when we performed Thornton Wilder’s ‘Our Town.’ The unique setup of the theater, with the audience surrounding the actors on three sides, provides my students with an unparalleled acting experience. I am excited to introduce a new group of students to this kind of immersive theater.”
“12 Angry Jurors” is a retooled version of the American classic “12 Angry Men.” The publishers have updated the play to include female roles, acknowledging the historical context of the original, which was written at a time when women were not allowed to serve on juries in capital murder trials. The modern adaptation allows for a diverse cast and a fresh take on the story.
In the spring, Niceville High School will present Disney’s sensational musical, “Newsies.” Director Ritchie Jackson is thrilled about this ambitious undertaking, particularly after the overwhelming success of their previous productions, “A Chorus Line” and “Chicago.” Jackson has assembled a talented team, including choreographer Nicci Fahle, who has previously worked with the department. Their collaboration promises to transform the actors into exceptional dancers, ensuring a memorable performance. Additionally, the set for “Newsies” is set to be the largest and most technically intricate ever attempted by the school’s theatre program. Jackson is looking into partnerships with various departments within the Okaloosa County School District to bring his vision to life, as the set will require advanced technical design and construction.
Preparations for “Newsies” are already underway, with Jackson enlisting the help of his Technical Theatre classes during a recent sewing unit. The students unknowingly assisted in creating costume pieces for the production, making vests from dress shirts. When the show was finally announced, they were thrilled to discover the purpose behind their efforts.
The enormity of “Newsies” necessitates additional support from both within and outside the school community. Niceville High School’s Robotics Team has already joined forces with the Theatre Department to design and build the elaborate printing press set piece required for the musical. However, the department still seeks assistance in areas such as engineering, scenic painting, and costuming. They hope to find the necessary expertise within the Okaloosa School District, but if not, they will reach out to the wider community for support.
“12 Angry Jurors” will run from late October to early November, while “Newsies” is scheduled for early April 2024. For updates and behind-the-scenes glimpses, follow the NHS Theatre Department on Instagram @theatre_nhs and on Facebook at NicevilleHSTheatre. The Niceville community eagerly awaits the upcoming season, anticipating outstanding performances from the talented students of Niceville High School.