Augusta Players come back to the stage

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Augusta, GA (WJBF)- After more than a year away from the stage, the Augusta Players organization is finally back.

In the first in person performance since the start of the pandemic, the Augusta Junior Players are bringing the musical “Newsies” to the stage.

courtesy Heather Coughenour

Cast members said that after more than a year of virtual performances, they can’t wait to get back on stage.

“It’s gonna be really amazing. I just love the feeling of the lights on me,” Bennett Wright said.

“And I’m so excited that I get to say that I’m a part of this big production,” said Heidi Coughenour, who plays the lead, Katherine, in “Newsies.”

The Augusta Players is kicking off its 77th season in a big way, letting the kids take the lead.

“Newsies” is based on a real life event about child labor at the turn of the 20th century.

courtesy of Augusta Players

Bennett Wright plays Davey, who, along with his younger brother Les, have to work to help support their family.

“Well Davey’s kind of a stick in the mud. He’s the one trying to keep Les grounded because he’s kind of thinking, like, whenever Dad goes back to work, we’ve got to go right back to school so we can get out of here and actually be successful,” said Wright.

Luke Rogmagnoli who plays Les, agrees.

“So, like, he tries to prevent me from doing things that are more unsafe, I guess,” said Luke Rogmagnoli who plays Les.

“So his character is super protective?” asked Kim Vickers.

“Yeah. And kind of boring.”

courtesy Heather Coughenour

Roy Lewis is the artistic Director of the Junior Players. He says after a year getting the kids used to being on stage again after doing virtual performances all year has been an experience.

“Getting the kids prepared to be back in person and live and onstage was quite a challenge because they had to dust off those skills and recharge the brain and kind of restructure thinking,” laughed Lewis.

He got emotional thinking about going back to live theater.

“Wow. It means the world to the Organization.”

The performances will be on June 11th through 13th at Davidson Fine Arts. You still have plenty of time to get your tickets though they are limited. CLICK HERE for tickets.

Photojournalist: Mark Gaskins

courtesy Augusta JR Players

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