Skip to main content

Draper Journal

Corner Canyon thespians seize the day, bringing ‘Newsies’ to school stage

Oct 04, 2021 11:37AM ● By Julie Slama

Corner Canyon theatre students, seen here in their first rehearsal, are excited to put on “Newsies” in November. (Phaidra Atkinson/Corner Canyon High School)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

In early October, Corner Canyon High School thespians should learn if they are repeat winners in the annual high school Shakespeare competition in Cedar City.

After winning sweepstakes in the Buckingham, or largest, division last year by winning the ensemble, monologue and duo/trio scenes—and taking second place in the latter as well—the Chargers were set to compete this year in the 45th annual competition, held Sept. 30-Oct. 2 in Cedar City.  

New this year is the submission of monologues and duo/trio scenes before the in-person competition. The finalists in those categories as well as ensemble were to compete in-person, said Corner Canyon theatre director Phaidra Atkinson.

“It does make it challenging as the kids need to prep over the summer and pass it off the first week of school so they can practice it before recording it,” she said. “During COVID especially, this is a way they found they could do it and reduce the number of rooms needed and limit the students on campus.”

In addition to theatre teacher Case Spaulding directing “Macbeth” for the ensemble, choir director Melissa Thorne has worked with students on the music and Atkinson helped with costuming.  

“He’s (Spaulding) always wanted to do ‘Macbeth’ as a step up from spooky or scary. Now, he’s taken it to another level; it’s extreme,” Atkinson said.

Joining the actors competing will be the dance company, choir and stage tech crew.

At the same time as rehearsing for the Shakespeare competition, theatre students also are practicing their lines for their school musical, “Newsies,” the musical based on the news boys’ strike of 1899 in New York City.

More than 120 students auditioned for the musical, about double of a normal year.

“It’s great. They’re excited to come back and be a part of the musical, be part of the school again,” Atkinson said, noting that COVID-19 protocols made performing more difficult and some students opted to sit out. “It’s a fun Disney musical. It’s going to be awesome and show off the talents of our students.”

The show will be at 7 p.m., Nov. 11-15 at the school auditorium, 12943 S. 700 East. There also is a 1 p.m. matinee on Nov. 13. Tickets are available in October for $10 at or $12 at the door.

In February 2022, Corner Canyon will put on “Nora’s Lost.” The play by Alan Haehnel highlights Nora, a woman struggling with the spiraling effects of dementia. Told through Nora’s view, the play shows her struggles with Alzheimer’s disease as well as her happy moments in life. Tickets are $5 and two shows will be performed daily at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Feb. 25-26 in the Little Theatre.

“Nora’s Lost” also will be the ensemble piece which Corner Canyon will use to compete at region, which the school will host on March 11, 2022. Regional individual events’ competition will be held March 18, 2022 at Westlake High and 6A state will be held April 14-16, 2022 at Riverton High.

Rounding out the Chargers’ season line up will be “Pippen,” a 1972 show where a mysterious performing troupe, led by the Leading Player, tells the story of a young prince searching for passion and adventure as well as meaning in his life. “Pippen” will be held at 7 p.m., May 11-14, 2022, in the auditorium. Tickets online will be $10 and at the door, $12.