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SWU provides a Christian college environment for fine arts engagement opportunities.

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Student Productions

Live shows and musicals for Upstate South Carolina

The Division of Fine Arts at SWU is proud to produce annual musicals and stage shows for a variety of audiences in the upstate of South Carolina. Past productions include Broadway favorites such as Beauty and the Beast and The Sound of Music. Student productions take place in the 1,000-seat Newton Hobson Chapel Auditorium.

The next production is Disney's Newsies, March 26-28, 2020. Tickets are on sale now!

Newsies showtimes are 7:30 p.m. March 26, 27, 28, and a 2:00 p.m. matinee on March 28.

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Meet the Cast

This is a huge musical production with some pretty high demands considering cast size, set, costuming, etc. Our goal is to raise $25,000 in support of this production. If you would like to give a gift to Student Productions, simply text "performance" to 41444.

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Newsies Cast List


Principal Characters

Zach Wheeler

Zach Wheeler (Jack Kelly) is absolutely thrilled and honored to be portraying this role for SWU’s production of Newsies. Zach has formerly been involved in many different stage productions including recently playing Fritz Bhaer in Southern Wesleyan’s production of Little Women. Zach is currently a senior double majoring in Christian Worship and Music. After college, Zach is pursuing different residency options with churches wanting to further his practical ministry experience. Now, it’s off to Santa Fe!

Katie Cook

Katie Cook (Katherine Plumber) is ecstatic to be making her dream a reality by playing Katherine Plumber in this production. Katie has appeared in many different shows at Southern Wesleyan University, but her most recent role was Beth March in last year’s production of Little Women. Katie is currently a senior Early Childhood Education major here at Southern Wesleyan and is graduating in May. After graduation she is looking into expanding her love for theatre while also working in the local church. “Once we’re center stage just ‘Watch What Happens.’”

Brady Crocker

Brady Crocker (Crutchie) is a junior at Southern Wesleyan University. He is majoring in piano with a minor in voice. Brady is involved in multiple ensembles at Southern Wesleyan. He played as a monk in Little Women. He is looking forward to playing Crutchie in Newsies!

Leonard Hughes

Leonard Hughes (Davey) is a freshman at Southern Wesleyan University working towards his bachelor's degree in Business. Leonard is excited to be making his debut in the production of Disney's Newsies. The role of Davey has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and he is truly grateful for the chance to portray such a unique character. When he’s not acting, Leonard enjoys cooking, spending time with family, and playing the alto saxophone.

Elza Belser-Vick

Elza Belser-Vick (Les) is a 4th grader at Clemson Montessori School where she got her first taste of performing on stage in the yearly musical theater productions written and directed by her gifted and dedicated teachers. Since 2018, she has had the opportunity to study vocal performance under Dr. Amber James of Southern Wesleyan University.  Last year, Elza took part in SWU’s productions of Little Women and “Showstopper Spectacular.” She also played a role in Willy Wonka at the Foothills Playhouse in Easley. When she is not performing, Elza loves to draw and play with her sister and friends.

Ethan Cashwell

Ethan Cashwell (Joseph Pulitzer) has participated in SWU theater since 2008. He has performed in five productions and served as assistant director in two. Outside of SWU he played Marius in Clemson Little Theater's production of Les Misérables, and directed the critically-acclaimed stage play "Call Me Grandma" at the Pickens Senior Center. He lives in Cateechee, SC with his wife, Chloe, and their zero cats.

Misha Mercius

Misha Mercius (Medda Larkin) is a Haitian- American from West Palm Beach, Florida. She is currently 19 years old and is a Psychology major with a minor in Human Services at Southern Wesleyan University. She will be playing the part of Medda Larkin in Newsies, and is very excited about it! Misha loves musicals and plays, and is looking forward to being in one this year.