Skip to the content

Join Broadway Professionals & Top High-School Talent From The Great Lakes Bay Region

Thank you to everyone who came out and participated in the auditions. We're so excited to present NEWSIES as our 2024 Rising Stars performance from JUN 26 - 29, 2024!

Midland Center for the Arts is searching for the top talent in the Great Lakes Bay Region who are interested in gaining professional-level experience and training from a Broadway Creative Team for a summer production of NEWSIES. This initiative is designed for Rising Stars, High School students (rising 9th graders through current graduating seniors), who will work through a professional-level rehearsal process and star in a popular musical geared towards teens.

The 2024 Rising Stars Program is sponsored by
Great Lakes Loons  Capital Power / MCV

Meet the 2024 Creative Team

Director Trent Soyster

Trent Soyster

Director & Choreographer

Trent is a New York-based performer, creative, and theatrical educator who focuses his work on story-driven movement and collaboration. This is Trent's 5th Newsies, and he is thrilled to be leading the strike with such a fantastic group! National Tours: Pretty Woman (Giulio), Escape to Margaritaville (Dance Captain). Favorite regional credits include Pittsburgh CLO, The REV, Slow Burn Theatre Co, Interlakes Theatre. He has created work for RWS Global Theme Parks, Share Inc, and has upcoming productions at New London Barn Playhouse and Timber Lake Playhouse. BFA from Pace University and represented by MSA Agency. To all the folks who stand up for their rights, beliefs and the power of unity: this one's for you. More at

Leslie Wickham

Leslie Wickham

Music Director

Leslie has served as pianist and conductor on the North American tours of Anastasia and Disney’s Aladdin . He holds a Bachelors in Classical Piano Performance and a Masters in Music Direction from UC Irvine, and works as a vocal coach and piano teacher in New York City. Thanks to Mom, Dad, and Pat

Rhagan Carter

Associate Director & Associate Choreographer

Rhagan Carter is a graduate of Pace University with a BFA in Commercial Dance - Performance and Pedagogy Concentration. She has been lucky enough to perform in shows such as Cats (Rumpleteazer), A Chorus Line (Kristine), Steel Pier (Dora Foster), An American in Paris, and others. Alongside performing she has gained a passion for dance captain and leadership positions within the field. Originally from Oklahoma, Rhagan has thankfully been invited back to her home studio, Dance Unlimited, in order to teach recreational and competitive levels, as well as the theatre classes connected with Spotlight Acting Academy. This past spring, Rhagan choreographed the Spotlight production of Something Rotten! on the high school level performers. She is so excited to be working on this production of Newsies alongside Trent and the entire Midland Center team! Big thank you to my family, friends, The Luedtke Agency, and the DU crew!!

Buy Tickets

Rising Stars Newsies

Rising Stars: Disney's NEWSIES

JUN 26 - 29, 2024

Disney’s Newsies, based on the 1992 motion picture film, features a score by eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken and Jack Feldman, along with a book by four-time Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein. Inspired by the real-life Newsboy Strike of 1899, where newsboy Kid Blink led a band of orphaned and runaway "newsies" in a two-week-long battle against powerful newspaper publishers like Pulitzer and Hearst.
The 2024 Rising Stars Program is sponsored by
LoonsCapital Power MCV

Please enter your e-mail to receive the latest announcements and updates on the audition process for the 2025 Rising Stars program!