First Time Shining in the Spotlight

Extra, Extra, read all about it! Performing on stage is the fantastic production created by the Oakland Mills High School students and staff: Newsies! And, let me tell you, there are no words to describe this musical other than spectacular and wonderful! Everyone involved made sure to put their whole heart into it, especially our main character, Jack Kelly, performed by Bliden Elung.

The notorious Jack Kelly and a collective group of underprivileged boys find themselves on a mission to save overworked youth when the publisher, Joseph Pulitzer, raises the price of newspapers. With this new policy put in place, it became harder for the boys to distribute papers and earn a sustainable income to provide for themselves and their families. In the fight to save the overworked and the underpaid with nothing but a headline and a dream, they find trying to overcome capitalistic ideals and many injustices can be very troublesome. 

Bliden Elung, an Oakland Mills senior, could not have done a better job portraying the notorious Jack Kelly. Known for being one of our many talented athletes in the community, not many expected him to be playing our main character in the school musical. But Bliden is not one to shy away from trying new things. Not wanting to leave Oakland Mills without something to remember him by, he made it his mission to make his senior year of high school an unforgettable one. This inspired Bliden to attempt new things, not only by participating in the school play, but also by joining the football team for the first time.

Although this is Bliden’s first time performing on stage, this is not his first experience in theater. Throughout his entire high school career, he attended Ms. Hoffen’s theater class, a teacher he has grown to love and appreciate, where she continuously suggested he should audition for the musical.

The school musical was an amazing production, put together by many Oakland Mills skilled and talented students, and Bliden Elung could not agree more, as he puts it, “All I can say is this was a really fun experience, even Ms. Hoffen would describe it as the best show in OM history. This whole production means something to me, and I just have to hand everyone props for doing amazing on the show, because without them there would be no show, so thank you. And I hope all the future seniors, juniors, sophomores, and freshmen take a chance and fill the shoes of some of our amazing actors.” 

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