Pomp and Circumstance! Teenage Newsies Celebrate High School Graduation on Broadway

By Michael Gioia
20 Jun 2013

Andy Richardson
Photo by Monica Simoes
Andy Richardson
Age: 18
Hometown: San Antonio, TX

What high school did you attend? Originally, I went to Lee High School — The North East School of the Arts — but then when I came to do Newsies, I did online school with K12 International Academy.
Favorite subject? Definitely American Sign Language. I love American Sign Language so much. [Richardson signed "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" on stage before accepting his diploma!]
Least favorite subject? Math. It's just so repetitive to me!
Did you ever think you'd be graduating high school on Broadway? Never in a million years did I think…! It just never crossed my mind. I thought that I would have the normal high school [experience] — do all the senior [activities] and then graduate in a big stadium in a span of like three hours — but to do this is so amazing. It makes it that much more special. I get to [graduate] with not just my co-workers…but they're my family. It's so amazing.
Favorite high school memory? My favorite high school memory is when I found out I was going to be in Newsies. I was in my English class, and we had just taken a test, and I had turned mine in, and my mom kept on texting me incessantly, and I [thought], "What is going on?" I looked, and she [wrote], "You got Newsies!" So I started freaking out, and I wrote a little poster and showed it to all my friends in the class, and we all made my English teacher very angry! [Laughs.]
What are your plans for after high school? I'm going to go to NYU Gallatin. It's the School of Individualized Study, so I can create my own major. I'm going to concentrate on American Sign Language and Musical Theatre. And, I worked it so I can go full time but still do the show.
What other career path would you choose if you weren't on Broadway? [I would] be an American Sign Language interpreter.