Photo By: Julie Watson/Special To the Town Crier
Almond School students appear in a production of “Oliver!” The cast includes, front row, from left Izzie Waite, Andy Arlege and Maddie Elkin. Back Julie Casares, Abby Mesel and Annie Specker.
Almond School will soon channel Victorian England, complete with orphans, pickpockets and high-society ladies and gents, as students present this year’s Drama Club production, “Oliver!”
The children’s production, based on the successful 1960s West End and Broadway shows, originally adapted from Charles Dickens’ novel, “Oliver Twist,” will enlist 86 third- to sixth-graders in roles. Nearly one-fifth of Almond students participate in the play, reflecting the school’s strong dramatic tradition.
Director and fourth-grade teacher Lisa Call said the annual school productions can be a magical experience.
“Anything is possible,” she said. “The joy of watching children learn their parts, perform with others and discover the thrill of watching a show come together is a wonderful experience. They may not remember what they read in a textbook on a particular day, but they will never forget being onstage delivering lines and singing and dancing before hundreds of people.”
Through the Drama Club plays, students can experience the process of producing a show from start to finish, from the initial audition through months of rehearsals, culminating in live performances in full makeup and costume.
Many students describe the play as a highlight of the school year.
“It’s fun to play a role different from my own personality. I feel so confident when I’m on stage, it’s as if I can accomplish anything,” said sixth-grader Abby Mesel. “We are so lucky to have a school play like this one.”
“This is the fourth play I’ve been in with the Almond School Drama Club, and it is the funniest play yet,” said sixth-grader William Schubert. “It’s a clever story, and everyone in the play has a great part. I always enjoy singing and laughing with my friends.”
Call said students have worked “tirelessly” and spent long hours preparing for “Oliver!”
“They are very excited to perform for live audiences,” she said. “It is a wonderful opportunity for me to work with so many enthusiastic and talented children and an experience that I will never forget. The parent support behind the scenes is truly remarkable at Almond. We are very blessed to have their support and help for this show. It would not happen without them.”
The community is invited to “Oliver!” Performances are scheduled 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and June 6-8 in the Almond School Multipurpose Room, 550 Almond Ave. Food will be sold during intermission. Purchasing tickets early is advised, as shows sell out quickly.
For ticket-sale hours outside the Almond School office and more information on the production, visit sites.google.com/site/almondelementary/home/oliver.