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Oliver! music, book and lyrics by Lionel Bart

The McPherson College Theatre Department’s latest production gives local elementary school students an opportunity to learn about musical theatre and be on stage. “Oliver!” will be presented on March 8-9 and among its cast will feature more than 30 fourth and fifth grade students from Washington and Roosevelt Elementary schools.

“We were looking for a fun classic musical where we could offer experience to the local elementary school students and Oliver! fits the bill,” Jd. Bowman, professor of theatre, said. “It’s the perfect showcase for a large ensemble cast.”

Bowman added that he and Jen Pollard, assistant professor of theatre, were excited to work with Cheryl Flaming, long-time music teacher at Washington Elementary. “Cheryl is retiring at the end of the year and we wanted to include her and honor her great work in elementary music education.”

Set in 1839 London, it is the story of an orphan who dares to believe that the world is possible of more. This award winning musical, based on the Charles Dickens’s novel “Oliver Twist,” features memorable songs like “Consider Yourself,” “Food, Glorious Food,” and “As Long as He Needs Me.”

Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. in Brown Auditorium. First-Nighters will be treated to a bowl of gruel and other British classics at 6:15 p.m. prior to each performance. To make reservations, contact the ticket office at (620) 242-0444 or email Tickets for the performances are $5 or $3.50 for seniors and students.

Cast members include:

Mr. Bumble – Dr. James Bowyer; Mrs. Corney – Liz Thornton; Fagin – Dani Wilcock; The Artful Dodger – Kenzie Jansonius; Nancy – Maddie O’Brien; Bet – Scarlet Rodriguez; Bill Sykes – Isaac Bora; Mr. Sowerberry – Harvey Yeoman; Mrs. Sowerberry – Courtney Weesner; Mr. Brownlee – J. Tanner Trigg; Mrs. Bedwin – Liz Thornton; Oliver – Lucy Bowman; Charlie Bates – Oliver Bowman.

Ensemble members include:

Cali Godwin, Courtney Weesner, Cara Hudson, Kaitlyn vanAsselt, Erin Fralick, Harvey Yeoman, J. Tanner Trigg, Samuel Allen, Basil Beck, Julia Berger, Darius Coty, Jake Curtis, Jared Curtis, Leighton Fricks, Nasheed Hargrove, Logan Hartman, Joe Hunter, Abi Jantz, Oluwaseyi Johnson, Fabrice Kambale, Samuel Kayembe, Richard Mbuyambe, Paul Mwengwe, Dorian Paige, Alvin Patterson, Asya Timms, Frederick Watts, Toni Snyder, Dr. Julia Largent, Dr. Allen vanAsselt, and more than 30 fourth and fifth grade students from Washington and Roosevelt Elementary schools.