Center Stage plans Oliver

CentreStage Oliver
Centre Stage Theatre and Arts received $5,000 through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council to produce the musical Oliver by Lionel Bart. Performances will take place in August 2014. MRAC Board Member Julie Andersen presented the check to Julie Kuenzel. (Submitted photo)

Centre Stage Theatre & Arts is looking forward to performing “Oliver!,” their first musical production since “The Music Man” in 2010.

“Oliver!” by Lionel Bart is the musical adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens’ tale about an orphan boy who runs away from a London workhouses and falls in with a gang of pickpockets led by the roguish Fagin, the kindhearted Nancy and the menacing Bill Sykes, before finally finding a loving home.

Director Brian Isles is very optimistic about this year’s show.

“After we completed Fools last year, I knew that the next show had to be a musical with a large cast,” he said. “I tried to think of shows that had a variety of ages represented. We landed on Oliver! because it’s a memorable story with wonderful music, interesting characters and a strong message.”

Isles added that he saw a talent in the group during last year’s production.

“I’m hoping that a more recognizable show such as Oliver! will garner more interest and create a buzz within the community,” he said.

The musical offers a variety of opportunities for people of all ages to perform: main characters, bit parts, chorus members, and even roles for small children as the orphans.

Organizers looking to add to the ensemble by finding people that want to act, sing, play instruments in the orchestra pit, build the set or sew costumes, or help out in other ways.

“I realized this year that theater is truly about growth and progress,” said Isles, “I like the idea that our community can come together to make a great show, and that’s why we think Oliver! is the perfect choice.”

Auditions will be held at Central High School on Thursday, June 19, and Friday, June 20, from 4 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, June 21,, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Performance dates are Aug. 14, 15 and 16.

For more information, visit the Centre Stage Theatre Facebook page,, or call Julie at 467-7391.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.