Come Home to Our Middle School Musical: “Oliver! Jr.”

What is a home without those we love? Without safety? To define home is an ageless journey of varied paths; the key to each destination where one finds acceptance and respite is perseverance; and more, to be the hope and safety you seek so that wherever you find yourself, it is always there.

Travel back in time and overseas with us as Victorian England comes alive on the Richard Perry Theatre stage, in the Middle School production of Oliver! Jr. on Friday, May 17 at 7:00 PM and Saturday, May 18 at 2:00 PM. As you may have guessed, Lionel Bart’s classic musical, Oliver! Jr. is based on Charles Dickens’ beloved novel, Oliver Twist, and is set to music that elevates the story’s heartwarming nature. The coming-of-age story follows Oliver, an orphan who leaves a gloomy atmosphere of neglect for London, forges a daring path to a new future, in hopes to find the true love of family. As Oliver finds acceptance in unexpected places, and encounters twists and turns along the way, he shows the value of perseverance in the face of adversity. This Tony and Olivier Award-winning show is one of the few musicals to win an Academy Award for Best Picture and is widely hailed as a true theatrical masterpiece by actors and audience.

Oliver! Jr. brings together the themes explored in Poly’s other play productions this year across the Middle and Upper School, such as family reunification from “Comedy of Errors,” the evils of materialism and classism from “Robin Hood,” and the preservation of basic human rights from “The Prom” or “Antigonick.” Andrew Cooper-Leary, the Director of the Middle School Musical: Oliver! Jr. shared why the play was selected as this year’s production. “While Oliver has nineteenth century origins, it is still very relevant today: poverty is viewed as a moral failing, and we live in a society that values children but neither education nor childcare is free.” Oliver! Jr. shows how gaps in empathy and understanding leave people vulnerable, and that small acts of kindness are our greatest hope, he says.

“The kids have brought a great sense of fun and  overwhelming energy to the process. I am lucky to have an amazing support system within the Performing Arts department. Maddy Wyatt is a precise and patient music director who connects the actors with the music and the story.” said Cooper-Leary. “Ashley Hacker is a gifted choreographer and, as a department chair, she provides magnificent support and guidance. David Higham, Kim Griffin, and Daniel Hogan are the best tech team I have ever worked with,” he added.

Noting that this is the final theatrical performance of Poly’s 2023-24 season, he also reflected on the starring cast features so many talented students who will bring this musical production to life. Among them are several Grade 8 students for whom this will be their final Middle School production: Alessandra L. ‘29, Tyler C. ‘28, Lucy F. ‘28, Mick W. ‘28, Alex A. ‘29, Lila D. ‘28, Bryson S. ‘28, and others. We look forward to seeing them all in future Upper School performances!

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Oliver Jr. Middle School Musical

Reserve Your Tickets!

Families are asked to register to attend our Middle School Musical, Oliver!Jr. , on Friday, May 17 at 7:00 PM and Saturday, May 18 at 2:00 PM in the new Poly Arts Center’s Richard Perry Theatre.

Tickets are $5 for students/children over 5 and $10 for adults.