Facetime Community Theatre Kicks Off With A Rousing Production Of OLIVER
Written by Paul Recupero. Reprinted with permission from Stage Magazine.
“The participants arrive each day smiling and excited. We must be doing something right.” So said Kate Nice of Schwenksville, co-director of newly-founded Facetime Community Theatre’s first full production, OLIVER! The lively musical, which opens and closes this weekend, is the cumulation of an intense three-week summer camp comprised of approximately sixty performers from fourth grade through college. Earlier this week I had the opportunity to sit in on part of a technical rehearsal. The familiar adaptation of a Dickens classic will be performed in The Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center of Ursinus College. The venue itself is extremely impressive, with ground and balcony seating that wraps around to the proscenium arch, and an actual pit for the orchestra, which all adds to the professional polish of the production elements. The simple unit set is amplified by a surprisingly sharp and focused lighting design, which, as it was a tech rehearsal, was still being adjusted. Ursinus students, as well as adult and student volunteers, comprise the large crew. Shortly after my arrival, a run of full cast number “Oom Pah Pah” took place. I was struck by the powerful vocals emanating from the ensemble members as they whisked energetically across the stage. Next came the dark and intimidating Bill Sykes, played creepily by Owen Howson, who stealthily leapt onto a table to intimidate a bar patron during his resonating solo, “My Name”. Pretty remarkable for a mere two weeks of rehearsals, I thought, and clearly a cut above what one would expect from a youth summer camp. This new theatre has hit the ground running.