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Don’t dodge this artful performance

‘Oliver’ hits the stage next week

POSTED: July 7, 2011 1:30 a.m.
TOM REED/The Times

The production "Oliver," by the Pam Ware Summer Community Theatre group, will be onstage July 13-16 at the Pam Ware Performing Arts Center at Gainesville High School.

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The musical "Oliver" may involve a group of misfit characters, but the production by the Pam Ware Summer Community Theatre group is anything but ragtag.

The performers for this production have been preparing for next week’s three-day run since January.

"Everyone who auditions in January knows if they are going to be a featured dancer, part of the ensemble or a principal character," said Pam Ware, the show’s director.

"We try to get them their scripts as soon as possible, so they can become familiar with their lines."

The musical, based loosely on the Charles Dickens novel "Oliver Twist," follows the adventures of a boy named Oliver, who runs away from an oppressive orphanage and joins up with a group of boys that have been trained to be pickpockets.

"Oliver" opens with a 7:30 p.m. show on Wednesday and continues with daily performances through Saturday. The production will be held in the Pam Ware Performing Arts Center at Gainesville High School, 830 Century Place.

It may be a community theater production, but the cast has been very dedicated to honing their craft.

The show’s principal characters began rehearsing in May and the entire cast began coming together last month for weekly rehearsals to start learning the music and choreography.

Even in the midst of professional-level rehearsals, Ware says the group hasn’t lost sight of the original intent of the summer theater program, which began 30 years ago. "There’s still a real community feeling," Ware said.

"The sheer joy of the summer community theater is that we work with individuals from ages 6 or 7, on up to 70 plus. It’s wonderful to work with all of those ages and individuals who are not only from Gainesville and Hall County, but from some of the neighboring counties as well."

Ware says there is lots of involvement from families, community members and even some of her former GHS students.

The summer theater program is presented by the Gainesville Parks and Recreation Department.

Tickets for "Oliver" are $15 for adults or $10 for children and seniors. They will be available at the door, or can be purchased in advance at parks and recreation department office inside the Gainesville Civic Center, 830 Green St.



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