The Drama Appreciation Club Presents Oliver! The Musical

Lower School and Upper School Team Up!


Kate Stout

Junior Jesse Borrero works with elementary schoolers during rehearsal.

Kate Stout, Editor-In-Chief

Elementary and high school students will be working together at Four Corners Charter School to perform Oliver! The Musical.  

When director Julie Gardieff first decided on the musical she was excited to work with the Theatre Appreciation Club on a more serious story. Oliver himself is a young orphan boy who is kicked out from his workhouse and ultimately ends up entangled with a gang of pickpockets. 

However, Gardieff found as she started to prepare for the show that she needed to enlist the help of the elementary drama students to fill in for the ensemble to play the young pickpockets and orphans. She had students who had performed in the elementary school’s performance of The Jungle Books Kids earlier in the year step in to help out. 

“Some of the younger kids are seeing what bigger shows look like. So you know, hopefully that will inspire (them) because the high schoolers that are in it aren’t going to be around forever,” Gardieff explained. “And so eventually, like those little kids are going to be the high schoolers one day.”

The elementary schoolers have been working directly with the older students, especially with Junior Jesse Borrero, who is playing Fagin. His character is the leader of the gang of pickpockets in 19th century London that the younger students will be portraying, so he is spending a lot of his time rehearsing with them. This came with its own unique set of challenges. 

“We didn’t always have as much time with rehearsals. So when we were there, I really just wanted to be there and try and focus and finish as much as we can,” Borrero said. “And then sometimes it gets distracting. And then they just sort of build each other, and then sometimes I get distracted, and I build them up, they build me up and it just becomes an adrenaline mesh. So, it’s been stressful, but it has been fun. ” 

The collaboration between the two campuses also meant a change in location for the high school students as the cast members were used to performing at Four Corners Upper and not needing to commute to rehearsal after school. Thankfully, many students were able to catch a ride on one of the school buses or carpooled with the upperclassman. 

Still, the move from the upper campus to the lower campus did prove to be helpful in some respects. Junior Matthew Mackivitch is the stage manager for the play, and has worked backstage for several others. He definitely found the switch made rehearsal easier in some respects. 

“In some ways, it’s been nice because now we have like a set stage, like at upper campus we would always just work in the cafeteria and every single time that we were rehearsing we would quickly set the stage and go,” Mackivitch explained. “But here since they have a stage setup, we literally arrive and it’s all ready for us and we can just go into the place so it definitely is more time efficient. Which is nice because Oliver has definitely been more of a time crunch than some of the previous plays we’ve done.” 

Having only begun rehearsal later in the school year, the timeline for the musical was shorter than many plays the actors had worked on before. This made preparing for the show somewhat more difficult, especially for students with other major time commitments. However, Mackivitch explained that the diversity in interests within the cast, which ranges from football players to Dungeons & Dragons players, improved the play. 

“I think it’s a good community involvement in that sense, where a lot of different people with different backgrounds and different interests all get involved over one thing, and it also offers a lot of problem solving really where we currently have to figure out new ways to do things,” Mackivitch said. 

The performances will be from May 26th to 28th, with shows at 7 pm on all days and 2 pm on the 28th. Concessions will be sold and tickets will cost $7 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. Freshman Daliana Perry, who plays Oliver, hopes the themes of the play will make the show interesting to its audience. 

“I think it’s because it’s such a timeless story, it doesn’t really matter whether it’s placed in like 1800s England or even the modern day time because it’s still a story we can relate to today when it comes to like, the poverty and all over just being an orphan and needing someplace to stay,” shared Perry.