It is a busy week for Saline Area Players. Their production of Lionel Bart’s Oliver! opens Friday and shows will be October 20 & 21 at 7:30 PM, and October 22 at 2 PM at the Ellen A Ewing Performing Arts Center, Saline High School, 1300 Campus Parkway. Ticket information is on the website at www.salineareaplayers.org
Rebecca L. Groeb, whose family was among the founding members of Saline Area Players, is directing the show. We took a few moments to hear from her about the directing process and what to look for when you come to see the show.
What made you want to direct Oliver!?
I was interested in directing OLIVER! for SAP because it's a large production that involves lots of kids and adults, which I think is my strong suit! It's sometimes tricky to balance all of the many needs of such a large cast with varying skill levels and personalities but I enjoy the challenge! Plus, I appeared as Charlotte in the first production of this show that SAP did back in 1980, the summer before my senior year of high school, over at the old school before we had air conditioning, and remember how much fun my theater friends and I had working on it together!
What do you enjoy about directing in general, and community theater specifically?
I started out as a performer when I was younger but much prefer the role of director now! I thoroughly enjoy the creative process of coming up with a vision for a show and collaborating with a strong production team to make it come to life! I also enjoy working with actors and helping them learn to trust their own performer instincts about how to approach a character and scene. Most of the time they know more than they think they do and just need their own insights and inclinations to be confirmed in order to grow into a stronger performer and that is very rewarding process to be a part of!
I mostly direct children and high school students these days because of my job but I still enjoy directing kids and adults in community theater as well, because that's where I got my start! I grew up doing theater with my mom, Teddy, when I was little and have so many great memories of all of the amazingly talented and generous people I met and spent time with show after show! When you work so intensely on a project with people for a couple of months, it's amazing how close and like a family you become!
What should audiences expect when they come to the show?
I think people will enjoy our production of OLIVER! because of the strength of our principals who bring so much talent to the table and who have established great chemistry together! I also think people will be impressed with our enthusiastic group of kids in grades 1st-8th who make up the Work House Kids and Fagin's Gang and our hearty ensemble who bring their own unique point of view to the secondary characters that they play. Our rather large and abstract multi-leveled set also becomes a character of it's own in helping to tell this story set in dark and gritty Victorian London!
The show runs October 20-22. Tickets are $15/ $12 (ages 12 years old and younger). Go to the website to order tickets online at www.salineareaplayers.org Or call 248-534-7180 or email [email protected] to reserve tickets to pick up that night. Cash or check only at the door.