2023 Oliver! Jr

Director's Note

What a romp we have had over the past 4 months! My goodness… I’ve never seen so many wonderful performers and dedicated crew members gathered in one production before, and it is truly an honor. When we kicked off this production with our traditional Musical Theater Boot Camp in January, I shared what this show meant to me as a long-time admirer of Charles Dickens, as well as the deeper meaning behind the story of Oliver Twist in particular. Here we are in a country where the very problems that Dickens was addressing in 19th Century England are still an overshadowing reality–-not only in the Philippines but so many parts of the world!. And who takes the hit? The children. Yes, Oliver experiences a twist of fortune, but–-as I pointed out to the students–-what about the other children left behind? The interesting thing about this musical is that the dark side of the story is hidden under a barrage of cleverly written, timeless songs that stick in my head and make me want to dance; however, maybe that’s also the beauty of it and why it’s become such a classic. We see the grim reality of life and at the same time we celebrate the hope that each new day brings to do better, to be better, and to make things better for everyone. As Oliver sings, “Who will buy this wonderful morning? Such a sky you never did see.” Perhaps the only aspect of life that we can’t put a price on–and no one can buy, sell, swap, barter, or claim as their own above anyone else is this incredible planet we have the joy of inhabiting. May we make the most of every blessed day we're given. That’s certainly what we've done as a cast, crew, parent volunteer group, and production team throughout the process of building this show. There are 177 students involved from 5th to 8th grade plus HS assistants, and we have all bonded together through rehearsals and meals. Now that you're here, I’d like to say thank you for your support of the ISM Drama Department and–please–consider yourself one of the family

Carrie Grev