Facetime Community Theatre presents ‘Oliver!'

Photo by Mike Lantzy Facetime Community Theatre Summer Stage dancers happily get airborne in rehearsal for "Oliver!"

COLLEGEVILLE —Theatre lovers will be thrilled to learn there is a new summer stage program in the area.

Facetime Community Theatre, a nonprofit company recently launched by Lisa Starczewski and Kate Nice, is in the midst of its first summer stage program for youth from fourth grade through college age. Run as a three-week day camp from July 2 to 21 on the Ursinus College campus, the program will conclude with three performances of the musical “Oliver!” in Ursinus’s Lenfest Theater on July 20 and 21.

Summer stage co-directors Kate Nice and Jessica Potts, both experienced actors and directors, have been keeping close to 60 kids on their toes learning to perform the challenging material presented by “Oliver!”

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“Every day the campers act, sing, dance, work on set and prop construction, stage design, costumes, hair, makeup, and more,” said Nice. “Our staff is comprised of professional actors, teachers, and dancers, as well as ten very qualified college interns, many of whom are studying theatre and/or education. We’ve included guest speakers too - professional actors and coaches from our area - that are running workshops on many different topics,” such as how to speak in a Cockney accent, or how to do your own stage makeup.

Nice is enthusiastic about how the production is coming together.

“The more the campers learn, the more excited they are to work together to produce a terrific production!” she said.

Seconding that emotion is Starczewski, whose years of experience as an actor and director inspired her to start FCT as a vehicle to develop high-quality programs for performers of all ages. Starczewski has a hard time describing “how unique this experience is, with guest lecturers on all aspects of performance, college students involved as interns, and all the ages learning from each other. It’s awesome!”

Nice said,“It’s wonderful to watch and we’re honored to be a part of it.”

The majority of the kids enrolled in the program come from the Phoenixville and Collegeville areas, but some come from as far away as Telford and Blue Bell. The cast of “Oliver!” will include Samuel Majka as Oliver; Brendan Farrell as Fagin; Kelsey Hodgkiss as Nancy; Owen Howson as Bill Sikes; and Connor Murtagh as the Artful Dodger.

Performances of “Oliver!” will be July 20 at 7 p.m. and July 21 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the Lenfest Theater, Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center, Ursinus College, 601 East Main Street, Collegeville. Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/258213. Share FCT’s website on your Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest page and you can be entered in a drawing to win two free tickets to the opening night performance of “Oliver!”

For more information,visit www.facetimecommunitytheatre.org/oliver/win-tickets.

“Oliver!” music, lyrics, and book are by Lionel Bart, licensed by arrangement with Oliver Productions, Ltd. and Oliver Promotions, Ltd.