The Algoma District School Board (ADSB) is proud to present a first for the district - a board-wide production of the Broadway classic Oliver.
Directed by Anthony and Christine Aceti, the show includes more than 70 cast members from elementary and high schools across the ADSB.
Anthony Aceti told SooToday.com a production of this type isn't without its trials but the end product is highly rewarding.
"It's a mixture of challenge and advantage because kids are so creative and so willing to explore. That's something amazing to have in a team of artists," he said. "Their egos do not get in the way. But like anything, they're still young and learning. It's a great mixed bag of eagerness to explore and freshness."
Twenty-one different schools are represented in the production that features performers ranging from 7 to 17 years of age.
Pinewood Public School student Ryan North (pictured) steps onto a theatre stage for the very first time to portray Oliver in the ADSB production.
He told us he is enjoying the experience and has made a lot of new friends since rehearsals began last September.
Matthew Stephens, who was selected to play Artful Dodger in Oliver, is no stranger to the stage.
The Grade 7 Rosedale Public School student has enjoyed roles in local productions of Miss Saigon, Wizard of Oz, and The King and I, and has helped in a variety of capacities in a number of others.
Each cast member brings their own flair to the characters which helps build the production into something truly unique, Aceti told us.
"When you get to work with a big cast like this, the energy and insight they have shapes the show," he explained. "The imagination they bring to rehearsals determines how we develop the show. It's following the principle of finding out what each does best and letting them shine at that."
Because of this, he feels the audience will "enjoy this telling of Oliver, because it really is our story. They're about to see something that's unique to the Sault. It's a reflection of our community."
Oliver will be staged at the Kiwanis Community Theatre Centre from April 10 to 13 with shows at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday (April 10 and 11), and matinee performances at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday (April 12 and 13).
Tickets, available online at www.kctc.ca or at the Community Box Office in the Station Mall, are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $10 for students.
To see the video on Local2 click here.