“Oliver!” opens at VHS for two weekends

“Oliver!” director Nikki Guckian (left) and choreographer Brenda Hull (second from left) teach newly-recruited elementary and middle school students the opening number of the show.


VHS Performing Arts Center
Jan. 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21 at 7 p.m.
Jan. 14, 21 at 2 p.m.

Four Points News

The Vandegrift High School Theatre Harvey Players open their annual musical “Oliver!” on Thursday and there are eight performances from Jan. 12 – 21.

This is the first time that the VHS theatre department will perform a show for two consecutive weekends, inspired by audiences’ response to last year’s musical, “Cinderella,” which sold out three out of four performances.

“We are so proud of our Vandegrift kids and are super excited to have a special addition to the show,” explained Nikki Guckian, VHS theatre department and “Oliver!” director. “We have invited numerous students from our feeder schools to open our show,” including elementary and middle school students from around Four Points.

“Oliver!” is a family-friendly show suitable for children and adults. Based on the Charles Dickens novel, “Oliver Twist,” the musical is the story of a young, orphaned Oliver, his adventures (and misadventures) on the hard streets of London and the characters he meets and befriends along the way. Packed with musical numbers, the show features a cast and crew of 84 VHS students — as well as some special guests.

“The kids have worked tirelessly over the last several months to put the show together,” including rehearsing every night until 9 p.m. and weekends since returning from the winter break. “Our audience is going to love ‘Oliver!’ It’s definitely not one to miss,” said Guckian.

Performances are Jan. 12-14 and Jan. 19-21 at 7 p.m. and Jan. 14 and 21 at 2 p.m. Additionally, the show is double cast, meaning that two students play five of the key roles in alternating performances.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and can be purchased online or at the door. Reserved seating is also available. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.VHSTheatre.us.


“Oliver!” cast (alphabetical):

Carlos Alvarez-Roth
Harshita Avirneni
Melia Berry
Bradford Borman
Collin Brown
Madelyn Brown
Gabriela Campsteyn
Cleonagh Carey
David William Clark II
Emma Claypool
Xitlalli Dawson
Kylie Diefenthaler
Codi Farmer
Alexandra Fletcher
Shianne Galasso
Shelby Guthrie
Maddie Hawley
Halle Hill
Maya Hillman
Jonathan Howard
Rusama Islam
Ashley Jacobson
Samantha Kellogg
Francis Kim
Corbin King
Olivia Kirchhoff
Shelby Kohn
Cristina Kovacs
Sydney Levine
Paige Lizak
Zumanah Mahmud
Grace Massamillo
Mia Mathe
Casey McKinney
Ericka Myers
Jake Painter
Alisia Plaster
Madison Poljan
Zia Rashed
Macy Rex
Judith Roberts
Sixtine Ronchi
sarvin safari
Claire Sarman
Kelly Scalpati
Tanvi Siruvuri
Daniel (Jack) Smith
Bradford Smitherman
Chawanya Thamrongleeraha
Greyson Weedman
Evan Welliver
Ashlyn Whiteside
Madison Woodrom
Brittany Young
Lily Zielinski

Oliver! Crew (in alphabetical order)
Sophia Alaniz
Emma Alvarez-Roth
Bridget Barth
Gauri Bellur
Nicolas Castillo
Sammy Cohen
Christian Dooley
Rachel Frith
Essa Garrett
Arianna Grandi
Baylee Griffin
Jada Hamilton
Mary Hartman
Jenna Hoover
Henry Hunsucker
Ashley Levy
Dema McCann
Mariana Orozco
Malavika Ramaswamy
Anthony Ramirez
Lizzie Rice
Kristin Scott
Tristan Sepeda
McClellen Smith
Ella Spanjersberg
Madison Williams
Kelsey Woodrom
Sam Zito

VHS Theatre lighting and stage crew members (from left) Lizzie Rice, Arianna Grandi, Malavika Ramaswamy and John Kemper relax between run-throughs of the musical “Oliver!” during technical rehearsals.

A stage full of actors rehearse “Oliver!” at the VHS Performing Arts Center, as seen from the light booth.

VHS students, Costume Manager Gauri Bellur and a member of her crew, Madison Williams, sit in the VHS theatre sewing room surrounded by costumes for the musical “Oliver!”

Cast members (from left) Maya Hillman, Samantha Kellogg and Madelyn Brown in dress rehearsals for the musical “Oliver!” at VHS.

Sound Designer and Engineer Bridget Barth wires cast member Lily Zielinski for sound. VHS Theatre and the Theatre Boosters recently invested over $10K in new microphones for the department.