School becomes a ragtag crew in the play ‘Oliver!’

Staff reports

The Learning Community School - and all its students and parents - are pleased to present the Swannanoa Valley with an audience favorite, “Oliver!” The musical will be held in the Owen High School auditorium on Friday April 22, Saturday April 23and Sunday April 24.

“Oliver!” is about an orphan boy with the odds stacked against him who, as he famously says in the play, wants “more.”

Highlights in this full-length production include creative choreography, chorus numbers and live accompaniment with well-loved songs such “Food Glorious Food,” “Consider Yourself,” and “I’ll Do Anything.”

“One thing I love about this piece is that it has some real complexity to it,” said director Tom Tracy, a Black Mountain resident who is the school’s language arts teacher and is also in the band Dead Poets.

“It's a story that has notable human conflict in it,” he said.

“It's also a story of hope and possibility inside of dismal circumstances during the 1800s as seen from the viewpoint of youth. The songs are so bright - young people finding hope. It's nice to pull from a piece of classic literature that shines with such promise and possibility.”

What makes this all-school production unique is that not only does the entire kindergarten through eighth-grade student body of 75 participate, but every parent in the community also contributes their time and talent as well.

The parents in the school make costumes, apply make-up and design lighting and props, to name a few tasks.

Every single team of the musical shines in its own way and contributes to the success of the all-hands-on-deck show each year.

A team of parent-artists created the sets for the show including Fagan’s Lair, the workhouse and other scenes from the classic story. Set designer and TLC parent Ralston Fox Smith, a professional contemporary artist, has been working with Asheville artists Monroe Moore, Spencer Herr and Libba Tracy.

“We take this pretty seriously,” Monroe said, “because we want to do the best for the kids in our community, both the ones on stage and the ones in the audience.”

Students have been rehearsing in the same location that housed Black Mountain College, the legendary school that was located on the grounds of what is now Camp Rockmont.

The Learning Community School, now in its 20th year, is located on the same property.

“Our little school is sitting here on hallowed ground, and we can’t help but draw inspiration from knowing that this was a place where some of the most creative minds in our country once lived, worked and created,” Tracy said.

This year marks the 15th school theater performance.

Who will buy?

What: Oliver!

When: 6 p.m. April 22, 4 p.m. April 23,

2 p.m. April 24

Where: Owen High auditorium

Tickets: $13 general, $7 for 5 and under