Paul Russell

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OLIVER - Barter Theatre & Cape Fear Regional Theatre: Paul Russell, director


Re-thought within the world of England's survival of the 1941 Blitz

 

Oliver - Barter Theatre

 

 

"Wonderful production!

One of Barter's best!"

Gary Aday
Washington County News

 

Director's notes...

 

“There was only present tense.”

Survivor of the Blitz on London
from THE LONGEST NIGHT

The Blitz; September 1940 to May '41, London. A treacherous time when struggle and survival were synonymous. A time when England and most of the world was unsure about tomorrow- who or what would survive. Social systems had been disrupted; everyone for themselves.

The larger story was England’s survival but it’s the smaller, over-looked personal tales of survival amidst the fragmented ruins of London that helped a nation persevere. With this Oliver, that’s exactly what we accomplished.

The goal was to focus on the individual tales of struggle and survival amidst a time of great uncertainty. The Blitz had a way of forcing people to reveal their true nature. Character, like buildings, could be exposed by emasculating bombs.

 

Design notes...

 

 

I’m visual. Yet, with any visual aspect of a production I base the image upon emotion(s). Contemplating this new world for Oliver I was intrigued by exploring a physical environment that was a near bare stage strewn with fragments of London. Pieces of the ruins which we could spin and move about onstage (I’m fan of moving a show quickly in cinematic fashion with bleeds and cross fades). All of this set against stark black and white images (u.s. rear projections) from the Blitz. The u.s. projections framed by stationary fragments of a bombed-out cathedral. With great excitement, our designer, Dale Jordan, took my early musings and produced an ambitious design, of textured moving panels, puzzle-pieces surrounded by the shell of former majesty, now ruins, in which all action took place.

Concept art...

 

Production stills...

 

 

 

Company

 

Oliver! was mounted twice first at the Barter Theatre - The State Theatre of Virginina and then subsequently with a new cast at Cape Fear Regional Theatre in North Carolina.

Barter Theatre:

Production:

Sound Design: Bobby Beck; Lighting Design: Dale Jordan; Wig / Hair Design: Heather Fleming; Costumes, Amanda Aldridge, Set Design: Dale Jordan; Projections; Paul Russell, Bobby Beck; Fight Director: Mike Ostroski; Vocal Coach: Ben Smith; Dramaturge: Catherine Bush; Stage Manager: Cindi A. Raebel; Musical Director: Jim Hollingsworth; Choreographer: Amanda Aldridge; Director: Paul Russell; Producing Artistic Director: Richard Rose

Cast: Oliver: Maxey Whitehead; Widow Corney: Tricia Matthews; Mr. Bumble: Michael Poisson; Mr. Sowerberry: Tom Angland; Mrs. Sowerberry: Rebecca Reinhardt; Charlotte: Anne Elizabeth Butler; Noah Claypool: Sean Campos; Artful Dodger: Ben Mackel; Fagin: Eugene Wolf; Charley: Ezra Colon; Nancy: Meredith Autry Holcomb; Bet: Ashley Campos; Bill Sykes: Rick McVey; Mr. Brownlow: Tom Angland; Mrs. Bedwin: Megan Atkinson; Rose Seller: Gwen Edwards; Milkmaid: Rebecca Reinhardt; Strawberry Seller: Amy Baldwin; Knife Grinder: Mike Ostroski; Dr. Grimwig: Michael Poisson

Londoners: Tom Angland, Megan Atkinson, Amy Baldwin, Anne Butler, Ashley Campos, Sean Campos, Ezra Colon, Gwen Edwards, Ben Greenstone, Mike Ostroski

Youth of London: Tori Bartfai, Rachel Boyd, Aria Brinkley, Joseph Brooks, Lexi Clark, Alexandra Eleas, Logan Frtiz, Gretchen Gross, Kurtis Gross, Matthew Helton, Hollie Matthews, Sarah Lyn Smith

Cape Fear Regional Theatre

Production:

Sound Design: Bobby Beck; Lighting Design: Dale Jordan; Wig / Hair Design: Heather Fleming; Costumes, Amanda Aldridge, Set Design: Dale Jordan; Projections; Paul Russell, Bobby Beck; Fight Director: Mike Ostroski; Stage Manager: Karen Rowe; Musical Director: Giuseppe Ritorto; Choreographer: Amanda Aldridge; Director: Paul Russell; Producing Artistic Director: Bo Thorpe

 

 

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