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ACMA's 'Oliver' spotlights homeless youth

March 8 performance benefits Beaverton Second Home


by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - With professional theater credits all across Portland, ACMA junior Katie McLoughlin plays Nancy.The Arts and Communication Magnet Academy Theatre Companyis gearing up for the March 7 opening of “Oliver!”

The show will not sugarcoat Charles Dickens’ story of an orphan boy who encounters evil at nearly every turn. This is a dark story, one the audience will not be allowed to forget.

Guest artist Gretchen Rumbaugh — the actress and singer whose long list of credits includes Mrs. Lovett in Portland Center Stage’s 2012 production of “Sweeney Todd” — is working with director Joel Morello to craft a show that stays true to the grittiness of Dickens’ Oliver Twist, as opposed to the Disney-esque script of the musical.

Rumbaugh, Morello, and choreographer Julana Torres remind the actors daily that while Dickens’ characters are often funny, hunger is painful, poverty is brutal, and homelessness is anything but cute.by: SUBMITTED ART -

Their philosophy — to focus the young actors on the difficult issues in the story — moved the students in the company to make the first Saturday evening performance a benefit for Beaverton Second Home, an organization that finds host families for homeless students who want to finish high school.

Ten percent of proceeds from the 7 p.m. March 8 performance will be donated to Second Home, and an information table will be open at all performances where patrons can learn about the organization and what they can do to help.

“Homelessness is not a relic of the 19th century, unfortunately,” said Chloe Duckart, who plays the undertaker’s wife. “Hundreds of kids in Beaverton don’t know where they’ll sleep tonight.

“We were all excited to learn about Beaverton Second Home and hope everyone who comes to see ‘Oliver!’ will think about how they can help.” Show times are March 7, 8, 14 and 15 at 7 p.m.; and March 8 and 16 at 2 p.m. in the ACMA Performing Arts Center, 11375 S.W. Center St.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for students and can be purchased with cash or check only.

To view a trailer of the show, visit acmatheatre.com. For more information about Beaverton Second Home, visit emoregon.org/secondhome.php.




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