His father played this exact same role in an all-school play at Washington Public Schools in Washington, Oklahoma, in the spring of 1983. Twenty eight years later, he is getting the opportunity to watch his son step on stage and recreate the exact role he did as a child.
Stephen said, "it’s really great to be able to share something else with my dad. Especially since he played Oliver before it is really awesome that he can help me with lines and songs if I need him."
Stephen is 11 years old and is already getting the chance to play the title role in a Tony award winning musical. Mr. Marcum says" I am excited about Stephen's opportunity to play a role in one of the Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival productions, and it is even better that the role is Oliver.
No one, however, is more excited than his grandmother. When asked if he is helping Stephen with the character he said, "I have encouraged him to learn his lines and songs. Otherwise, I will leave the advice to Mr. McClain, Mr. Blackwood and, Mrs. Risso-Coker who have all been phenomenal working with Stephen."
Dell McClain, Director, Mr. Blackwood, Musical Director, and Riley Risso-Coker, Choreographer and the Producing Director are all very excited to see Stephen come to life on stage. Stephen said, "I am really enjoying my time working with all of the other children, actors, and directors! They have all been really nice and helpful."
Austin Auguero, the Artful Dodger, said, "He’s a great kid and working with him brings out my inner child. When we are on stage it doesn’t feel like we are rehearsing it feels like I am playing with my little brother. He’s very talented and I am happy to be able to work alongside him in this show.”
Stephen also said, "when I have children I hope to have a boy so he can play Oliver just like me and my dad! I want to keep this in the family!"
Oliver is based on the book Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. Oliver is a young boy who lives in a workhouse with other orphaned boys. When Oliver disrupts a meal by asking for more, he is sold to a local undertaker and his family. They treat Oliver horribly and make him sleep under the coffins. Oliver escapes and runs off to Paddington Green, where he quickly befriends another young boy, the Artful Dodger. Dodger takes him to his home, an academy for orphans who learn how to be pick-pockets run by a kind, yet slightly sinister, old gentleman named Fagin. Oliver is also introduced to Nancy Sykes, a lovable young woman, and Bet, Nancy's best friend. When Oliver goes on his first pick-pocketing job, he is caught by the police. The man that Oliver thieved, Mr. Brownlow, learns of Oliver's sad past and brings him into his own home.
Meanwhile, Nancy's husband, the villainous Bill Syke’s, worries that Oliver will tell Mr. Brownlow and the police where the thieves live. He forces Nancy and Bet to snatch Oliver from Mr. Brownlow's house and take him back to Fagin's. Nancy does everything her husband tells her to but plans on secretly taking Oliver back to Mr. Brownlow. Before she can do so, Bill finds out of his wife's plans, and decides he is going to stop her. Will Nancy’s plan to save Oliver work? With a cast of 18 children and 20 adults audiences will be heartbroken over this young orphaned boy. To see if Oliver finds a family and to see Stephen Marcum bring the Marcum family role of Oliver to life come to Montgomery Auditorium today at 2 p.m. or July 13 or 16 at 7 p.m.
For more information or tickets for Oliver! or any other production this season call the box office at (580)745-2696 or visit us online at www.oklahomashakes.com