Tappan Players aim to help with food drive and 'Oliver' production
Photo by David Holley
A press release includes more details:
“In Oliver, my character and his friends are starving and don’t know where their next meal might come from. It’s been hundreds of years since the story was written, but even today, people in our community are hungry,” says Trip Apley, the Tappan eighth-grade student who is playing Oliver. “We wanted to use this performance to encourage everyone to think about how they can alleviate hunger in such a simple way.”
Ann Arbor-based Food Gatherers is not only Michigan’s first food rescue program, but the first program of its kind to be founded by a for-profit business, Zingerman’s Delicatessen. Today, Food Gatherers is an independent 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization governed by a board of directors and operated by 24 staff people and more than 6,000 volunteers.
A Food Gatherers bin will be placed in (Tappan Middle School) from March 18 to 22, so students can bring in donations, and those who attend the performances also will be encouraged to bring in donations.
“We hope not only to fill the seats at our performances, but also fill the stomachs of those in need,” says co-producer Susan Gott, a Tappan parent and volunteer. The Tappan Players are in their 23rd year, and chose the award-winning musical “Oliver!” in part to honor the birthday of Charles Dickens. Dickens would have turned 201 this year.
Directed by Bud VanDeWege with musical direction from Jon Wardner and John Reyes, the production will feature more than 150 Tappan middle-school students. Students build sets, work on costumes, learn choreography and sing their hearts out each year to the delight of parents and community.
"Food Gatherers is so thankful for the work that has gone into this production and the generous community spirit of those involved," said Eileen Spring, president and CEO of Food Gatherers. "One in six children in Washtenaw County is food-insecure, so we are excited that the younger members of our community are taking an active role in fighting hunger where we live."
Over more than two decades of performances, the Tappan Players musical has evolved into a must-see event for the students and community.
The Tappan adaptation of "Oliver" will feature a family-friendly story that is perfect for all ages. Tickets are available at showtix4u.com and limited tickets will be available at the door. Showtimes are Fri., March 22, 7 p.m.; Sat., March 23, 1 p.m.; and Sunday, March 24, at 1 p.m.
Shows will take place at Tappan Middle School, 2251 East Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI. More information about the Tappan Players is available at http://www.aaps.k12.mi.us/tappan.players/home&config=qwvwdOAXVwUaV6X7qxbTW0.