By SUZETTE MALDONADO
Cumberland County College is known for the broad academic programs, but the BROADway quality shows they put on are also very popular. Deborah Bradshaw is the director and producer of all shows that the college produces.
Bradshaw is a Broadway veteran singer and actress who literally brings Broadway to Vineland. She has been featured on shows such as Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera, just to name a few.
As CCC’s director and producer, she is in charge of choosing what plays the actors will present and is strategic about when the shows will go on. “I think about shows we have done and how we might present something different. With all the changes Cumberland County College is embarking on now, I felt that a family show would be in order. Next, I look at our students and how they could be utilized in addition to members of the community and our own faculty and staff. I also try to produce shows that I love and feel passionate about. Oliver is a dark show but ultimately has a happy ending,” Bradshaw explains.
Oliver is a musical about the life of a young orphan boy who ultimately finds a forever home. Most audience members who enjoy the show, do not realize the hard work that the cast and crew put into a musical to create such an outstanding show. All shows differ, but the incredible outcome is undeniable. “The different casts in each show bring very different dynamics to the process and the productions. Oliver has eighteen children in the show that is very different for us and approximately fifty actors. It is big and so far lots of fun!,” Bradshaw shares.
As the cast and crew rehearse for the show, they come together twice a week and are a very dedicated group. They are respectful even when being critiqued. The cast members are helpful with one another and are not shy showing off their many talents. They come ready to sing, dance, and bring Bradshaw’s Oliver vision to fruition. “I am so proud of what we have accomplished. Sometimes, I want to freeze frame a moment because when the show is over, we have to put it away alongside wonderful memories. There is definitely a recovery period or mourning process after every show,” shares Bradshaw.
The cast have the utmost respect for their director and show it in their constant dedication in Oliver. With the show quickly approaching, opening day is the most nerve wracking as closing day is emotional for all according to Bradshaw, “Opening is exciting and nerve racking because I feel the nerves in the air from the actors and I want it all to go as rehearsed. I worry about the technical end and everyone’s feelings. Closing is emotional, for everyone, lots of pictures, cards, gifts and tearful hugs. I would say I hit the spectrum of emotion from opening through closing.”
CCC’s production of Oliver will premiere November 15, 2018 and November 16, 2018 at 8pm. Other show times include November 17 at 2pm and 8pm. The last day to catch the show will be November 18 at 3pm.
There are no excuses to miss this phenomenal show. “It takes an army and a leap of faith. We have faculty, staff, alumni, current students and community actors involved in this production. Give theatre at Cumberland County College a chance and spend an evening with us!” exclaims Bradshaw. From Oliver’s heartfelt journey to all of the musical numbers, this show will not disappoint.