In Part Four of a series of interviews with the cast of Sterling Playmakers’ OLIVER! meet Jacob Miniuk.
Joel: Please tell our readers where they may have seen you appear on our local stages and roles you have played.
Jacob: My name is Jacob Miniuk. OLIVER! is my theatrical debut.
Why did you want to appear in The Sterling Playmakers’ OLIVER!? Have you ever appeared in a production of OLIVER!? And if so-how is this production different and similar?
I have been taking voice lessons for two years. I have also attended a theatrical workshop with a few of the stars from the Broadway Musical Matilda. I performed in the 2015 Curefest in DC. My voice teacher had heard good things about Sterling Playmakers and was familiar with some of their previous plays, so she encouraged me and my parents that I should try out. I really enjoyed my musical related experiences, so I thought that trying out for a real musical might be fun, so I went for it.
Who are you playing and how do you relate to your character? Have you brought any personal experiences to your performance?
I am performing the lead role of Oliver. While Oliver started out as an orphan, which I know nothing about, he became part of a large “family” by being in Fagan’s gang. He felt he belonged and had people around him that cared. I come from a large family, one of nine children. While we all have our differences and issues, we all love each other and know that our family is there for one another. I definitely can relate to the big family of Fagan’s gang.
How have the Directors Ashley Kinney and Kim VanArtsdalen helped you to mold your performance?
I have learned a lot about musicals in a short period of time. Every detail is important, whether it is small or big. The directors expect me to do my best and provide both praise and critiques. They are always patient and encouraging me to do my best. They have been a compass to guide my way.
What do we learn about your character when you are singing your solos?
Oliver has many singing parts in the play, but he only has one solo – “Where is Love?” The title of this song tells it all – Oliver is searching for someone to love and be loved in return. He is looking for a family.
What have you learned about yourself as an actor during this process?
I love singing, I like acting, and, well, dancing I still need to work on. It is my first time, so I think I am doing pretty well. When I am having fun, it just all works.
How have Music Director Colin Taylor, Vocal Director Wyndy Fredrick, and Choreographer Sarah Hardy helped you during rehearsals?
Music Director Colin Taylor helps me keep up the beat of the songs and timing for when I come into songs. Wyndy Fredrick helped me learn the songs I needed to know. Sarah Hardy helped me learn the choreography of the dances.
Why do you think OLIVER! is still so popular so many decades after it opened?
Deep down we are want to make a difference in people’s lives. Oliver has nothing as an orphan. In the end, Oliver is rich, not only with money but more importantly with helping others. Everyone loves this type of story, because it touches the heart.
What has your Sterling Playmakers experience been like?
A big commitment, but one that I have enjoyed! There have been some days that I am tired and want to stay home but I have to pull myself together and go to rehearsal. I definitely look forward to working with the cast as well as the directors when I go to practice.
What do you want audiences to take with them after seeing you perform in OLIVER!?
I want them to feel the emotion of the story. I want them to have a strong desire to come see this show again!
Oliver! plays through August 14, 2016, at The Sterling Playmakers performing at The Theatre at Potomac Falls High School – 46400 Algonkian Parkway, in Potomac Falls, Virginia. For tickets, buy them at the door, or purchase them online.
Meet the Cast of Sterling Playmakers’ ‘OLIVER!’ Part 1: Mike Baker.
Meet the Cast of Sterling Playmakers’ ‘OLIVER!’ Part 2: Madeline Curtis.
Meet the Cast of Sterling Playmakers’ ‘OLIVER!’ Part 3: Ella Levri.
Meet the Cast of Sterling Playmakers’ ‘OLIVER!’ Part 4: Jacob Miniuk.