Oliver!

Discussion Questions

Pre-Production

What do students already know about the story of Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens?

How can children create change in their lives? 

At what age should children start working? 

What is a class system? How did the class system function in Victorian England? How does it function in Canada today?  (Have students conduct some research on the history of the class system in England and Canada and report their findings to the class.) Can class systems change? How? 

Spend some time brainstorming with students about human survival. What do people need to survive? What are the lengths people will go to in order to survive? How might this be different in an urban vs. a rural setting? In Victorian England vs. today in Canada? Today in the rest of the world? 

Post-Production

“Please Sir, I want some more” is the most famous line of Oliver!  What is the significance of this line? Is Oliver only talking about food? 

What are the potential consequences (negative and positive) of asking for more in an oppressive society? What is at stake for the oppressed? For the oppressor? 

What are today’s workhouses? Where do they exist? 

How are women depicted in Oliver!?

If you haven’t read the book Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, does this production inspire you to do so? Why? Why not? 

Does the music in the production reflect the themes of the play? 

How were staging and blocking used to help communicate information about the characters?  Did they contribute to an effective presentation? What technical aspects of the production had impact in the presentation?

The climax of the play takes place at 11:00pm. Why? 

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