If you ever need a reminder of what musical won the Tony last year, or help remembering all the words to the music of Matilda, or perhaps an acting lesson or two on how to play an orphan, Cohen Clark has got you covered. A member of Fagin’s Gang in Oliver!, Cohen is one hardworking actor, impressing all of us nightly in rehearsals. Before joining the cast of Oliver!, Cohen took acting classes at the South Carolina Children’s Theatre and has been a part of two other productions. You could even call this young man a professional orphan, having played one in Annie at Greer Cultural Center. He also played Elf #2 and a New Yorker in Elf Jr. there as well. He told me his favorite part of his role in Elf Jr. was a moment in the show when another actor called for him and his character responds with “My mom’s gonna kill us!”
Cohen told me his favorite things about being a part of Oliver! are all the friends he has made in the cast, the music (which his mother informed me he is singing all the time), and how fast paced the whole show is.
“I get to do big things and I have to rush,” Cohen said. This is true; the show is quite rigorous for the children’s ensemble but we have seen these kids working exceptionally hard every night. Cohen is one of the youngest and therefore the smallest cast member in our show, serving as the only member of Fagin’s Gang that is 7 years old. When asked how he feels about this he responded:
“It’s great to be me. Me and my own age and me and my own height.” This is such a sweet, self-confident, and mature answer that we all could learn from. He also told me how he likes being the youngest because everyone is so nice to him and looks out for him. Cohen also has been putting in the work outside of rehearsals, often going home and practicing his dance moves with his family until they are perfect.
When not on stage performing Cohen really likes swimming, playing basketball, playing with his brother and friends, and playing with his golden doodle.
“He is 80 pounds and he’s only two,” Cohen told me. Sounds like the perfect playmate to me! His other favorite playmate is his 4 year old brother, Cameron, who already really likes doing silly stuff with Cohen. They enjoy singing, dancing, and wrestling with each other as well. His younger brother even has a tendency to memorize all the songs of the show that Cohen is in, so get ready to hear Cohen’s biggest fan singing along with the cast during any show of Oliver!
Cohen has big dreams and aspirations for the future.
“I want to be in a movie like my dad,” Cohen said. Mr. Clark was an extra in the movie The Patriot and has always supported Cohen’s interests. In fact, Cohen was wearing a t-shirt with the word ‘Broadway’ on it for rehearsal that evening. When asked what he wants to do when he grows up he confidently responded,
“I want to be on Broadway.” This, I have no doubt, will happen. In fact, Cohen loves spending time on his iPad watching clips from Broadway musicals on YouTube. His favorite to look up is Matilda which he has actually learned all the words for and used ‘School Song’ from the show for his Annie audition. In fact, he learned this intense and complicated song without the help of his parents and impressed everyone at auditions when he showed up with it performance ready. One of his Christmas presents was even a notebook with posters from his favorite shows displayed on the front. Some of his favorites include Lion King, Hamilton, Frozen, Les Miserables, School of Rock, Matilda, Annie, Wicked, and Hairspray.
To finish off the interview I asked Cohen what word he would use to describe Oliver! His response,
Cohen hopes that Oliver! isn’t his last show here at the Greenville Theatre. He assured me he will be coming out to audition for shows next season so we hope to see him shine on our stage again in the future!
Stay tuned to see who we get to know next from Fagin’s Gang and don’t forget tickets go on sale for Oliver! to the public February 11th!