The St. Clair girls are not the only siblings in our production of Oliver! We actually have a brother sister duo in our kid’s ensemble: Rowan and Riley Kosmicki. You may have heard their last name before since their mother, Jenell Kosmicki, was in our spring production of Perfect Wedding last year. Today we will get to know Rowan, a hardworking and gifted 11 year old young man. Oliver! is Rowan’s first professional theatrical production ever and he told me that he is having a blast doing it. “It’s really fun, I love the dancing and the singing,” he said and told me his favorite song to perform on stage is “Pick A Pocket.” Even though he hasn’t had any dancing experience before Oliver!, he has some singing experience from being a part of his school choir and when he performed in a school show called A Pirate Christmas. He told me he even had a
solo in the song “My Shot” from Hamilton when his school choir performed it. Rowan really enjoys Hamilton and loved seeing it with his family at the Peace Center when it toured through this past year. Rowan told me that in Oliver! he has had to put in some outside work after rehearsal to make sure he really nails all his dancing. “At first the finale was difficult because the choreography was similar but kind of different from a different song in the show but then I finally got it,” he said.
I asked Rowan if he liked being in a show with his
sister; he said “Pretty good.” In fact, there is a
special story tied with both Riley and Rowan’s auditions for the show. Rowan had gone up first and sang his audition song and then it was Riley’s turn. When Riley went up however, she suddenly was struck with stage fright and wasn’t sure she wanted to sing anymore. Well, Ms. Suzanne said “Rowan, why don’t you go on stage and help Riley?” And that’s exactly what he did. Rowan went right up on to the stage and sang with his little sister, holding her hand the entire time. This show is very special to the two of them because of this. I have seen that having a sibling in a show can be helpful when you enter a cast with lots of people you don’t know and Rowan told me this is true. He now has made many friends in the production in addition to Riley. Rowan also prepared for his Oliver! audition by taking some lessons with Mary-Evan Giles, who worked with both him and Riley to get them ready.
When he is not in rehearsal Rowan enjoys playing video games, reading, drawing, and hanging out with friends. He told me the video games he enjoys are Minecraft and Roblox. He really enjoys the last one because players can make their own games within the video game and create their own avatar to play with. I then asked him about drawing. He told me he makes his own kind of cartoons and animals, and enjoys drawing with his friend. Together they draw their own stories, that are usually choose your own adventure based. He is also a part of C.A.T.S. which is an outside studio. There he makes sculptures and works with clay and paints, as well as other mediums. This is also his second year a part of the A.R.M.E.S program where he attends for visual arts. He told me that currently they are working on depicting body gestures which is “pretty cool” according to Rowan. His mother Jenell told me that a little over two years ago Rowan had expressed an interest in the arts, particularly visual arts, and they decided to enroll him in some classes where he showed real talent. I asked Rowan what he liked to do with his friends, and he told me they enjoy playing video games, building Legos and playing outside. He told me, “It all depends on which friend I’m with as to what we do, since each friend enjoys doing something different.” Then I asked him about his love of reading. “ I really liked reading the Harry Potter series and A Series of Unfortunate Events,” he told me. He also enjoyed watching the Netflix adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events. His mother jokingly added, “without his mother!” I learned they had started watching it together but he just couldn’t wait and finished the series without her. We all had a good laugh at this story.
I asked Rowan what his thoughts were on what he might do when he grows up. He told me that he would like to try to be an artist or be a scuba diver that helps sea life. Sharks are his favorite sea creature, (a statement that made me shudder) and he would like to continue studying them when he older. He said he would like to be something like a Marine Biologist but continue to explore the ocean. I also asked Rowan if he thought he would continue to do theatre after Oliver! closes; he said yes and told me some of his favorite albums to listen to are The Greatest Showman, Oliver!, and Hamilton.
To finish up, I asked Rowan what word he would use to describe Oliver!. He said “Amazing.” When asked why, he responded “…just the dancing, and the singing, and the acting is all just amazing.”
So don’t miss this amazing show opening here at the Greenville Theatre this Friday, March 1st!