IM this article to a friend!

December 31, 2002

Preston teen enjoying new twist in 'Oliver!'

From: Norwich Bulletin, CT - 31 Dec 2002

By David Pencek
In the news: Adam Fleming of Preston is playing the part of Dodger in the Spirit of Broadway Theater's production of "Oliver!" What makes the part and play special for Fleming, 15, is that in the play, Dodger and Oliver are deaf. When he was 3 years old, Fleming was stricken with meningitis that left him completely deaf. Thanks to a cochlear implant in his left ear, 75 percent of Fleming's hearing is restored.

Adam Fleming

Love to act: Fleming, a sophomore at Norwich Free Academy, dreams of acting in movies and television. He's already made it to Broadway. Well, off-Broadway. Fleming had the lead part in the show "Building Blocks," which ran off-Broadway in 1998. His favorite actress is Holly Marie Combs of the WB show "Charmed."

A new "Oliver!": Fleming said he loves playing Dodger in this new version of "Oliver!" Because Dodger and Oliver are deaf, much of the musical is done in sign language as well as spoken. "Oliver!" is the classic musical based on the Charles Dickens' tale "Oliver Twist." "It's really awesome," Fleming said. "It gives the play a whole new meaning. It's about the hearing world and the deaf world combining together. I hope people better understand the deaf world. As a character, Dodger is rude but he's also nice taking in Oliver."

No regrets: JoEllen Fleming, Adam's mother, said Adam has received tremendous support from the community. "It's been a part of his life for so long," JoEllen said. "He's never felt sorry for himself."

On stage: "Oliver!" opens at the Spirit of Broadway Theater in Norwich Jan. 8. It runs until Feb. 2. For more information, call 886-2378.

Profile of a newsmaker runs daily. If you know a newsmaker to profile, call us at 887-9211, fax to 887-9666 or send an e-mail to news@norwichbul

Copyright © 2002 Norwich Bulletin. All Rights Reserved.