PHOTO EXCLUSIVE: Inside the Rehearsal Studio with North Carolina Theatre's Oliver!, Starring Kevin Gray

Actor/photographer Matthew Simpkins, who plays the role of Noah Claypole in North Carolina Theatre's staging of Oliver!, offers an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the show in rehearsal.

"I had heard amazing things about North Carolina Theatre and the people there, so I knew I wanted to document the hard work we put in behind the scenes," says Simpkins. "The show Oliver! has been a part of my life since I was a young child performer and I am so excited to share these photos with the theatre community and fans!"

Directed and choreographed by Richard Stafford, the limited engagement continue through July 22.

Joining Gray are Sam Poon ( Les Misérables national tour) in the title role (that's "Oliver Twist," from the Charles Dickens canon), Stephen Tewksbury ( Miss Saigon, The Phantom of the Opera) as Bill Sykes, Nicholas Kraft as the Artful Dodger and Heather Patterson King as Nancy.

Oliver!, according to North Carolina Theatre, "vividly brings to life the ever-popular story of the young runaway orphan, colorful Artful Dodger, infamous Fagin and his gang of pickpockets, sinister Bill Sykes, nurturing and lovable Nancy and a host of memorable characters."

Featuring music and lyrics by Lionel Bart, Oliver! premiered in the West End in 1960 and began performances on Broadway in 1963.

The North Carolina Theatre is located at 3031 Barrow Drive in Raleigh, NC. For more information and tickets, call (919) 831-6941 ext. 6944 or visit