Local Youth Take The Rep MainStage In WILLY WONKA, JR.
A local cast of 39 young actors will present Willy Wonka Jr. on the MainStage at Arkansas Repertory Theatre this summer. The production, which runs June 21-30, is based on the classic tale by Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
"We were amazed by the level of interest and talent at auditions," said Anna Kimmell, Director of Education at The Rep, who is the production's director and choreographer. "These students are serious about theatre - many of them plan to pursue acting professionally. Prepare to be 'wowed' by their talents."
Tickets start at $15 and are available at TheRep.org, by phone at (501) 378-0405 or by visiting the Box Office at 601 Main Street in Little Rock.
Willy Wonka Jr. is a musical adaptation of the story about enigmatic candy manufacturer Willy Wonka, who stages a contest by hiding golden tickets in five of his scrumptious candy bars. Whomever comes up with these tickets will win a free tour of the Wonka factory, as well as a lifetime supply of candy. Four of the five winning children are insufferable brats, but the fifth is a likeable young lad named Charlie Bucket. The children must learn to follow Mr. Wonka's rules in the factory - or suffer the consequences!
"This production features many of the iconic songs from the 1971 film," Kimmell said. "But we're also putting our own Rep-spin on this classic by adding imaginative, theatrical elements to the design and staging. It will be a perfect mix of 'nostalgic' and 'new' to entertain the young and the young at heart."
The cast includes Eliah Boles (Young Ensemble), Sela Booher (Featured Dancer), Adelaide Bricker (Young Ensemble), Collin Carlton (Charlie Bucket), Chaelie DeJohn (Featured Dancer), Emilea Derden (Young Ensemble), Chelsea Elise Franklin (Young Ensemble), Robert Gatlin (Ensemble), Jacob Grinder (Augustus Gloop), Izzy Hammonds (Mrs. Bucket), Amaya Hardin (Featured Dancer), Alex Harkins (Ensemble), Emla Holsted (Mrs. Beauregarde), Jackson Karl (Phineous Trout), Tania Renee Kelley (Veruca Salt), Lauren Lasseigne (Young Ensemble), Caitlyn Olivia Luna (Grandma Josephine), Chloe Grace Luna (Ensemble), Betsy McClure (Young Ensemble), Taylor Moore (Ensemble), Charlie Mulhollan (Young Ensemble), Isabella Nguyen (Violet Beauregarde), Jesse Niswanger (Grandpa Joe), Cabe Parrish (Mrs. Gloop), Caroline Perry (Featured Dancer), Corbin Pitts (Mike Teavee), Grace Pitts (Featured Dancer/Dance Captain), Will Porter (Willy Wonka), Alexandra Powell (Grandma Georgina), Emily Pyron (Ensemble), Anna Reynolds (Ms. Teavee), William Romain (Mr. Bucket), Melody Small (Ensemble), Miles Tillemans (Young Ensemble), Magnolia Vincent (Young Ensemble), Nyle Watson (Grandpa George), Walt Wenger (Young Ensemble), Nate Westerman (Featured Dancer) and Grant Wild (Mr. Salt).
The design and creative team includes Anna Kimmell, director/choreographer; Mark Binns, musical director; Zachery Ingersoll, assistant director; Mike Nichols, scenic designer; Holly Payne, costume designer; Lynda J. Kwallek, properties designer; Josh Anderson, lighting designer; and Luke Mitchell, sound designer. The production manager is Joshua Marchesi and the production stage manager is Merit Glover. Adrian Griffey is the assistant stage manager.