Local students to perform in Willy Wonka Jr.

First Posted: 4/18/2009

Chocolate lovers and theater enthusiasts can get their taste of both when the drama club at Gentry Middle School performs its fourth annual musical production Willy Wonka Jr., based on the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, as a dessert theater Monday at 7 p.m. at the school gym.
Tickets are $6 for adults, $4 for students (kindergarten through eighth grade) and free for those pre-school age or younger. The show is under the direction of teachers Susan Gentry and Pam Parker.
The musical will showcase the talents of almost 40 students grades sixth through eighth who will tell the timeless story of the eccentric candy manufacturer and his search for an heir. The show will feature the songs from the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, including The Candy Man and Pure Imagination. The dessert for the evening will be hot fudge brownies.
Anthony Tate, who portrays Willy Wonka, said the most exciting part of the show is being surrounded by his friends who are all doing what they love.
I love being able to act with my friends, said Anthony, who performed in the Wizard of Oz for the Surry Arts Council last year.
Classmate Sydney Atkins agreed.
I like the thrill of knowing my friends are out there with me and were having fun, she said during dress rehearsals wearing a yellow jump suit and a neon wig. She is part of the Oompa-Loompa Ensemble.
She said having her friends do it with her makes it more fun to participate, and easier to follow in the footsteps of her thespian sister.
My sisters in the 10th grade now, but she had a lot of big roles when she was here.
Eight grader Lauren Henderson, 14, who is portraying Mrs. Gloop, said so far rehearsal has been exciting and chaotic, but shes more excited than nervous.
Its kind of crazy, but it gets better every day, she said. Im surrounded by people I love and the teachers are great. Its like a drama club refugee. Its a place to let go and be yourself.
Her classmate Cole Gentry, 14, said its fun to step inside the shoes of a character from a movie of which he has been a fan.
I hope I bring Charlie to life for the audience, he said of Mondays performance.
Tate echoed Gentrys comments.
This will be one show to remember! he said.
Contact Erin C. Perkins at [email protected] or 719-1952.

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