• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

‘Willy Wonka’ comes to WCMS stage on May 19, 20


Students say they’re having a lot of fun breathing life into the characters of “Willy Wonka” for upcoming performances at Woodford County Middle School. “I’ve got a lot of fun, quirky kids,” explains director Alyssa Sturgill, “and they’ve really embraced (this) show. “…They all love it, so they’ve had a really good time…” She credits her cast for taking iconic characters and putting their “own spin” on this well-known musical. “You get to tell a story through music,” says eighth-grader Madison Geilear, one of two students cast as Willy Wonka. “…Music brings (a story) more to life. People enjoy the music. And it conveys a story better…” Audiences will see a familiar musical featuring all the iconic songs and “Willy Wonka” moments that many remember as kids – combined with contemporary scenes taken from Tim Burton’s 2005 film, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, says Sturgill. Regardless of the source material for the WCMS stage production, these students say – without hesitation – that they’re having a lot of fun expressing the feelings of their characters in song. Being cast as the title character in this musical after playing smaller roles in previous productions “shows your efforts do pay off if you just keep on trying,” says eighth-grader Brodie Blair. “It’s just so much fun to sing and act…” He and others in the cast were willing to spend many hours after school getting ready for their upcoming performances because they were all committed to producing a good show, eighth-grader Sophie Hill says. “Everybody’s important to a production no matter what role you have,” adds Madison. She was busy helping out with lights on tech crew during a recent rehearsal, while Brodie was onstage playing Willy Wonka. She’ll likely work behind-the-scenes again during one of the upcoming performances of this musical, which has been double-cast. “It just gives you the whole experience. Both nights require hard work,” says Madison. “With lights or sound, you’ve got to be on time or the show falls apart.” Those who come to see an upcoming performance of “Willy Wonka” will walk away surprised by the twists-and-turns of this musical, predicts eighth-grader Melody Gilpin. Performances of “Willy Wonka” will be Friday, May 19, and Saturday, May 20, at 7:30 each night in the WCMS cafeteria. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students.

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