Creating a nurturing, innovative and stimulating theatrical experience as a means to enliven and inspire young people.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Photo Credits: ????
Continuing our year of "candy imagery" that we got rolling with Hansel & Gretel, we then unleashed the chocolate as we did our first ever "remount" with Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
The first time we did this show (way back when it was just Jordan, Amy, and myself frantically trying to do everything ourselves and learn how to operate a company), we had two classes, and about 40 students total, if I recall. This time, we had 11 casts, totalling 275 actors, supported by amazing set and costume designs (thanks Chrissy & Sarah!) and a team of directors all devoted to the cause. An amazing thing to behold.
But the thing that really stood out was still the kids, who seemed to connect not only to the humor of the show, but also were so quick to dissect the underlying themes. One question we were asked constantly was "Is Wonka Good or Bad?" And it occurred to me in talking with the kids, that he was neither - he was more like a force of nature. Because the show isn't really about Wonka, as much as it is about how different people react to this force when it comes at them. Some try to appeal to it (Violet). Some try to control it (Veruca). Some try to take advantage of it (Augustus). Some try to ignore it (Mike). Charlie, on the other hand, acknowleges it, and adapts to it, but he never actually lets it change who he is. He stays him. Whether life is fair or unfair, he keeps caring about the things he considers important.
It's nice when working on these shows teaches me a lesson.