Corbin Middle School’s Junior Redhound Theatre will begin tours of the Wonka chocolate factory Thursday night as they bring “Willy Wonka, Jr.” to the stage.
Junior Redhound Theatre Director Brandise Grimes said the play is ideal because while she has always been a fan of the 1971 movie starring Gene Wilder, her students were first introduced to Willy Wonka, Charlie, Veruca, Mike Teavee, the other children with the golden tickets and the famous Oompa-Loompas through “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” which was released in 2005 and stars Johnny Depp.
“We have had so much fun working on this production,” Grimes said.
Grimes said whether you are a fan of Wilder, Depp, or both productions, you will see elements from both movies in the Junior Redhound Theatre production.
Grimes said the junior version also includes several songs not seen in either of the movie versions including “I Eat More, “I See It All on TV,” and “Chew It.”
The play runs about one hour. Madelyn Lewis is stepping into the hat to play Wonka.
“Stepping into a role like Willy Wonka, I never thought I’d get to play such an iconic role, but I feel comfortable playing characters that are really whimsical and crazy, I feel like I’m in character all the time. I feel like I can also express how I’m feeling on stage by playing through the character,” Lewis said of the role. “Overall, I enjoy making people laugh.”
Kenton Lowe plays Charlie. Barrett Keck is playing Mike. Emma Addison is playing Violet, Tara Doolin is playing Veruca and Jonah Humfleet is playing Augustus.
Grimes said 35 students from the Intermediate and Middle schools are involved in the production.
The show will be Thursday through Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Betty Hamilton Center for the Performing Arts at Corbin High School.
Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students and are available at the door.