Local children to bring Wonka’s ‘world of pure imagination’ to ’Berg stage

Feb 14, 2014

What do Gobstoppers, Sprees, Bottlecaps and more than 100 children ages 7-14 have in common with Heidelberg University? They are all part of the university’s upcoming production of Willy Wonka, JR., being produced by the Community Music School in March.

Because of the large number of children who auditioned, directors Elizabeth Tracy and Cynthia Ramsdell decided to feature three casts so that each child will have an opportunity for an authentic theatrical experience performing on the Gundlach Theatre stage.

Show times are Saturday, March 15, at 3 p.m., and Sunday, March 16, at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

In addition to the performers, 10 student helpers from local high schools and Heidelberg were recruited to assist with rehearsals and the overall production. Rehearsals are organized in a camplike format with students divided into three groups based on candy names as they learn their music and practice for the large-scale production.

There will be no admission charge, although donations will be taken at the door to secure funds for future productions. The Friends of Heidelberg Music provided financial support for the show, along with support from the School of Music & Theatre and families of the performers.

Heidelberg may well be one of the last places to see Willy Wonka, JR. as licensing rights are being suspended after June 30. Seating is limited so be sure to line up early to enter a “world of pure imagination.”