By ABBY SLANKER
Canfield Village Middle School drama students transported their audience to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory during their production of Willy Wonka Jr. April 26-27.
Under Artistic Director and CVMS theater teacher Kandace Cleland, the seventh-and eighth-grade cast and crew transformed the Canfield High School auditorium into the imaginary world of Willy Wonka. The play was based on the book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Ronald Dahl and was adapted for the stage by Leslie Bricusse and Timothy A. McDonald.
The cast of Willy Wonka Jr. included Lake Bennett as Willy Wonka, Zachery Bernat as Charlie Bucket, Ally Cooper as Mrs. Bucket, Carson Markley as Mr. Bucket, Kayla Lemasters as Grandma Josephine, Anna Cincinnato as Grandma Georgina, Vince Haniford as Grandpa George, Mitchell Halley as Grandpa Joe, Ellie Dundics as Jamie, Mallory Jones as Matilda, Taylor Mead as Phoebe Trout, Helen Neff and Teenie Gloop, Madelyn Tareshawty and Mrs. Gloop, Madison Deiley and Veruca Salt, Sebastian Gudat and Mr. Salt, Kate Hartshorn as Mrs. Salt, Lexi Denney as Violet Beauregarde, Alexis Heldreath as Mrs. Beauregarde, Julia Frenzel and Mimi Teavee and Emily Hofsess as Mrs. Teavee.
“We have 45 members in our cast and 10 crew members taking care of such things as scenery, spotlights and concessions. Our parents have also been very supportive and we always appreciate that,” said Cleland, who has been directing CVMS plays for 16 years and was also in charge of video and costume design.
Students portraying kids, parents and Oompa Loompas in the production included: Olesia Benedict as Taloola, Stephanie Cooke as Madoola, Cara DeChurch as Raboolah and Kate Jenkins at Kazoola in the Imagination Ensemble; Smaranda Solomon as Betty Jo, Madison Terlizzi as Cornelia Prinzmetel, Amanda Ventimiglia as Daisy Mae, Carly Piper as Mrs. Jenkins and Sara Veverka as Mrs. Hawkins in the Violet Interview Ensemble; Carmel Cerimele as Gretchen, Anna Sinclair at Kirsten, Dylan Mauch as Friederich, Elijah as Herr Schmidt and Christina Mullarkey as Frau Schneider in the Gloop Interview Ensemble and Jonathan Gant as Senor Sanchez, Haley Tura as Senora Alverez, Melissa Dahman as Estefania, Jaclyn Edelstein as Isabel, Emma Kadilak as Teresa, Harmeet Kaur as Iara, Jamison Ritter as Raquel and Mariah Sincel as Dulcina in the Salt Factory Girl Ensemble.
Local professional musician Jodine Pilmer served as music director, with Gabby Eberly and Remi Mikan serving as stage managers. Mike Williamson was in charge of scenic design.
Students were selling flowers in the lobby which attendees could purchase for cast members.
Attendees were also invited to purchase, what else but, Wonka treats during the production’s intermission.