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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

'Wonka Kids' taking over the stage

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Community Theatre of Clay County, Young Actor's Theater is proud to present, "Willy Wonka Kids." The adaptation of the classic "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," features an all children cast. Kimberly Gleason Photo. [Order this photo]
Nearly 80 area youth will get the chance to flash their thespian chops when the Community Theatre of Clay County presents "Willie Wonka Kids," a theatrical retelling of "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," Nov. 12-14, at the Lark Theater, 8 E. National Ave., Brazil.

The show features a cast of 79 children, ranging in age from 5-15. Filling in some of the shows more major roles are Michael Pleake as Willie Wonka, Rozz Uryga as Charlie and Samuel Beyers as Grandpa Joe.

The show was written by Ronald Dahl and is co-directed by Susan Sneddon and Elaine Clarke.

Sneddon, who has been with the theatre since its inception, said thus far, rehearsals are "going great."

Lee Reberger, President of the theatre's board of directors, said a major draw to the children's theater is everyone involved is giving at least one line of dialogue.

"If you show up, you're in the show," Reberger said. "Everybody's involved."

"Wonka Kids" is the Young Actors Theater production of the Community Theatre's 2009-10 season. The organization is in its 26th year of existence. When it started, there were two performances, one in the fall and one in the spring, with shows being performed as dinner theater performances are various restaurants throughout the area.

Events moved to the Lark Theater 22 years ago, and have been there since.

"Willie Wonka Kids" is the second show of the season, following a production of "Nunsense" in September. There will be performances of other shows in December, January, March and May.

Sneddon said being with the group for the duration if its 26 years has opened her eyes to a great deal of evolution. However, she said the most rewarding thing she has seen in her years with the group is seeing children of people she once taught taking parts in the group years later.

"It's great to see they want to see their kids take part in (Community Theatre) as well," Sneddon said. "We like to create a great outlet for kids, and it's rewarding when people who've been part of it in the past want to bring their own kids into it as well."

Reberger, now in his 23rd year with the group, said he finds the Young Actor's performances particularly enjoyable to witness, because of the creative outlet it gives to various youth.

"(The theater) gives the kids a chance to do something new and different," Reberger said. "They are so excited to be part of something, and to find an outlet that gives them a chance to be part of a group that is doing something wonderful in the community."

Sneddon echoed much of Reberger's sentiment, saying the theater not only gave kids a creative outlet, but gives them something to do that would build their confidence so as to succeed in all factions of life.

"If you can find the courage to get up on stage and read a line, or sing a song or dance, you can pretty much find the confidence to do anything," Sneddon said. "The theater creates such growth and discovery of talent. It really helps the kids discover something they can do with their lives."

"Willie Wonka Kids" will be performed at 7 p.m., Nov. 12-13, with a matinee showing at 2 p.m., Nov. 14.

Tickets are $5 for adults and $2.50 for children. There will be no dinner prior to the performances.

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I attended all performances of this production, as well as having children in it. I would like to commend all who were involved in the production of this event. Each and every child performer put their heart and soul into this production, and it was well worth seeing! I would personally like to thank the adults involved in seeing this production come to life. They all did an awesome job!


-- Posted by charmin on Mon, Feb 8, 2010, at 10:04 PM

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