An Everlasting Gobstopper of a Show

Audiences were entranced by a world of pure imagination on stage November 4 and 5 at the RHS Performing Arts Center, as Rye Middle School students performed Road Dahl’s “Willy Wonka Junior”.

Published November 21, 2011 9:41 PM
3 min read

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s-wonkathumbAudiences were entranced by a world of pure imagination on stage November 4 and 5 at the RHS Performing Arts Center, as Rye Middle School students performed Road Dahl’s “Willy Wonka Junior”.

 

s-wonka1Audiences were entranced by a world of pure imagination on stage November 4 and 5 at the RHS Performing Arts Center, as Rye Middle School students performed Road Dahl’s “Willy Wonka Junior”.

Thomas Snowden, a first-year teacher at RMS, produced the show. The stage was colorful and the cast well-rehearsed with tight performance of songs and dance. Willy Wonka, played by seventh grader Penelope Deen, started out the show with the song “Pure Imagination”, which was a crowd favorite. Charlie Bucket, played by Jimmy Cronin, was fantastic. The Oompa-Loompas were scene-stealers with their songs of mischief and dancing.

 

s-wonka2Parent Cynthia Deen summed up the production best: “As a parent of three children in Rye, I have found all the school productions wonderful events for families to go to. ‘Willy Wonka’ was one of these amazing performances of ‘Wonka-ful’ theatre.”

 

The students auditioned during the first full week of school, and rehearsed for the six weeks leading up to the big shows. Aside from rehearsals, numerous hours were spent on set and prop construction, advertising, costuming, and many other duties.

 

s-wonka3“Since the movie was remade recently, many of the students were familiar with it; however, some had not seen the original version, which I strongly encouraged them to watch,” said Mr. Snowden of his inspiration. “The students reacted quite creatively to the material. There was much room for character development and experimentation in the various scenes as the musical was being staged. I am sure the use of real candy in various scenes was an added incentive.”

 

Mr. Snowden went out of his way to thank the administration, Dr. Ann Edwards and Mr. Joe DeRuvo, for recognizing the importance of the arts in education and supporting such endeavors. He also praised his fantastic production team, including Todd Beaney, music director, Cathy McFarland, choreographer, John Gwardyak, set designer, and Yon Zweibon from Beyond Costumes for assisting with the attire.  

 

“I am so grateful to everyone involved, cast, crew, parents, and teachers,” he added. “This production became a Rye community event. Many parents came out to help with make-up and advertising. Staff and teachers were involved as well, from ticketing to chaperoning. To everyone involved, my sincere gratitude.”

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