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Hope Players to stage ‘Willy Wonka’

April 19, 2012
From staff reports , The Herald-Star

HOPEDALE - The Hope Players have announced the cast for the upcoming production of "Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka."

The show will be presented at Harrison East Elementary School at 7:30 p.m. May 4-5 and 2 p.m. May 6.

The musical is based on Dahl's classic children's book, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," and the beloved 1971 family film starring Gene Wilder, "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." It retains the well-known songs from the movie by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley, including "The Candy Man." It was adapted for the stage by Bricusse and Timothy Allen McDonald.

Article Photos

Spencer Robinson, left, Emily Manley, Ruby Foutz and Deserae Smith rehearse for the Hope Players’ upcoming production of “Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka,” to be presented at Harrison East Elementary School at 7:30 p.m. May 4-5 and 2 p.m. May 6. Audience members can save $2 on admission by purchasing advance tickets from any cast member or at the Hopedale Village Building from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For tickets, call (740) 937-2208 or (740) 937-2629.

According to Hope Players Executive Director Andrew Pelegreen III, who is directing the play, "We are pleased to have a cast representing all ages and various levels of experience, who are willing to work together as an ensemble to present this wonderful musical to local audiences."

Rich Ivaun of Weirton is cast in the title role of chocolate magnate Willy Wonka. Ivaun is well known throughout the valley for his many appearances in community and college theater productions, including the role of Daddy Warbucks in the Hope Players' production of "Annie."

Skyler Dye, a young Hope Players veteran from Bloomingdale, is cast in the key role of Golden Ticket holder Charlie Bucket, whose parents will be played by T. Shawn Hervey of Cadiz, making his Hope Players debut, and Cerra Atkins of Hopedale, a veteran of Hope Players and Catholic Central High School productions. Robbie Leek of Cadiz is the understudy for the part of Charlie.

Charlie's extended family includes R.J. Leek of Cadiz as Grandpa Joe, Scott D. Chancey of Cadiz as Grandpa George, Margaret Richardson of Tiltonsville as Grandma Josephine and Janice Moreland of Hopedale as Grandma Georgina. Chase Hervey of Cadiz will portray Charlie's best friend, James. Maria Ann Lewis of Cadiz is cast as Matilda, another classmate.

Jacqui Huebner of Richmond and Claire Leek of Cadiz have been cast as the Candy Men, the inspiration for the show's most famous song. Samantha Raber of Hopedale has the part of broadcast journalist Phineous Trout.

Spencer Robinson of Bloomingdale has been assigned the role of Golden Ticket Holder Augustus Gloop, with Ruby Foutz of Jewett as his mother, Mrs. Gloop. Destiny Ortiz of Cadiz plays another ticket holder, Veruca Salt, with T. Shawn Hervey of Cadiz enacting the part of her father, Mr. Salt.

Shawn McClurg of Steubenville and Robbie Leek of Cadiz will portray Golden Ticket holder Mike Teavee during staggered performances. Darlene Huebner of Richmond will play Mike's mother, Ms. Teavee, for all three performances.

Cassie Bellerive of Hopedale is cast as Golden Ticket holder Violet Beauregarde, with Tiffany Manley of Wintersville playing her mother, Mrs. Beauregarde.

Wonka's loyal workers, the Oompa Loompas, will be played by Cadiz residents Jakob Cowans, Kyndsley Hendershot, Chase Hervey, Kylie Hyre, Brittani Jones, Claire Leek, Robbie Leek, Emma Smith and Desirae Smith, along with Samantha Raber of Hopedale, Jacqui Huebner of Richmond, Shawn McClurg of Steubenville and Emily Manley of Wintersville.

The Chorus of Cooks includes Cassie Bellerive of Hopedale, Skyler Dye of Bloomingdale, Chase Hervey and Maria Ann Lewis, both of Cadiz, and Shawn McClurg of Steubenville. Maria Ann Lewis also plays a squirrel.

Advance tickets for "Willy Wonka" are $5 for adults and $3 for students. Prices at the door are $7 for adults and $5 for students.

Advance tickets are available from any cast member or at the Hopedale Village Building Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets also may be purchased by calling Hope Players president Donna Runt at (740) 937-2208 or Pelegreen at (740) 937-2629.

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