Willy Wonka Jr. opens tonight at Arkansas Rep

Image may contain: textA local cast of 39 young actors will present Willy Wonka Jr. on the MainStage at Arkansas Repertory Theatre this summer. The production, which runs June 21-30, is based on the classic tale by Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

“We were amazed by the level of interest and talent at auditions,” said Anna Kimmell, Director of Education at The Rep, who is the production’s director and choreographer. “These students are serious about theatre – many of them plan to pursue acting professionally. Prepare to be ‘wowed’ by their talents.”

Tickets start at $15 and are available at TheRep.org, by phone at (501) 378-0405 or by visiting the Box Office at 601 Main Street in Little Rock.

Willy Wonka Jr. is a musical adaptation of the story about enigmatic candy manufacturer Willy Wonka, who stages a contest by hiding golden tickets in five of his scrumptious candy bars. Whomever comes up with these tickets will win a free tour of the Wonka factory, as well as a lifetime supply of candy. Four of the five winning children are insufferable brats, but the fifth is a likeable young lad named Charlie Bucket. The children must learn to follow Mr. Wonka’s rules in the factory – or suffer the consequences!

“This production features many of the iconic songs from the 1971 film,” Kimmell said. “But we’re also putting our own Rep-spin on this classic by adding imaginative, theatrical elements to the design and staging. It will be a perfect mix of ‘nostalgic’ and ‘new’ to entertain the young and the young at heart.”

The cast includes Lucas Bachus (Grandpa George), Collin Carlton (Charlie Bucket), Jacob Grinder (Augustus Gloop), Izzy Hammonds (Mrs. Bucket), Emla Holsted (Mrs. Beauregarde), Jackson Karl (Phineous Trout), Tania Renee Kelley (Veruca Salt), Caitlyn Olivia Luna (Grandma Josephine), Isabella Nguyen (Violet Beauregarde), Jesse Niswanger (Grandpa Joe), Cabe Parrish (Mrs. Gloop), Corbin Pitts (Mike Teavee), Will Porter (Willy Wonka), Alexandra Powell (Grandma Georgina), Anna Reynolds (Ms. Teavee), William Romain (Mr. Bucket), and Grant Wild (Mr. Salt).

Featured dancers are Sela Booher, Chaelie DeJohn, Amaya Hardin, Caroline Perry, Grace Pitts, and Nate Westerman. The Ensemble includes Eliah Boles, Adelaide Bricker, Emilea Derden, Chelsea Elise Franklin, Robert Gatlin, Alex Harkins, Lauren Lasseigne, Chloe Grace Luna, Betsy McClure, Taylor Moore, Charlie Mulhollan, Emily Pyron, Melody Small, Miles Tillemans, Magnolia Vincent, and Walt Wenger

The design and creative team includes Anna Kimmell, director/choreographer; Mark Binns, musical director; Zachery Ingersoll, assistant director; Mike Nichols, scenic designer; Holly Payne, costume designer; Lynda J. Kwallek, properties designer; Josh Anderson, lighting designer; and Luke Mitchell, sound designer. The production manager is Joshua Marchesi and the production stage manager is Merit Glover. Adrian Griffey is the assistant stage manager.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow unfolds at the Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre

aacctSleepyHollow_posterWashington Irving’s classic tale comes to life as the Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre continues its 2015/2016 Main Stage season with The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, October 23-November 8.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is an American Halloween classic. Gremlins, ghosts and galloping headless horsemen will haunt audiences Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m., October 23 through November 8. It is recommended for third grade and up.

Ichabod Crane is the newly-hired schoolmaster of Sleepy Hollow, a superstitious little community in New York’s Hudson Valley, 1790. He persistently professes his disbelief in all things supernatural—until the night of Katrina Van Tassel’s Halloween Frolic, that is. Riding home that evening, Ichabod comes face to face—so to speak—with Sleepy Hollow’s most feared and famous ghost.

The cast includes:

  • Paige Carpenter of Lonsdale, as Hilde Winetraub;
  • Geoffrey Eggelston of Sioux Falls, S.D., as Ichabold Crane;
  • Mark Hansen of Little Rock as the Pastor and Van Ripper;
  • Lauren Linton of Memphis, as Katrina Van Tassel;
  • Aleigha Morton of Little Rock, as Widow Winetraub;
  • Nick Spencer of Nashville, Tenn, as Brom Van Brunt;
  • Rhett Booher of Little Rock as Cornwall;
  •  and Sarah Tennille of Little Rock, and Max Green of North Little Rock.

Adapted by Frederick Gaines from the story by Washington Irving, it is directed by John Isner. Bradley Anderson is the artistic director. Costumes are designed by Erin Larkin, technical direction by Drew Posey, lighting design by Mike Stacks, properties design by Miranda Young and Sarah Gasser is the stage manager.


Show times: Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Ticket prices: $12.50 General admission, $10 for Arkansas Arts Center members, $10 per person for groups of 10 or more (Children 2 years of age and under are free, however the child must remain in an adult’s lap at all times.)

Best enjoyed by third grade and up.