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.

G-O-N-E. Final weekend for CHARLOTTE’S WEBB at Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre

Charlotte's WebThe 2018–2019 Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre continues this spring with Charlotte’s Web. The closes on Sunday, March 31, 2019. Performances of Charlotte’s Web are Fridays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 each for Arkansas Arts Center members or $12.50 for non-members.

Wilbur the piglet is the runt of his litter. But under the loving care of eight-year-old Fern Arable—and due in no small part to the delicious and plentiful slops on her Uncle Homer’s farm—Wilbur grows up into a fine specimen of a pig. Pink and plump and so polite.

Yep. Wilbur is no ordinary pig, and thanks to the acrobatic web-writing of his friend Charlotte, a kindly barn spider, the world soon learns just how “terrific” and “radiant” he is. But Charlotte’s greatest gift to Wilbur goes beyond just flattering words spun in a web. Through this gentle creature, he experiences the true meaning of responsibility, friendship, and loyalty. Come join in this heart-warming barnyard adventure and marvel at the wonder of Charlotte’s web.

Charlotte’s Web is based on the book by E. B. White. It was adapted by Joseph Robinette. The Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre’s production of Charlotte’s Webis directed by Katie Campbell. Bradley D. Anderson is the Artistic Director. Original music was composed by Lori Isner, set design by Vandy Scoates, costume design by Erin Larkin, properties design by Cathleen Brignac, and lighting design by Mike Stacks. Rivka Kuperman is the stage manager. Charlotte’s Web is produced with special arrangement with DRAMATIC PUBLISHING, Woodstock, Illinois

The cast includes:

  • Harper Keith of Alexander as Fern Arable
  • Jared Thomas Kneip Gibson of St. Louis as John Arable and Gander
  • Beck Hudelson of Little Rock as Avery Arable
  • Paige Carpenter of Little Rock as Mrs. Arable and President of the Fair
  • Braxton Johnson of Texarkana as Homer Zuckerman
  • Stephen Jones of Little Rock as Lurvy and Judge at the Fair
  • Walt Wenger of North Little Rock as Young Wilbur
  • Anthony McBride of Benton as Adult Wilbur
  • Mark Hansen of Little Rock as Templeton
  • Verda Davenport of Little Rock as Charlotte
  • Mackenzie Holtzclaw of North Little Rock as Goose and Judge at the Fair
  • Georgeann Burbank of Benton as Sheep and Judge at the Fair
  • Bethany Post of Austintown, Ohio as Uncle Pig, Reporter and Mrs. Carter
  • John Isner of Little Rock as Narrator

Darby Haddock, Kennedy Laster, and Reese von Storch are Baby Spiders. Via Benjamine Gahi, Isabelle Marchese, and Dylan Sykes are the ensemble.

CHARLOTTE’S WEB up next at Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre

Charlotte's WebThe 2018–2019 Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre continues this spring with Charlotte’s Web. The show runs March 8–31, 2019 with a special Pay-What-You-Can preview performance on Thursday, March 7. Performances of Charlotte’s Web are Fridays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m., with spring break matinees March 19–22 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 each for Arkansas Arts Center members or $12.50 for non-members.

Wilbur the piglet is the runt of his litter. But under the loving care of eight-year-old Fern Arable—and due in no small part to the delicious and plentiful slops on her Uncle Homer’s farm—Wilbur grows up into a fine specimen of a pig. Pink and plump and so polite. Yep. Wilbur is no ordinary pig, and thanks to the acrobatic web-writing of his friend Charlotte, a kindly barn spider, the world soon learns just how “terrific” and “radiant” he is. But Charlotte’s greatest gift to Wilbur goes beyond just flattering words spun in a web. Through this gentle creature, he experiences the true meaning of responsibility, friendship, and loyalty. Come join in this heart-warming barnyard adventure and marvel at the wonder of Charlotte’s web.

Charlotte’s Web is based on the book by E. B. White. It was adapted by Joseph Robinette. The Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre’s production of Charlotte’s Web is directed by Katie Campbell. Bradley D. Anderson is the Artistic Director. Original music was composed by Lori Isner, set design by Vandy Scoates, costume design by Erin Larkin, properties design by Cathleen Brignac, and lighting design by Mike Stacks. Rivka Kuperman is the stage manager. Charlotte’s Web is produced with special arrangement with DRAMATIC PUBLISHING, Woodstock, Illinois

The cast includes:

  • Harper Keith of Alexander as Fern Arable
  • Jared Thomas Kneip Gibson of St. Louis as John Arable and Gander
  • Beck Hudelson of Little Rock as Avery Arable
  • Paige Carpenter of Little Rock as Mrs. Arable and President of the Fair
  • Braxton Johnson of Texarkana as Homer Zuckerman
  • Stephen Jones of Little Rock as Lurvy and Judge at the Fair
  • Walt Wenger of North Little Rock as Young Wilbur
  • Anthony McBride of Benton as Adult Wilbur
  • Mark Hansen of Little Rock as Templeton
  • Verda Davenport of Little Rock as Charlotte
  • Mackenzie Holtzclaw of North Little Rock as Goose and Judge at the Fair
  • Georgeann Burbank of Benton as Sheep and Judge at the Fair
  • Bethany Post of Austintown, Ohio as Uncle Pig, Reporter and Mrs. Carter
  • John Isner of Little Rock as Narrator

Darby Haddock, Kennedy Laster, and Reese von Storch are Baby Spiders. Via Benjamine Gahi, Isabelle Marchese, and Dylan Sykes are the ensemble.

The Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre will offer several events in conjunction with Charlotte’s Web, including a Pay-What-You-Can preview, opening night celebration and a pajama party. Full programming details can be found below.

Thursday, March 7, 2019
Pay What You Can Preview: Charlotte’s Web – 7 p.m.
“Pay What You Can” tickets are available for the 7 p.m. preview performance of Charlotte’s Web. Tickets are available for purchase in person, at the Arkansas Arts Center, 501 East 9th Street from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Stephens Inc. Visitors Center. The maximum ticket purchase is six tickets per person and ticket sales are based on availability. PWYC SHOWS CAN AND DO SELL OUT. We recommend arriving early for the best chance at “Pay What You Can” tickets. Additional tickets can always be purchased in person, online or by phone at regular ticket pricing: $10 for AAC members; $12.50 for non-members.

For more information, visit ArkansasArtsCenter.org/theatre or call 501-372-4000.

Friday, March 8, 2019
Opening Night Dinner at Watercolor in the Park – 5 p.m.
Join us for dinner at Watercolor in the Park before the 7 p.m. opening night performance of Charlotte’s Web! Creative coloring placemats featuring activities and artwork from the show will be available for children to enjoy. Seatings at 5 p.m., 5:15 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 5:45 p.m., and 6 p.m.

Reservations recommended. Call 501-396-0390 for reservations

Friday, March 8, 2019
Opening Night Celebration: Charlotte’s Web – 7 p.m.
After the show, enjoy a meet and greet with the cast, snacks and punch to celebrate the opening night of Charlotte’s Web.

For more information, visit ArkansasArtsCenter.org/theatre or call 501-372-4000.

Friday, March 15, 2019
Pajama Night at Charlotte’s Web – 7 p.m.
Toss on those cute pajamas and join us at the Children’s Theatre for the 7 p.m. performance of Charlotte’s Web. Stickers are available at the Box Office before the show for children (and parents!) wearing pajamas.

For more information, visit ArkansasArtsCenter.org/theatre or call 501-372-4000.

Saturday, March 16, 2019
ASL Interpreted Performance – 2 p.m.
There will be American Sign Language interpreters at the 2 p.m. performance of Charlotte’s Web. Visit the Box Office before the performance for seating assistance.

For more information, visit ArkansasArtsCenter.org/theatre or call 501-372-4000.

The 2018–2019 Children’s Theatre Season is presented by Arkansas BlueCross and BlueShield. Spring Season Sponsors are Dr. Loren Bartole, Family Foot Care and Centennial Bank. Show Sponsors are Cindy and Greg Feltus and the Junior League of Little Rock. Media Sponsor is Little Rock Family Magazine. Pay What You Can previews are presented by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Additional support is provided by Morris Foundation, Inc. For more information about the Children’s Theatre, visit ArkansasArtsCenter.org/childrenstheatre.