ODA’s First Musical of the Year: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Cassandra Ratzlaff, Staff Writer

Imagine if the lake in front of the school was made of chocolate; everything that inhabited it and surrounded it was edible. Even the alligators were made of gummies and the grass was mint. Would you stay inside and learn? Or would you not be able to hold back your temptations and break free from the class room?

Charlie Bucket, a young boy from Roald Dahl’s fantasy novel, Charlie and and the Chocolate Factory, acquires a Golden Ticket from a Wonka Chocolate Bar. This Golden Ticket gives Charlie – and the few who also obtained one – the chance of a lifetime to visit Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory; within its walls is an unbelievable garden which is completely made of candy and complete with a chocolate river. Much like our make-believe lake, the kids were dumbfounded and could not resist its chocolaty-goodness.

The story is a foundation for ODA’s first musical of the year, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Students, as well as staff members, will be performing on Wednesday March 21st through Saturday the 24th at 7:00 pm in the Black Box Theatre. Academic Dean and English teacher, L’Tanya Evans, is once again taking on the role as Director for the play; and graduating student, Tim Olsen, will lend his expertise in the role of Stage Manager.

The infamous chocolatier, Willy Wonka, will be played by non-other than Senior, Robbie Polidoro, and Charile Bucket will be played by Sophomore, Nikki LaSalla. Attending the journey with Charlie, is Augustus Gloop, a plump German boy, who will be played by Senior, Sam Kimmell; bratty Brit, Veruca Salt, will be played by Junior, Gabby Maraia; TV and video game enthusiast, Mike Teavee, is Sophomore, Colby Elliot; and gum-chewing fanatic, Violet Beauregard, will be played by Freshman, Cammie Harris.
In preparing for the play, Ms. Evans was responsible for deciding on a final script, finalizing the set designs, ordering costumes for the cast, and meeting with the cast for practice everyday — even Sundays! — for at least two hours. What a busy woman!

Assisting in the making of the play, the 8th graders will create some of the set design in art–including giant mushrooms for the famous candy garden.

Other important figures that can be seen in the garden and almost anywhere else in the play, are the Oompa-Loompas; they are stout little beings who have orange skin and green hair; they follow the tour around and sing and dance to mishaps that occur in the Chocolate Factory. About eight Oompa-Loompas will be featured in ODA’s version of the musical.

Sophomore, Ashley Munroe, is one of the Oompa-Loompas. Ashley says, “I am very excited about playing one of the Oompa-Loompas. They are such unique and fun beings and I can’t wait to dress up and put the whole thing together.”
If any mishap happens to one of our actors, understudies would take their place. Two unexpected individuals who we all know and love are listed as understudies for different characters. Mr. Newhams, famed Biology teacher of ODA, can take the role of Grandpa Joe if Senior, Matt Silverman, backs down. Mr. Brewer, Director of Student Activities, can take over Colin Diener’s character, Mr. Bucket, if anything were to happen.
The opening night is coming up soon, so buy your ticket and enjoy the show!