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Creston students take to the stage for Willy Wonka Jr.

Check out the Adam Robertson Elementary School play this weekend
Grade 7 student Lily Spears, centre stage, is playing Willy Wonka in the upcoming play from Adam Robertson Elementary School. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)

The students at Adam Robertson Elementary School (ARES) have cooked up a sweet treat for audiences this coming weekend.

Much like last year’s production of Shrek the Musical, the large cast has spent much of the last month memorizing their lines and rehearsing for the live shows of Willy Wonka Jr. on April 21 and 22.

READ MORE: All-star Creston students present Shrek the Musical

“It’s great to see some of the same students back on the stage again,” said Kyla Hamm, ARES teacher and director of the play. “The kids have been working enormously hard on their second show.”

Pulling off another big production for a second year has required a lot of help from multiple teachers and parent volunteers.

Tara Sandovol has two children performing in Willy Wonka Jr., and she’s been helping out with lunches for the cast, hair and makeup, and fundraising sales for ARES’ fine arts program.

“The kids just love it,” she said. “When Kyla came to Creston and started the performing arts, it opened the kids up to something that they never really got to experience on such a different level. As a parent, it has been so neat to see their confidence on stage, like shining stars.”

From talking to the students in the main cast, it’s clear they all have a real sweet tooth for drama and their dedication to the show is as sweet as cotton candy.

Grade 6 student Sofia Huscroft plays the lead role of Charlie Bucket.

“I like singing the songs and being in costume on stage. It’s pretty cool,” she said.

Kaitlyn Sandoval, Grade 7, is having a blast as bratty Veruca Salt, who sings her own solo.

“She’s really snotty, but I like it,” she said. “Drama is fun because you get to express yourself while being someone else.”

Lachlan Hamm, Grade 5, agreed with that sentiment in his role of Mike Teavee.

“I’m never usually a brat, but on stage I get to pretend. Sometimes, just letting it out feels good.”

Rhea Schanzenbach, Grade 6, plays another spoiled child - Violet Beairegarde and has been “driving her brothers and sisters crazy” at home with practicing her lines.

Mason Reid, Grade 6, has taken on a German accent for character Augustus Gloop.

“I’ve been running lines with my mom at home and using Google Translate to help me learn how to pronounce different words,” he said. “I like doing voices. It makes acting really fun.”

And last but not least, Lily Spears, Grade 7, is enjoying the weirdness and eccentricities of Willy Wonka. She encourages everyone to come see the show.

“I think Willy Wonka Jr. is special because people have worked really hard for this one,” she said. “We have some really good actors here with very strong voices, and they’re just ready to commit.”

Willy Wonka Jr. will hit the stage this weekend on April 21 and 22 at 6 p.m. at the Kootenay River Auditorium. Tickets are $5 each and can be purchased on the ARES office. Attendees will have the chance to win door prizes.

Kelsey Yates

About the Author: Kelsey Yates

Kelsey Yates has had a lifelong passion for newspapers and storytelling. Originally from Alberta, she graduated from SAIT Polytechnic's journalism program in 2016.
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