Youthful workers impress as they prep for ‘Willy Wonka’

The Bartlett Performing Arts and Conference Center is preparing for this weekend’s production of “Willy Wonka — The Musical.” The performance opens on Thursday, March 23, and runs through Sunday, March 26.

Performance times are 7 p.m. March 23-25 and 2:30 p.m. March 26. Tickets are $10.

“This is the second BPACC production that I have officially helped with props,” said BPACC Property Designer Lisa Johnson. “As I was doing my papier-mâché mushrooms for Willy Wonka, I was thinking about the kids that make up the cast of Theatre Kids and how hard each member of the cast works to make this show a success. Every rehearsal these young people are either rehearsing lines with Director Carrie Paulo (a teacher at Bartlett 9th Grade Academy) and Jessica Gibbs (stage manager). or dancing away with choreographer Mr. Otis. or singing their hearts out with musical director Dr. Jemmi-Lou Rye-Rushing.”

She continued, “Many of the actors have been bitten by the back-stage bug to help costumer Annie Starnes, or help me with painting and creating props.”

BPACC Director Michael Bollinger stated, “These young thespians reap other benefits. They learn how to balance their schedule between school, homework, rehearsal. They learn team-work by being part of a group, working together and for each other, mentoring each other with rehearsing  lines, singing and dancing. Finally, regardless of the profession they choose, these young people gain great personal self-confidence, which will serve them for life.”

Johnson said, “We as adults tend to think that young people these days only have certain things on their minds.  When I see these young people working hard for one common goal I am very impressed by their energy, dedication and determination to get the job done and do it right. I encourage every parent to help their child find what is meaningful in their life, to consider the arts. BPACC TheatreKids and what it could mean to forge everlasting friendships, learning a skill — while having fun doing it.”