After nearly 50 years, Willy Wonka has opened up the gates to his chocolate factory for the first time at Newfield High School. Ronald Dahl’s original novel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, was adapted into a musical in the year 1971, but on March 22nd, 23rd, and 24th of 2019, the talented music department at Newfield High School brought the world of “Willy Wonka, The Musical” to life by filling up the stage with endless songs, dances, laughs, and most importantly, candy.
The musical presents the story of an only child, Charlie Bucket, who receives a Golden Ticket and visits Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. Four other children from around the world join him after it being closed for years. What the children don’t know is that Mr. Wonka is using this contest to find the next person to pass down the factory too, as he is older now and needs to go into retirement. At the conclusion of the tour, Charlie Bucket is the only child who was not compelled by their impulses to break Mr. Wonka’s rules and makes it to be the last child, and Mr. Wonka picks Charlie to be the next owner of the chocolate factory.
The two-act show was ultimately put together all by the students who finalized almost every aspect of the show, which is very impressive given that not many people truly know just how much work is put into these high school productions. First, the student actors spent hours a day perfecting their roles to present to the audiences each night. The performing arts department gathered an amazing group of student musicians from both the orchestra and the band in order to put together a pit orchestra to perform the music that accompanies the show as all music heard is live. The entire set and props that are seen throughout the performance are all designed and built by the stage crew that is composed of Newfield High School students. Lastly, the show itself is both directed and produced by students with the help of chorus teacher and director of the musical, Mrs. Ashleigh Hahn. Entire scenes and musical numbers from the play were arranged and choreographed solely by the students which makes the performance even more magical as the show directly displays all of the hard work these students have put into it throughout these last few months.
The show consisted of over fifteen musical numbers, including favorites such as, “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket” and “Think Positive”, as well as plenty of jokes that both appealed to the kids and adults in the audience. The show was a delight to experience and all members of the cast and crew truly brought a world of “pure imagination” into the Newfield High School auditorium. We thank the cast, crew, musicians, all teachers involved, and the Thespian Honor Society at Newfield High School for all coming together to put on another amazing and entertaining show for the community.