Willy Wonka Comes to Concord

willy wonkaCONCORD - Concord school hosted their annual spring performance, and this year marked their first ever musical play, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

"We thought Willy Wonka Jr. was perfectly suited for our students with its imaginative and magical elements. We wanted our first musical experience to be one that provided lots of opportunities for kids of all ages to participate in and enjoy. How can you go wrong with a show that centers around candy?" Musical Director Vicki Litzinger said.

Students have rehearsed for more than one hundred and fifty hours, eighteen of which were over vacation time and weekends.

"That's certainly not counting staff hours that went into props, costumes, shopping, and planning," Litzinger said.

"These kids have been working on this play for months. They busted everything out, they pulled out all the stops," Makeup Director Rachel Lathrop of the play said.

Thirty-three students from grades four through twelve are in the play, as well as eleven faculty, staff and administrators. The students have learned that there is a lot of commitment that goes into putting on a musical.

"We've been practicing and choreographing and running through everything and making sure everything is perfect," performer Audrey Thompson said.

Even the community has helped out.

"We have received enormous support from the community from props to meals, from missed family time to coordination with sport teams. It has truly been a community effort." Litzinger said.

Above everything else, having fun has been the goal with the musical.

"Well I get to be a huge goofball, Grandpa Joe, and that kind of fits me so that's awesome," performer Nicole Young said.

With the number of people that were incorporated in the play you could say there were some challenges they had to face.

"It was virtually impossible to get that many students and faculty together at any one time for rehearsals. From after school commitments to winter illnesses. I'm not sure we've yet managed to have everyone there from start to finish for a rehearsal," Litzinger said.

The second challenge they had to overcome was sound. "We've just received some brand new wireless microphones. Unfortunately, there's a lot of feedback with our current microphones, so we really have to work out these problems," Litzinger said.

The students say they have built up a lot of chemistry while working together and are excited to perform in front of their families, peers, and the community.

"Just come to the show watch it. Watch how amazing these kids are, [be]cause they worked so hard and it's just a wonderful amount of effort and creativity," Lathrop said.

Opening night was Thursday, and there will be an encore performance on April 4th at 6:30.