Burlington Educational Summer Theatre (BEST), a program of the Burlington Public Schools, returns to the stage of the Fogelberg Performing Arts Center for its third summer season with performances of Roald Dahl’s “Willy Wonka Jr.“ on July 23 at 2:00 and 7:00 pm.
Based on Roald Dahl’s timeless story of the world famous candy man and his quest to find an heir, the BEST production features more than 60 students from Burlington schools ranging in age from seven to thirteen. Adapted for the stage by Leslie Bricusse and Timothy A. McDonald, the memorable score features songs from the original movie, including “The Candy Man,” “Pure Imagination,” “Oompa Loompa” and “I Want It Now” by Academy and Grammy award winning composers Bricusse and Anthony Newley.
Starring in this year’s production of Roald Dahl’s “Willy Wonka Jr” are Patrick Creedon as Charlie Bucket, Rachel Czerwinski as Willy Wonka, Sydney Matai as Augustus Gloop, Erin Hanafin as Grandma Josephina, Amanda Weigreich as Grandma Georgina, Shane Manfredi as Grandpa George, Rachel Seeley as Grandpa Joe, Lindsay Corbett as James, and Sara Cannalonga as Matilda. Also featured in the cast are Timmy Sullivan as Mike Teavee and Emily Frost as Mrs. Teavee; Emma Saltsman as Mr. Bucket and Kait Brine as Mrs. Bucket; Ivy Saltsman as Veruca Salt, Zachary Glantz as Mr. Salt and Andrea Murray as Mrs. Salt; Jessie Goober as Violet Beauregard and Cassidy Cummings as Mrs. Beauregard; Jade Gordon as Mrs. Gloop; Elana Schlansky as Phinious Trout; and Gabrielle Corsino as the Candyman.
Cast and ensemble members are also cast in, among other roles, Oompa Loompas, Cooks, Squirrels, Video Game Children, Candy Man Children. They are Maggie Allen, Elizabeth Amaral, Elizabeth Bond, Isabel Bowen, Madison Carter, Lindsay Corbett, Scott Czerwinski, Megan Doherty, Carly Frost, Marlea Gainley, Shaylinn Gainley, Mari Gedick, Julia Gelin, Julia Gillis, Mikaila Gnerre, Elisa Gonzalez, Mary Hanafin, Jenna Heffler, Kailee Heffler, Nicholas Heisler, Lilly Hovasse, Kellsee Lynch, Krista Magnarelli, Chloe McGonagle, Amanda Melin, Angela Melin, Glen Middleton-Cox, Samantha Murphy Heather Murphy, Jillian Murray, Juliana Nigro, Stephan Nigro, Jordyn Nobrega, Nicole Noonan, Cameron Noonan, Sarah Owens, Annalisa Petrizzi, Christina Raposo, Kacey Ridley, Rachel Schlansky, Michael Seeley, Caitlyn Shea, Julie Surabian, Erica Van Stry, Joseph Viscione, Joyna Wallus and Claudia Webb.
Burlington Educational Summer Theatre offers a professionally produced educational theatre experience for students. The program is under the guidance of BEST Executive Director John Middleton-Cox, a highly regarded theatre professional and music educator in the Burlington Public Schools.
Returning to BEST this year are Jeanne Coroniti as Artistic and Music Director and Leanne Reardon as Choreographer, along with professional set designer Peter Waldron and award-winning costume designer Maureen Krebs. Joining them will be Beth Pendery as Production Director, Jill Keaney as Assistant Choreographer, Kevin Parker as Company Manager and Sammie Ellis as Production Assistant. BEST staff members also include a number of high school students and graduates, all veterans of Burlington High School productions, in roles as crew members and counselors, providing a unique mentoring opportunity for all the young students.
Due to an overwhelming response for its summer theatre program Burlington Public Schools has also created a brand new program running in tandem with the theatre production. The BEST Workshop provides an opportunity for its students to focus on performance skills that encourage self-esteem while building self-confidence. Directing the workshop is Endicott College educator and composer/performer Nanette Perrotte. Students are taught voice, acting and dance skills, monologue and audition prep and imagination skills. The workshop students will showcase their new skills in an exciting final performance on July 15 at 1:00 pm.
The BEST performance of Roald Dahl’s “Willy Wonka, Jr” will take place in the 800-seat, air conditioned Fogelberg Performing Arts Center located at 123 Cambridge Street, Burlington. Reserved seating tickets are $10 for students and senior citizens, $15 for adults; tickets can be purchased at www.BurlingtonTickets.org. For more information please call 781-A-FUN-TIC. Fogelberg Performing Arts Center is handicapped accessible.