Reporter: Lauren Compton l Videographer: Parker Slaybaugh
Lynchburg, VA- Some Lynchburg middle-schoolers are going to bring the story of Willy Wonka to life on stage. Dunbar Middle School's theater department is taking this on, and it's a tall order.
With melodies about candy and a little imagination, the pint-size actors at Dunbar Middle School see this play as a chance to transport audience members to another place.
"I get to bring the audience into this whole world of candy and chocolate, and introduce them to the story," said Jackson Cobb, a Dunbar Middle School student who plays Willy Wonka in the play.
You probably know the story: A poor boy finds a golden ticket and wins a chance to tour an amazing candy factor. The actors at Dunbar Middle were nowhere near being born when the 1971 movie came out. But they love the story and are very excited to take on the big roles.
"I just love all the mysterious stuff of Willy Wonka, and how Charlie is so good, "said Chad Gilliam, a Dunbar Middle School student who plays Willy Wonka in the play.
The play will have 20 musical numbers, two acts, iconic costumes and lots of action.
"The lights are going to be kind of going wild, and there will be some images projected on the wall," said Albert Carter, director of theater at the school.
The kids will also get to do all of those cool flying scenes from the movie with special harnesses and cables. The company ZFX Inc., which has done special effects for Taylor Swift and the Winter Olympics, is training the kids. They'll use a pulley system backstage to do some of the stunts.
"One of students is going to be sucked up the chocolate tube, because he is a Augustus. And, he falls in the river, and gets sucked up a tube so we're going to actually lift him up a tube," said Russell Morgan, fly dDirector for ZFX Inco.
"I think the audience will feel caught up in this, because we're going to kind of make it expand out into the audience," said Carter.
Audience members can be a part of the show by winning a golden ticket just like in the movie. They will also be able to buy raffle tickets for a chance to go up in the harnesses on stage. There will be two performances next month.
There will be two evening performances on Friday, May 4 and Saturday, May 5 at 7 p.m. There will also be a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. and a Sunday, May 6 matinee at 2:30 p.m.
Tickets for the production are $5 and can be purchased at the door or online.