Take a trip to the chocolate factory with ‘Willy Wonka’

With a golden ticket, you too can take a tour of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory with Charlie Bucket and his Grandpa Joe.

Opening Nov. 16 at Orcas Center, audiences are invited to taste the sweetness that is “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”

The show runs on the main stage Nov. 16–19 at 6:30 p.m. with a 2 p.m. matinee on Nov. 19. Tickets are available from www.orcascenter.org or the Orcas Center box office now, $12 for adults and $10 for youth. The box office is open Wednesday through Friday 12–2 p.m. and one hour prior to performances.

“I always thought ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ was so imaginative and wonderful,” said director Didier Gincig about the novel inspiration for the play. “It’s very exciting for me to actually be producing and directing this play at the Orcas Center.”

The theatrical extravaganza will take you within the walls of the mysterious Wonka Chocolate Factory, where you will meet a colorful, multi-generational cast.

“I’m lucky that I have Anwyn and Christopher and all these wonderful kids and adults,” said Gincig. “It’s just great people who have stepped up. I’m blessed by the talent.”

Fourteen-year-old Anwyn Thompson, whom Gincig describes as a great actress, singer, dancer and person, plays the role of Charlie Bucket. Christopher Evans brings to life the eccentric Willy Wonka, backed by his many years of theater experience.

Other actors gracing the stage include Moose Kinsey as Augustus Gloop; Bella Evans as Veruca Salt; Lael Watson as Mike Tevee; and Ayjah Wright as gum-loving Violet Beauregarde.

‘Wonka’ is 9th-grader Wright’s first show on Orcas Island, but she is no stranger to the stage.

“I was actually super shy,” said Wright. “Then my grandma put me into this program called drama kids and it got me out of my shell.”

Though she auditioned for the role of Veruca Salt, Wright said she is still very excited to be playing any role that gets her near to the stage.

“The first moment I ever saw her, I knew she was going to be a great part of this play,” said Gincig. “I love her enthusiasm; that was the first thing I noticed.”

Beyond the stage, the show is supported by a talented crew of techies. Regina Zwilling is providing support as stage manager while Paula Capitano has constructed the set, Ian Welsh is mixing the sounds and Lisa Steckly is handling the lights.

“I’m getting to hang out with people I wouldn’t ordinarily even get to know,” said Gincig. “I’m really thankful to the Orcas Center for allowing this opportunity to happen.”