Wonka production takes stage
April 15, 2011 • Shield and Crown Staff
Filed under Entertainment
Kofa’s first grand production of Willy Wonka the Musical will be performing its closing night on Friday the 15 at 7p.m in the Kofa High auditorium. This musical is around two hours long. The musical will have four clubs participating; it will be choir, drama, band and orchestra.
This play is starring Marty Aguirre as Willy Wonka, Salome Siruno as Charlie Bucket, and Jose Pedro Siruno as Grandpa Joe. The creator of this production is drama teacher Ms. Olsen, with the added assistance of band teacher Mr. Schattin, and choir teacher Mrs.Tanaka. It’s been a while since Kofa has put on a production of this scale. The last musical production done at the school was ‘The Fantasticks’, under the direction of Mr.Kelly. The show’s opening night was back in 2009, and had little set and used recorded music from the production’s official soundtrack. This show however has gone all out. The show now has a full sized set built by Ms.Olsen’s Theatre Production class, and live music by band and orchestra lead by Mr. Schattin, while Mrs.Tanaka was in charge of teaching vocals to the cast.
During the rehearsal process, Ms. Olsen described it as a group effort, and come opening night the cast will be ready to rock. As an experienced drama teacher from Yuma High, when asked if she directed other musicals she said, “Yes like 5 or 6, but this is my first time directing [a musical] here at Kofa”. With this past experience, Ms. Olsen has high expectations for the production, luckily according to her, the cast and crew have met all her expectations. When asked if the the audience will relate to the show ms. Olsen said, “The characters are so crazy. But they will laugh and love the characters”.
As Ms. Olsen leads her first Kofa musical production, Mrs.Tanaka gives the vocals life, and it is also her first time working in a musical at Kofa. When asked if the students have given their full potential, Mrs.Tanaka said, “Absolutely nobody slacked off and many students did things they thought they couldn’t do. I am extremely proud of the show, Ms. Olsen’s vision that brought it together, all kids have done things they never thought they could, it’s a first for many kids to be in a musical, first for musician to play for actors, first for singers to have live accompaniment, and it’s a learning experience for all of us.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Schattin gives the instrumentals form in the the orchestra pit known as ‘Brad’, which hasn’t held players in a long time. This musical is the first that Mr.Schattin has participated in as a director. The orchestra has worked on Willy Wonka three weeks before spring break and after everyday. When asked if this has been a challenge for him and the kids he answered, “Absolutely, they are playing at a professional level”.
The show has been one giant collaborative event, one that Kofa High School has not seen in a long time. With all the work put into this production by all these teachers and students alike, one thing is certain, this show will be one that most of the students have not seen. Hopely this show will set an example for future productions, and bring the performing arts together.