November 12, 2019
For immediate release
Media contact: Cara Scarola Hansen, Marketing Director
Rosarian’s Willy Wonka KIDS Was a Golden Ticket Winner
Rosarian Academy’s performance of Willy Wonka KIDS on Saturday, November 2 was a golden ticket winner for the 485 audience members! This all-time favorite showcased a cast of 46 first-through-fourth-grade students. Based on the classic book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, Willy Wonka (4th grader Benjamin White) taught poignant and uplifting life lessons through the character portrayals of Augustina Gloop [adapted from Augustus] (4th grader Kayla Ugarte), Violet Beauregarde (3rd grader Cecilia Hansen), Veruca Salt (4th grader Ava Rodriguez), Mike Teavee (2nd grader Lachlan Throop), and Charlie Bucket (2nd grader Tristan Catalano). Whether it’s eating too much of what we enjoy, wanting immediate satisfaction, playing too much on electronic devices, or doing or tasting something that we were told not to, the characters represented various faults that can be found in all of us.
The musical was produced and directed by Robert Sherman, with musical direction by Gay Dedo, choreography by Jeanne Bennett, scenic and lighting design by Ardean Landuis, and costume design by Jeanne Bennett and alumnus William Linn (Class of 2001). The production team used technology in ways never used before in a Rosarian performance. Screen casts, provided by Rick Frendt Theatrical Projections, projected animated scenic backdrops which truly brought the play to life. Waterfalls and a river of chocolate moved on stage as Augustina Gloop gave into her cravings and broke Wonka’s rule to not touch the chocolate. Mike Teavee successfully transformed from his human size to the size of a 12-inch doll on the TV screen, using a pre-filmed video in front of the green screen in the school’s STEM lab. Wearing an inflatable blow-up costume, Violet Beauregarde sent the audience into hysterics as she blew up into a blueberry while eating an Everlasting Gobstopper.
Rosarian started Lower School productions ten years ago with It’s Showtime, followed by It’s Showtime 2, Willy Wonka, Cinderella, Aladdin, The Lion King, The Music Man KIDS, Sleeping Beauty KIDS, Annie KIDS, and this year’s Willy Wonka KIDS. All shows are shortened versions of the Broadway productions. The music is adapted for younger voices, yet, is still challenging.
Performing arts is an integral part of the Rosarian Academy curriculum. Beginning in kindergarten, students experience drama as a co-curricular offering. Once they reach first grade, they have the opportunity to participate in fully-staged and executed productions, directed by professionals with real-world theatrical experience. The theater program helps improve, empower, and nurture the individual and develop a sense of teamwork and ensemble building. Two theater productions are held each school year where students are encouraged to take part either on stage or behind the scenes. In addition to Willy Wonka KIDS, the Middle School will perform a musical in the spring of 2020.
Rosarian Academy, founded in 1925, educates students from early childhood through eighth grade and offers an exceptionally strong academic program enriched by athletics, visual and performing arts, and community service opportunities. STEM, coding, art, drama, music theory, and Spanish classes begin in kindergarten. The independent, Catholic school is located on Flagler Drive in downtown West Palm Beach and is sponsored by the Adrian Dominican Sisters. Bus service is available throughout Palm Beach County. For more information, visit www.rosarian.org or call 561.345.3106.