BY RUDI TIMMERMAN –
The auditions for the OLT spring musical, Willy Wonka, were held last week. A record number of folks showed up ranging in ages 4 to 77. Ninety five of Polk county’s most talented showed up last Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday to sing, dance, and act. Directors, Jeffery Mathews, Judy Kropp, and Rudi Timmerman, spent hours wrestling with finding the best combination of talent for what promises to be a fun family show. Because of the overwhelming interest and the director’s policy of finding a place for all who audition and want to be in the show, it was decided to double cast a number of the parts. That is, one group will perform April 25, 26, and 27 while the other group will perform May 1, 2, and 4 (There will be no Saturday May 3 performance). Rehearsals start Tuesday Feb. 25. The parts of Willy Wonka, Charley Bucket and Grandpa Joe have been offered to Jerod McPherson, Zane Sherrer, and Michael Cate.
Other members of the cast include:
Rene Hendrix-Mrs. Bucket; Jeff Smith-Mr. Bucket; Judy Studzinski-Grandma Josephine; Shirley Nunes-Thornton-Grandma Georgina; Larry Kropp-Grandpa George; Chris Benner-Candy Man; Robby Burt-Phineous Trout; Kailos Healn-Augustus Gloop; Nadean Williams-Mrs. Gloop; Allison Austin-Veruca Salt; Jeffery Mathews-Mr. Salt; Aimmee Williams-Violet Beauregarde; Brandy Benner-Mrs. Beauregarde; Isaiah Kelly-Mike Teavee; Gini Burt-Ms. Teavee; Austin Kain-James; Kaitlind Bryant-Matilda; Mellissa Rothenay-Sophie; Ian Zeider-Danny; Kayleb Starnes-Alfie; Tyler George-Billie; April Burt-Geraldine.
Gray Squirrels: Rebekaah Ponthieux (Leader), Summer Nix, Jenna Anderton, Taylor Davis, Mikel Kenyon-Ortiz, Bailey Benner, Anna Burt, Robby Burt, Jr.
Fox Squirrels: Caroline Ezell (Leader), Chloe Kelley, Zoey Andrews, Ella George, Shai Anderson, Bailey Benner, Anna Burt, Robby Burt, Jr.
Chorus of Cooks: Jacquie Velazquez, Linda Johnson, Morgan Richmond, Deborah Tennison, Faith Amidei, Kristie Kenyon, Deanna Andrews.
Oompa-Loompas: Ariana Kelley, Randa Burt, Olivia Butterfield, Zoe McPherson, Hannah Velazquez, William Davis, Emily Davis, Sophia Vacca, Aryana Carter, David Nix, Taeyon Anderton, Wilson Hughes, Cherish Roberson, Kisey Ferguson, Annika Thompson, Alexa Howard, Mercedes Mowdy, Caleb Cecil, Harmony Chapin, Abby McConnell, Kyla Ferguson, Emma Threlkeld, Kylie Cook, Genesis Howard, Marsha Hinson, Ranessa Ricker, Dakota Williams, Katie Benefield, Nicole Medlin, Kelsey Wiggins, Hannah Jaelyn, Tori Evans, Morgan Caldwell, Krislinn Williams, Kayleigh Williams, Amanda Wiggins, Brayden Stockton, Lila Hearn, Emmalee Andrews, Kaleigh Reaves, Taylor Nance, Katie Mitchel, Joy Dickerson, Gabriel Kelley, Kyndall Dycus, Milia Sibbett, Nichole Philpot.