‘Willy Wonka’ will have everyone flying high | AspenTimes.com

‘Willy Wonka’ will have everyone flying high

Audrey Sichel
Special to The Aspen Times

For the first time ever, Aspen high school and middle school students will fly across the District Theatre stage as they cause a little commotion at The Chocolate Factory.

This year, AHS and AMS students will sing and perform together in the musical “Willy Wonka” Friday through Sunday. Theater teacher Logan Carter put a lot of thought into which show she would direct and which production would do the venue justice because it is the best-equipped theater between Denver and Grand Junction.

“I knew that the students and the theater were capable of special effects, and that’s what I wanted,” Carter said.

Tonight, AHS freshman Lyon Hamill, starring as Charlie, will demonstrate how to fly along with his Grandpa Joe, played by AHS junior Cole Schwab. This was not an easy task; Carter had to hire a company out of Las Vegas to get these boys up in the air.

“The first time (the instructor) told me that we were going to flip, I did not believe him. It really hurt the first few rehearsals, but it is so much fun now that I’m not scared and my muscles are toned for the harness,” Hamill said.

The original story, written by Roald Dahl, is transformed into a timeless musical, meshing together the book, the original movie and the Johnny Depp version of “Willy Wonka.”

“Although the Bucket family is stuck in the 1940s, in the next scene, Mike Teevee is using an iPhone,” Carter said.

The decision to produce this show did not only rely on special effects; it was largely chosen to draw an audience.

“I wanted something unique but big enough that people would want to see it,” Carter said.

She said another reason she thinks this play will attract many community members is because both middle school and high school students are performing instead of only high school as in the past.

The cast, adorned in bright, homemade costumes, has been working with community volunteers to create a high-energy, cheerful production.

“It is quite the production,” Carter said.

Audrey Sichel is a journalism student at Aspen High School.

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