Willy Wonka Jr.: A Celebration of Talent, Teamwork, and Tradition
Laura Sacco

In a spectacular display of talent and creativity, East Woods School's 6th-8th grade students brought to life the captivating world of Roald Dahl's "Willy Wonka JR." for this year's Upper School production. The performances, held on the evening of Thursday, March 21, and the morning of Friday, March 22, continued the school's cherished tradition of involving students from across the upper grades in either the cast, stage crew, or pit band, offering a comprehensive theatrical experience.

The cast, co-directed by Margaret Corbett of East Woods and Orlando Peña of Ovations Dance Academy of Tampa, showcased various talents that breathed life into the classic tale's characters. Their leadership provided the students with an opportunity to shine on stage and valuable lessons in teamwork and dedication.

The pit band, led by East Woods band director Alexander Prince, complemented the on-stage magic with their musical expertise, enhancing the atmosphere of the play and drawing the audience deeper into Willy Wonka's whimsical world. Under the guidance of East Woods art teacher Tim Daly and Ryan Antovel as lighting and sound technician, the stage crew worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that each aspect of the production, from sets to lighting, was executed flawlessly, creating a seamless experience for both performers and the audience.

In keeping with the tradition of inclusivity and community, the Kindergarten class joined the cast as the iconic Oompa Loompas, adding a delightful twist to the performance. Furthermore, the Third Grade students received the unique opportunity to join the pit band for the opening scene of "Pure Imagination," enabling them to contribute to the musical landscape of the play and experience the joy of performance.

The two performances were met with acclaim from parents, faculty, and fellow students, highlighting the hard work and passion of everyone involved. East Woods School celebrates the arts by continuing the Upper School play tradition. It fosters community and collaboration among its students, providing them with invaluable experiences that extend beyond the classroom. This year's production of "Willy Wonka JR." once again demonstrated the school's commitment to excellence in arts education and its dedication to creating memorable experiences for its students.