Wilton Children’s Theater presents Willy Wonka

Kendra Baker photos
The story of a sweet but very poor boy named Charlie and his visit to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory hits the Middlebrook School auditorium stage this weekend, when the Wilton Children’s Theater presents Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka, Nov. 17-19.

After Charlie finds the last of five coveted Wonka Golden Tickets, he and his grandfather get a thrilling and often dangerous tour of Wonka’s strange chocolate factory, along with four other winners and their parents.

Fifty-three fourth through eighth graders from Wilton will perform in the Wilton Children’s Theater production, produced by Jennifer McNamara and Jen Kepner, directed by Skip Ploss, choreographed by Judy Abbatiello, and musically directed by Barbara Speare.

Charlie will be played by fifth grader Austin Etzbach, and sixth grader Jonah Bates will play Willy Wonka.

Although managing all the “moving parts that go on behind the scenes” can be challenging, said McNamara, it’s worth “being with the children for nine weeks and seeing them create something new together.

“The professionals do a wonderful job in nurturing their talent while inspiring the children to push themselves to go further than they initially imagined,” she said.

“It’s also terrific to see how ultimately everyone comes together behind the scenes — [Wilton Children’s Theater] board members and parent volunteers alike — to create the best show possible.”

Showtimes for the Wilton Children’s Theater production of Willy Wonka are:

  • Friday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m.

  • Saturday, Nov. 18, at 4 p.m.

  • Sunday, Nov. 19, at 2 p.m.

Tickets for the show may be purchased online at wiltonchildrenstheater.org or in person at:

  • The Village Market: through Friday, Nov. 17, from 10 to noon.

  • Middlebrook School: Thursday, Nov. 16, from 6:30 to 7:45.

Tickets will also be sold an hour before each showtime.