Youth to perform Charlie and the Chocolate Factory this weekend

Published on Thu, Jul 24, 2003 by Shanna Green

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Youth to perform Charlie and the Chocolate Factory this weekend

By Shanna Green

In the middle of July, most kids are sleeping in as late as their parents will allow, and spending afternoons playing outside, but the cast of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory have been spending their summer mornings rehearsing from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Rehearsals began almost immediately after school let out, and have continued four days a week for the past six weeks.

�These kids finished school and then started getting up earlier than they had to before,� Erin Walcon, the director of the play said. Walcon said some of the students come from as far away as Point Roberts for the rehearsals.

�It�s the price of fame,� joked Leaf Schumann, director of the Blaine family service center. Schumann said he was proud of the kids involved for working so hard on the play, which opens this Friday.

Walcon, a 1998 Blaine high school graduate, said that from the set and the props, to the performers, the play is all student created and most of the people involved are Blaine students or alumni.

�The whole thing is student driven,� Schumann said. �There�s no one from the outside.�

Schumann said a lot of the parents had volunteered to bring together the play which was chosen partly because it provided many roles for a wide range of ages.

�You�re trying to work everybody in,� Schumann said.

Walcon said out of the 34 kids involved in the play, who range in age from five to 16, she is happy that none of them is the star.

�It�s a nice play because there isn�t really a lead,� Walcon said.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is the story of Charlie Bucket, a poor young boy who lives in a one room house with his mother and four bedridden grandparents. Charlie dreams of a better life for his family and when he learns of a contest put on by Willy Wonka�s Chocolate Factory with the grand prize being a life-time supply of chocolate, he knows that his dreams have come true. Charlie wins a place in the contest and is allowed to meet Willy Wonka and take a tour of his fabulous factory with the four other winners.

The play is being put on by the family service center and the Blaine school district and is supported by the Blaine Community Theater and was funded by a grant from the Whatcom Community Foundation.

The show will run Friday, July 25, through Sunday, July 27. Friday and Saturday shows start at 7 p.m., and the Sunday show will start at 2 p.m. The play will be at the Blaine High School Performing Arts Center. The suggested donation at the door is $3.