Wildcats to perform in Henegar’s ‘Willy Wonka’

Wildcats to perform in Henegar’s ‘Willy Wonka’

The Henegar Center’s production of “Willy Wonka” will feature the talents of some West Shore thespians.

Eighth-grader Harry J. joined the production after his summer experience acting as a policeman in the the Henegar Center’s production of “Mary Poppins.”

“This is my second show there,” Harry said. “People here convinced me to do it. I think Ava Ghiz was the one who suggested that I do it, and I took her up on the offer.”

During the summer Harry and some of his peers performed in a new environment under the direction of West Shore Theater Director Maureen Fallon and Costume Director Shannon Reppert.

“Nothing really changed from here except it was a larger venue,” Harry said.

This school year, however, performing at the Henegar Center has been a different experience from what Harry said he has previously done at school.

“The Henegar shows have a longer run, and they are a lot harder to do,” Harry said. “They are a lot harder to be in. The choreography is harder along with the vocal demand.”

With practices every night from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m., Harry is facing the task of keeping up with his school work, while also preparing for “Willy Wonka” at the Henegar Center and “Sally Cotter and the Prisoner of Ala Katraz” on campus.

“Even just juggling the Henegar and school is hard because I have practice every day and it takes up a lot of my time,” Harry said. “My least favorite part is probably going to be tech week because they are having us stay there every night from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. to rehearse and run the show. [The rehearsal schedule] just keeps getting greater and greater.”

Despite the long rehearsal hours Harry said he looks forward to his role in “Willy Wonka” as a towns person named Alfie in the song “Candyman”, an Oompa Loompa and a chef.

“My experience in “Willy Wonka” is that it’s been a very professionally put on show, and I felt that between other shows that I’ve done,” Harry said. “And my experience other than that is that it’s been very demanding of my time and my skills, and I like that I am finally making use of what I can do.”

Freshman Shane Servedio also will experience her first performance at the Henegar Center.

“For me there is a big time gap between all of the shows that we do at school,” Servedio said. “And doing shows at the Henegar seemed like a pretty good idea because it’s more professional theater and I thought it would be cool to meet some new people.”

As a high-schooler, Servedio is not participating in the middle-school production of “Sally Cotter and the Prisoner of Ala Katraz.”

“It makes it much easier to just do one show because I can’t imagine what it would be like to have to memorize lines from one show and do the choreography for another,” Servedio said.

Similarly to Harry, Servedio expressed the stress that she is facing when it comes to handling her school work and rehearsal schedule at the Henegar Center.

“It’s been a bit difficult because school work has been kind of piling on,” Servedio said. “And when I have rehearsal for three hours after school every day it gets hard to complete [the homework], so I have to work on it during Power Hour, before school and stuff like that.”

The Henegar Center is located in Downtown Melbourne on New Haven Avenue. “Willy Wonka” will open Friday and run through Dec. 16 with 8 p.m. performances Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. shows on Sundays.

“The rehearsal times [are not my favorite], but I think that it’s kind of necessary to put the show on, so I can’t complain,” Servedio said. “My favorite part would probably have to be getting to know the songs and meeting a bunch of new people.”

By Sophia Bailly

Editor’s note: Brevard Public Schools policy prohibits the inclusion of middle-schoolers’ last names on district websites.