News Column

Wonderful Wonka

June 29, 2013

YellowBrix

June 29--With Oompa Loompas scattered around the stage and a golden ticket the main objective, Friday night's performance at Kate Collins Middle School had something for everyone.

The third through eighth graders who make up part of the Waynesboro Public Schools Summer Music Camp performed the musical production of Willy Wonka Jr. in front of a packed crowd in Kate Collins' auditorium.

"It's really fun for everyone, no matter if you are watching it or acting in it," said 12-year-old homeschooled student Katelyn Morrison, who played Wonka. "It's a really well put together play."

There were nearly 30 children involved in the production. Proud parents and fans applauded loudly as the kids showed off their array of theater skills, while smiling at what the children gained from the production.

"It's a confidence builder," said Donald Dollins, father of Peyton Dollins, who played Augustus Gloop. "A lot of it is the camaraderie ... It teaches them how to think for themselves. It teaches them to take charge and be responsible for themselves. It teaches just general life skills."

For the last 16 years, Waynesboro Public Schools have sponsored the summer music camp, which is open to all students, even those not in WPS.

"This area very much supports the arts. When I moved here 16 years ago, that's one thing that brought us to the area, Waynesboro's commitment to the arts." said Leola Burks, the assistant principal at Westwood Hills Elementary, who is a former music teacher and founder of the camp. "It gives them the opportunity to develop public speaking skills. Performance, I think, builds self confidence and self esteem."

Nine-year-old Clymore Elementary student Samuel Tindall had the time of his life as he showed off his acting, singing and dancing skills as one of the main characters.

"It taught me a lot because it's the first play I've done," said Tindall, who played Charlie Bucket. "I enjoy doing it a lot. I like the dances, the songs, the acting."

The fans loved it, as the talented students departed the stage to a standing ovation, one that was more than deserved.

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