A truly American classic was brought to life by a passionate, energetic and gifted cast and stage crew.
That cast and crew are the skilled students who comprise the Drama Club at the Eisenhower Intermediate School.
They delivered a rousing performance o "Willy Wonka Jr." before family and friends on the evenings of Thursday, April 27 and Friday, April 28, and in front of their fellow schoolmates in the morning on Friday, April 28.
The spacious gymnasium at Eisenhower served as the theater where these young thespians acted and worked to achieve a fantastic performance.
Their acting on stage and work behind the curtains were a reflection of their leader, Lauren Smith, who is the Drama Club Director at Eisenhower.
The actors portrayed the theme of this iconic fantasy musical that has been shared by Americans for generations.
But as successful these Eisenhower students were able to deliver this story, they also gained valuable experience and an education along the way.
“Throughout this process, they've learned valuable skills and have gained so much confidence in themselves,” Ms. Smith explained. “I'm positive that these skills will help them in their own personal growth as individuals. I feel very fortunate to have been able to watch them grow as performers in such a short period of time."
Dr. Laura Bassett, the Eisenhower Principal who was among the entertained members of the audience, is an expert in the field of the arts.
She had served as the Supervisor of Arts Education for the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District since July of 2017 before she became the Principal at Eisenhower on February 1 of this year
“I am so proud of our Willy Wonka cast! They worked so hard to prepare their show and gave their all in every performance,” Dr. Bassett said. “Miss Smith did a fantastic job leading the cast and crew and creating a world of pure imagination for our Eisenhower community! “
Dr. Bassett also shared Ms. Smith’s beliefs that the Drama Club learned a valuable lesson when she revealed:
“The Eisenhower students all enjoyed the show at our Friday morning assembly and seemed to appreciate the messages of the show about showing great character and honesty - in addition to respecting and celebrating the hard work of their classmates. It was an exciting week at Eisenhower, for sure!”
Ms. Smith came away pleased with how the students performed on the stage and behind.
“I am so proud of each and every student involved in Willy Wonka Jr. The students worked so hard to put on an entertaining performance for their families, friends, and teachers,” Ms. Smith said.
Here are the Eisenhower students who teamed up to present this terrific performance.
Willy Wonka - Gavin Apirian
Charlie Bucket - Derek Ebner
Grandpa Joe - Jacob Rizkalla
Grandma Georgina-Gabriella Capici
Grandma Josephina - Quinn Pryll
Grandpa George - Joshua Shobin
Mr. Bucket - Alexander Neumann Haces
Mrs. Bucket - Aubrey Lucid
Candy Ma'am - Madison Mattis
Matilda - Hailey Baron
Jane - Kaitlyn Wilson
Phineous Trout -Evan Cobucci
Augustus Gloop - Liam Walsh
Mrs. Gloop - Olivia Tang
Veruca Salt - Harper Straight
Mr. Salt - Patrick Abdelmaseeh
Violet Beauregarde - Tiana Gosinanonth
Mrs. Beauregarde-Sharanya Bhiwapurkar
Mike Teavee - Nathan Weinstein
Ms. Teavee - Kirtana Iyer
Ensemble (Candy Kids and Oompa Loompas)
Vidushi Agarwal, Gabby Boardman, Ava Cummings, Leela Dixit , Eva Greulich, Lia Greulich, Brielle Gutierrez, Paul Heinrich Ruiz, Claire Kipila, Heera Kumar, Tia Meadow-Hyman, Marley Perle, Jacob Principio, Shreya Ramanath, Hailey Reese, Daniel Rumondor, Madeline Scibelli, Ella Sears, Tanvi Tangirala, Audrey Votapek, Brenna Weith