Oompa Loompas have taken over the stage at Martinez Junior High School, as two casts comprised of 46 children and teenagers practice for their summer show, Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka, Jr.
Summer Stage, a program of , began on June 18 and runs every week day for four weeks. The participants are a host of energetic young dramatists, ages 7 to 16, who spend their summer mornings taking classes in voice, acting and dance, before practicing for the big production in the afternoon.
This is the first year of the integrated program, bringing together younger children and teenagers for the camp. In previous years, the program was split into two separate sections by age group. Now, all the kids are working together.
"It works better than you'd think," said Willows Theatre Conservatory Director Rachel Robinson. "The younger kids look up to the older kids as their role models. And the older kids take on a leadership role."
The only noticeable difference between the younger and older children is when it comes to attention span, added Robinson.
The Summer Stage program costs $650, or $550 if booked early, and includes four weeks of instruction, all materials, a camp t-shirt and an end-of-season pizza party. For more information, visit WillowsTheatre.org.
What: Summer Stage presents Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka, Jr.
When: July 13 at 7 p.m., July 14 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., and July 15 at 2 p.m.
Cost: $9-$17. Buy tickets online.