Jones Elementary To Delight Audiences With “Willy Wonka Jr.”


The delicious adventures of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory will light up the stage during Jones Elementary’s captivating adaptation of Roald Dahl's fantastical tale from March 15 through 17.

Featuring the enchanting songs from the 1971 film in addition to a host of fun new songs, Dahl'sWilly Wonka Jr.” is a scrumdidilyumptious musical guaranteed to delight everyone’s sweet tooth. “Willy Wonka Jr.” follows enigmatic candy manufacturer Willy Wonka as he stages a contest by hiding golden tickets in five of his scrumptious candy bars. Whoever finds these tickets will win a free tour of the Wonka factory, as well as a lifetime supply of candy. Four of the five winning children are insufferable brats, but the fifth is a likable young lad named Charlie Bucket, who takes the tour in the company of his equally amiable grandfather. The children must learn to follow Mr. Wonka's rules in the factory — or suffer the consequences!

Twenty-eight students are cast, with nearly 15 stage crew members, dozens of volunteers, and faculty making the ambitious production possible. Tommy Engstrom stars as Willy Wonka, Destiny Felder as Charlie Bucket, Stevie Degnan as Grandpa Joe, Lila Patton as Veruca Salt, and Brooklyn LaBrier as Violet Beauregarde. The cast has been rehearsing, acting, singing and choreographing three times a week since November. The set will consist of two designs — one at Jones Elementary for the first three performances, and a multi-dimensional version for the fourth and final performance at Stage & Screen Studios in Millersville, which will present an exceptionally unique educational experience for the cast and crew, and a mesmerizingly entertaining one for the audience.

The show is directed by longtime television and theater veteran Pete Garvey, owner of Stage & Screen Studios, with musical direction from Jones music teacher Charlene Beyerlein, and choreography by Abbie Smith, an SPHS ninth-grade theater phenom and Jones alumnus. Producing the show are three fifth-grade parents: Jen Degnan, Kim LaBrier and Eloise Patton.

“Willy Wonka Jr.” is fun for all ages. Four shows are offered, with the first three at Jones Elementary — March 15 at 7:00pm; March 16 at 2:00pm and 7:00pm; and March 17 at 2:00pm at Stage & Screen Studios. Tickets go on sale to the public on February 26: $7.50 for adults; $5 for children under 10. Purchases can be made by contacting Jones Elementary Drama Club at or at the door (subject to availability). For more information, contact Jen Degnan at or 773-251-6026.


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