MHS Drama Readies For Play

Williy Wonka (Zach Steva) talks with Veruca Salt (Kalie Gayer) during a rehearsal of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” on Thursday afternoon at Memorial High School.
Managing Editor

Memorial High School junior Sydney Boedicker wanted to play a more prominent role under the lights in entering her third year in the MHS Drama Club and just like Charlie, she got her golden ticket.

Boedicker, along with Zach Steva, are playing the lead roles in this year’s MHS Drama Club’s play “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” based on the 1964 British novel of the same name by Richard R. George and adapted from the fantasy by Roald Dahl.

“Mrs. Phlipot asked if I had any idea of who I wanted to play and I told her I wanted to play Charlie,” Boedicker said. “So I left my audition out there and I wasn’t sure how it went, but then I found out the next week. I was excited and so were our friends with the parts they got so we are all excited to be in this together.”

The play is more like the 2005 film with Johnny Deep because that film follows more closely to the novel. Boedicker is playing Charlie Bucket and Steva is in the other lead role as Willy Wonka. 

Steva said he was hoping he would get to play Willy Wonka when he first auditioned, but he said he was excited when he heard he got the part and he said that all of his friends who are in the play got their part as well.

“I have spent a little bit of time watching the film, but I like acting more like the Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka although it [the play] is more like the more recent film, but Gene Wilder was more crazier so I like that kind of personality,” he added.

Boedicker added that she has watched both films to better understand how Charlie acts as an innocent child and she said she found it interesting to see how she could act like him.

Steva has been in drama for four years, dating back to junior high and Boedicker said she has not been in drama as consistently because she is in more of the plays and not the musicals so she estimated that she has been in drama for three years. Steva added that he played Uncle Fester in last year’s “The Addams Family” musical. 

Both students lead a hefty number of cast and crew with around 34 people involved with the play, from students to production workers and 15 students playing Oompa Loompas. 

Ethyn Krites landed the role as Grandpa Joe, Landen Fisher is Mike Teavee, Kalie Gayer plays Veruca Salt, Katelyn Schreima is Violet Beauregarde and Jarrett Lunz plays Augustus Gloop.

Seniors Destiny Ward (narrator), Gayer, Seth Goodwin (stage manager) and Luke Schloemer (Mr. Salt) will be in their final drama program.

Auditions for the play began Sept. 3 and practice began around mid-to-late September.

Steva said practice for the play has gone well after some time for everyone to get used to their roles, but he added that once the props were added, practicing for the play has gone so much better.

“And we have all of our lines memorized,” Steva added. “So it is a lot easier to get in person when you don’t have a paper right in front of you.”

Students have had at least three practices a week and practiced for six hours this past Sunday.

“I am excited for everything to come together and for everybody to be able to watch it,” Boedicker said. 

Steva added that there will be a lot of comedy in the play and it helps that everyone knows the story.

“Just talking to some kids at the school, everyone is excited to see it too,” he added.

The play is slated for 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday at the MHS Performing Arts Center.

Tickets are $5 for students and $8 for adults. Tickets will be available for purchase Nov. 13 in the high school office and will also be sold at the door on the day of the play.