Q&A with West Orange High School Theatre Willy Wonka cast members

The West Orange Theatre Department’s production of “Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka” opens Feb. 15.

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  • | 1:57 p.m. February 15, 2018
  • West Orange Times & Observer
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Grab your golden tickets: The West Orange High School Theatre Department will welcome the community to its chocolate factory for five performances of “Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka” Feb. 15 to 18.

The production blends pieces of Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and the movie “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” with new material.

For this production, three actors — Patrick DuChene, Jacob Gonzalez and Aidan Wamsley — all will play double-casted roles — meaning they each play two separate characters. DuChene and Wamsley each are double-casted for Willy Wonka and Mr. Bucket, and Gonzalez is double-casted for Charlie and Mike TV.


How does double-casting work?

DuChene: “Aiden and I are double-casted, so when he is playing Willy Wonka, I will be playing Mr. Bucket. And then the next show, when I’m playing Wonka he’s (Mr. Bucket), so we go back and forth.”

How challenging is it to memorize the lines for two separate characters?

DuChene: You really have to separate the two characters, because it could get confusing studying both characters at once. 

Gonzalez: In my situation, my two characters are always in the same scene. That poses a little difficulty trying to remember whose lines I’m supposed to be saying.

Wamsley: It’s easier with two people rehearsing their characters together, because you can collaborate with each other and figure out what works and what doesn’t. It’s really fun.

What was your favorite scene?

DuChene: My favorite scene would be when the characters get to the factory and are shown the chocolate room for the first time. There’s a lot of humor in that scene, and you realize how little  Willy Wonka actually cares about these children because he just does his own thing. 

Gonzalez: Mine is when Charlie finally finds the golden ticket after multiple tries. In that scene, he’s thinking it’s his last chance to find one. When he finally gets the ticket, he’s the most excited he’s ever been in his entire life, because he hasn’t had much, and it’s fun to portray that excitement.

Wamsley: My favorite scene is the tunnel scene. It’s was my favorite scene in the Gene Wilder Willy Wonka movie. It’s really spooky and dark, and it’s very fun to do.

If you were Charlie, and you just won a chocolate factory, what would you do with it?

DuChene: I would invite every single person I know to help me. It says in the story that the Wonka factory has several thousand rooms. I wouldn’t know what to do with that kind of space. 

Gonzalez: I’d definitely bring my friends and family with me, because if I didn’t, it would just be me and the Oompa Loompas and the chocolate.

Wamsley: I would go into business school and study economics, (because) I’d be an 11-year-old boy owning a large factory. 


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