Waggoner Road Middle School students will stage "Willy Wonka Jr." through Friday at the school, 340 S. Waggoner Road.

Waggoner Road Middle School students will stage "Willy Wonka Jr." through Friday at the school, 340 S. Waggoner Road.

Tickets are $3 each and can be purchased at the school office or at the door.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with curtain times at 7 p.m. tonight and Friday.

The musical is based on Roald Dahl's tale, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."

The musical is directed and choreographed by Waggoner Road Middle School general music teacher Kelly Gootee. The cast includes 70 fifth- and sixth-grade students.

Gootee said she chose the story because it's a fun show and familiar to the audience as well as being attractive and exciting for the students to perform.

"There are so many different characters and we have a lot of talented actors and actresses at the school that I thought could really add to the characters," she said.

Gootee said the cast has been rehearsing three days a week since February.

With help from parents and faculty members, students created many of the colorful stage props themselves; others were donated by Scott Moore from Pickerington High School.

In the play, Willy Wonka hosts five kids who won a tour of his chocolate factory with the chance for one to win the top prize of becoming an employee.

Willy Wonka is played by fifth-grader Andrew Bickert. The five children are: Charlie Bucket, played by sixth-grade student Evan Durkin; Augustus Gloop, played by fifth-grade student Justice Sunderland; Veruca Salt, played by fifth-grader Sydney McGlone; Violet Beauregarde. played by sixth-grader Jasmine Jester; and Mike Teavee, played by fifth-grade student Marshone Garland.

Music featured in the show includes classics such as "The Candy Man" and "Pure Imagination," plus three new songs, "I Eat More," "Chew It" and "The Burping Song," written by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley

dowen@thisweeknews.com