Director was willing to share 'Chocolate' with young actors

Kendrick Brinson/Staff
Zackary Jackson plays Willy Wonka in the Augusta Players Youth Theatre's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

When the curtain rises Friday for the Augusta Players Youth Theatre's production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, more than just the play will be debuting.

"It's my first play with the youth theater and my first time directing, so it's like I'm coming onstage in my own way," director Rebecca Brune said.

Though Ms. Brune gave the young actors artistic guidance during rehearsals, they also shared their ideas with her.

"I wanted this show to be theirs. They helped with things like the sets and the costumes," she said. "My main goal was to give them a well-rounded experience, on stage and behind the scenes."

Getting into character has been intriguing for the actors, Ms. Brune said.

"They've had fun with each of their characters, and that's important. While I want them to learn about theater, I want them to enjoy it, too," she said.

Zachary Jackson, 16, said he is looking forward to performing as Willy Wonka.

"I feel my character is crazy and goofy. He's like the eccentric genius," he said. "I'm kind of eccentric myself, so I'm having fun with this character. Every character I get is a part of my personality."

Christena Painter, 16, enjoys experimenting with her character, Ms. Beauregarde.

"It's fun to try out different voices with my character and see how involved I can get with the character," she said. "It's like being a different person."

Though many know the story of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the play is still going to be a pleasant experience, Ms. Brune said.

"It's full of magic, fun and candy," she said. "It's a fun show that all ages can enjoy."

Reach Nikasha Dicks at (706) 823-3336 or nikasha.dicks@augustachronicle.com.

IF YOU GO

WHAT: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday

WHERE: Monte Sano Elementary School, 2164 Richmond Ave.

COST: $12 adults; $10 seniors and students; $8 ages 3-12

INFORMATION: (706) 826-4707

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