Dickson High School’s production of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is slated for Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and the cast has been hard at work perfecting their sugary show.
Director and vocal music teacher Thelesa Taylor said this is the first show she’s directed. She took over the position from previous teacher Lisa Riggle this year. She said the show is a bit more technically demanding than previous shows, requiring her and the students to think outside the box.
“The most difficult thing to figure out was the fizzy-lifting drink scene, but we finally figured something out,” Taylor said. “It’s been a time-consuming, demanding show for all the kids. Their characters are coming alive, and they’re doing fantastic.”
The stage play borrows from the 1971 Gene Wilder film as well as the original book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Seth Jones, a senior, plays Finneas Trout, a composite character that was created for the stage version.
“In the movie, they have various news reporters and in the show, they condense that into one role, and that’s me,” Jones said. “I call football games and do announcements, and that’s kind of the same way of talking, but getting the character is something I had to work on. I think I’ve done pretty well.”
Kaylee Evans, who plays Mrs. Bucket, learned how to apply makeup to make herself look the part.
“I’ve always kind of been motherly, that’s just me,” Evans said. “I’m the mom friend. That part hasn’t been that hard for me. The makeup was a challenge. I’m 18 and I have to make myself look 30-to-40. We do our own makeup and we built our own set. This show has a lot of personality and stagework put into it.”
Hannah Mitts, a freshman, is playing Veruca Salt. She said she had to work at finding the proper level of brattiness for the character.  
“It was really hard at first, trying to get that bratty attitude, because she’s not always bratty, she’s a bit suck-up,” Mitts said. “She plays nice until she doesn’t get what she wants. You put a little bit of ‘you’ in the character. I’m sure everyone’s been a little brat at some point in their lives, so I try to put a little bit of that into it.”
Garrett Larson, another senior, is playing Wonka. He said the lead role is a dynamic one, requiring him to go from funny and charming to sarcastic, whimsical or almost creepy without breaking character.
“He’s the ringmaster of the whole show, it’s just a fun role,” Larson said. “There’s so many different parts to him. It’s a real stretch. I’ve played different aspects of Willy Wonka, I played Captain Hook a few years ago, and then I played Walter in Elf and freshman year I played Pinocchio. So, having that past experience, I’m blending it all together into this one character.”