Willy Wonka Jr.
adapted for the stage by Leslie Bricusse and Timothy A. McDonald
lyrics and music by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley
based on the book, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" by Roald Dahl
Resident Set Designer/Technical Director
Lynda J. Kwallek
Production Stage Manager
Assistant Stage Manager
Eliah Boles (Young Ensemble) is delighted to be making his debut with the Arkansas Repertory Theatre! He is a Los Angeles native who is now a vibrant 4th grader attending Maumelle Charter where he has appeared in a number of school productions. Eliah also loves reading, soccer, creating comic books, and is always prepared with a hilarious joke!
Sela Booher (Featured Dancer) is thrilled to be dancing her way onto the Rep’s stage. Sela takes dance at Shuffles and Ballet II and has performed with Murry’s Dinner Playhouse, The Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre, The Weekend Theatre, and Ballet Arkansas. Her film credits include Critter and Tree. Sela is a proud member of Little Rock’s only teen improv troupe, Armadillo Rodeo!
Adelaide Bricker (Young Ensemble) is ready to hit the stage with her dimpled smile and bright personality! Willy Wonka Jr. is her debut role at The Rep. Past roles include: Jack in the Box, Baby Dinosaur, and Chihuahua at various school productions. Adelaide would like to thank all those who have encouraged her imagination and cheered her on.
Collin Carlton (Charlie Bucket) is thrilled to have the incredible opportunity to perform for the first time at The Rep. Collin is in the 5th grade at Pulaski Academy. He has recently performed in James and the Giant Peach, Jr. (James) and in A Christmas Story (Schwartz). Collin would like to thank his family and friends for all of their support and encouragement. He would also like to thank Anna Kimmell, Leslie Harper, and Bridget Davis for their patience, expertise and belief in him.
Chaelie DeJohn (Featured Dancer) is a junior at Pulaski Academy and thrilled to be in this production! Credits include The Theory of Relativity (Dance Captain, Ensemble), Midsummer…(Cobweb), The Addams Family (Dance Captain/Ensemble), Lion King Jr., and Aladdin Jr. Chaelie has danced for 14 years, currently at Shuffles and Ballet II and on PA’s Spirit Squad Pom Team. Before moving to Arkansas, Chaelie was in productions with Mid City Dance Project and Baton Rouge Little Theater. She is active in Younglife and volunteers for Arkansas Children’s Hospital.
Emilea Derden (Young Ensemble) is thrilled to be part of the cast of Willy Wonka Jr. She also played Little FiFi at the Rep’s Saints and Sinners Gala. Emilea would like to thank Ms. Anna and others from Education at the Rep for their encouragement and providing a place for her to grow. A very special thanks to her parents and brother.
Chelsea Elise Franklin
Chelsea Elise Franklin (Young Ensemble) is an honor student at Don Roberts Elementary School where she is a member of the History Club. Currently she is enrolled in dance at Shuffles and Ballet II and studies theatre at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre. Chelsea enjoys reading and watching Netflix with her dad.
Ensemble/Mr. Bucket US/Mr. Salt US
Robert Gatlin (Ensemble/Mr. Bucket US/Mr. Salt US) is beyond thrilled to be apart of Willy Wonka Jr. This is his first performance for the Arkansas Repertory Theatre. He hopes you enjoy the show and that you cheer him on the loudest, even though you probably won’t. We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.
Jacob Grinder (Augustus Gloop) is proud to be joining the cast of Willy Wonka Jr. The 8th grader at Sylvan Hills Middle School enjoys playing percussion in band and singing in choir. He attended All-Region Choir this year and is in the Odyssey of the Mind program. He loves playing video games with friends and telling jokes.
Izzy Hammonds (Mrs. Bucket) is excited to be in her first MainStage production at The Rep. Past credits include Parade (Monteen), Violet (Young Violet), Newsies (Specs), West Side Story (Anybodys), Romeo & Juliet (Juliet), and Sweeney Todd (Ensemble). Izzy is also part of The Rep’s Teen Ensemble. She thanks Anna for this opportunity and hopes you enjoy the show!
Amaya Hardin (Featured Dancer), an 11th grade Pulaski Academy student, is a member of the choir and has appeared in productions of Theory of Relativity (Jenny), Addams Family (Alice), Lion King, Jr. (Rafiki), Antigone, Seussical, and Once Upon a Mattress. Amaya is also a part of The Rep’s Teen Ensemble and danced 12 years with the Centre for the DansArts.
Alex Harkins (Ensemble/Augustus US), a rising 8th grader at Holy Souls School, has appeared in more than 13 stage productions (since age 7). Favorite credits include Bridge to Terabithia (Jesse) and Beauty and the Beast (Chip) at The Studio Theatre. Film credits include regional commercials (Subaru and Dash Heating and Air) and a national promotion for the American Taekwondo Association. Alex loves to sing, paint, and travel. He’s studied with the Arkansas Art Center, Summer Musical Theatre Institute, Summer at the Rep, and ACTing Up at Argenta Community Theatre. Alex wants to thank his family and friends for their continuing support!
Emla Holsted (Mrs. Beauregarde) is thrilled to be a part of the Willy Wonka Jr. cast. She is a member of The Rep’s Teen Ensemble. Emla recently performed in Les Miserables as Madame Thenardier with Red Curtain Theatre. Other credits include Fame (Iris Kelley), Alice In Wonderland(Tall Alice) and Elf Jr. (Macy’s Manager) with Red Curtain Theatre, Tuck Everlasting (Ensemble) with The Studio Theatre and The Music Man (Ensemble) with Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre.
Phineous Trout/Wonka US
Jackson Karl (Phineous Trout/Wonka US) is thrilled to return to The Rep’s stage after last performing as Flick in A Christmas Story. Other credits include Really Rosie (Summer Musical Theatre Institute at Arkansas Rep); The Music Man (Winthrop), Midsummer…, The Winter’s Tale, and Fiddler on The Roof at Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre; Newsies (Crutchie) at Argenta Community Theatre; and Les Miserables (Marius) at Red Curtain Theatre. Jackson thanks the creative team and staff at The Rep for their continuous support of young artists in central Arkansas. Jacksonkarl.weebly.com.
Tania Renée Kelley
Tania Renée Kelley (Veruca) has been a part of the amazing Arkansas Repertory Theatre for five years. Tania is a rising junior at Little Rock Central High School. Credits include Sister Act (Delores Van Cartier) and Bring It On (Nautica). Tania performed as Puccini’s cousin in Opera In The Rock’s May 2019 production of Madama Butterfly. She is a part of 4H of Pulaski County of Little Rock and sang the national anthem at the Washington Nationals Baseball game in 2018.
Young Ensemble/Charlie US
Lauren Lasseigne (Young Ensemble/Charlie US), age 11, first took the stage at age six as Gretl in The Sound of Music at The Weekend Theater. Since then, she’s performed in Annie (Molly) and Karski’s Message (Sarah) at The Weekend Theater, A Christmas Carol and Wind and Rain (Ruth) at Argenta Community Theater, and ACANSA’s 10-Minute Play Fest. Film credits include The Birthday Bully and Vilomah. Lauren has trained at The Rep for 3 years and is thankful to Anna Kimmell and The Rep staff for believing in her.
Caitlyn Olivia Luna
Caitlyn Olivia Luna (Grandma Josephine), 16 years old, is honored to be in her first production on The Rep’s MainStage. She is in her junior year being homeschooled and starts college in the fall. Her past productions include Annie, The King and I, and Lion King Jr. She wants to thank her family, friends, and this amazing theatre community. She is thankful to Anna for this opportunity and is grateful to be a part of Cliff Baker’s legacy.
Chloe Grace Luna
Chloe Grace Luna (Ensemble/Trout US), 14 years old, is extremely honored to make her debut on The Rep’s MainStage. A homeschooled freshman, whose love for theatre started at a young age, her productions include The King and I and Lion King Jr. (Rafiki). She personally wants to thank the theater community, friends, and family. She’s incredibly grateful to Anna for this opportunity and honored to a part of Cliff Baker’s legacy.
Betsy McClure (Young Ensemble) attends The Anthony School and is a competitive gymnast at Increased Heights Gymnastics. She loves participating in her school drama department and starred as Annie in Annie Kids. She attended the Junior Theater Festival in Atlanta with her school, playing Young Fiona in Shrek. Betsy is excited and honored to perform in The Rep’s production of Willy Wonka Jr.!
Taylor Moore (Ensemble/Violet US) is 13 years old and is going into 8th grade at Christ the King. This is her first performance at The Rep and she is so excited to be a part of this fabulous production and to have an opportunity to work with Anna Kimmell. Previous credits include Elf at Murry’s Dinner Playhouse, Cinderella at The Royal Theatre, and Bridge to Terabithia at The Studio Theatre.
Charlie Mulhollan (Young Ensemble) is thrilled to be performing in The Rep’s production of Willy Wonka, Jr! He is 11 years old and a 6th grader at The Anthony School. Charlie has been in every school play, and has taken classes at The Rep. He also enjoys playing basketball for his school team. Charlie thanks his parents and brother for all their support.
Isabella Nguyen (Violet Beauregarde), age 12, is thrilled to make her debut at The Rep! Favorite past credits include: Newsies (Finch), Amahl and the Night Visitors (Amahl), Annie (Tessie), Once on This Island (Little Ti Moune), Shrek The Musical (Ugly Duckling), White Christmas (Susan), and The Sound of Music (Marta). Isabella would like to thank Anna Kimmell for this wonderful opportunity and her family and friends for their love and support! @theisabellanguyen
Jesse Niswanger (Grandpa Joe) is thrilled to make his MainStage debut at The Rep! A junior at Pulaski Academy, Jesse is fully involved in school productions such as Theory of Relativity (Adam), A Midsummer’s Night Dream (Egeus), Antigone (Chorus), and The Addams Family (ASM). He is also a member of The Rep’s Teen Ensemble. Jesse’s other passion is music and he is a part of the PA Upper School Band and Jazz Band. In addition to playing several instruments, he also writes and arranges music.
Cabe Parrish (Mrs. Gloop) is excited to be making her debut on The Rep’s MainStage. Credits include Midsummer’s Night Dream (Titania ) and The Addams Family (Morticia) at Mount Saint Mary Academy. Cabe is part of The Rep’s Teen Ensemble. She would like to thank everyone involved in this production! Geniessen Sie die Vorstellung! (Enjoy the show!)
Caroline Perry (Featured Dancer) is beyond excited to be in the cast of Willy Wonka Jr.! Some of her favorite roles include James and the Giant Peach Jr. (Ladahlord) at Pulaski Academy and Newsies (Pickles) at Argenta Community Theater. She has performed with The Rep’s summer programs, and she attends the Official Ballet School of Rock City Dance Center. She would like to thank her friends, family, and Ms. Anna and Mr. Mark for this wonderful opportunity!
Corbin Pitts (Mike Teavee) is thrilled to be cast in Willy Wonka Jr.! Regional: The America Project(Off-Broadway Wksp-NYC), The Music Man in Concert (Broadway National Tour – Winthrop). Arkansas Rep: Project Elan, Mary Poppins (US Michael), & Elf. Murry’s Dinner Playhouse: Elf(Michael), The Nerd (Thor). Argenta Community Theater: Newsies (Les), During Wind and Rain (Frierson), Mrs. Miniver (Toby), A Christmas Carol, & Jesus Christ Superstar. TV/Film: HBO’s True Detective Season 3 (Mike Ardoin), Catch-Em Lane, & 20+ films. www.corbinpitts.com
Featured Dancer/Dance Captain
Grace Pitts (Featured Dancer/Dance Captain) is happy to perform again at The Rep! Regional: The America Project (Off Broadway Wksp-NYC). Arkansas Rep: Elf, Mary Poppins (US Jane), Project Elan, Teen Ensemble. Argenta Community Theater: A Chorus Line (Bebe), Big River (Mary Jane), The Secret Garden (Mary), Fiddler… (Bielke), Mrs. Miniver (Judy), Jesus Christ Superstar, A Christmas Carol. The Studio Theatre: Into The Woods (Little Red). NLRHS: Seussical (Mayzie), The Little Mermaid (Flounder), Mirth & Mayhem (Vicky), A Delightful Quarantine (Jennifer). TV/Film: HBO’s True Detective Season 3, The Left Turn, & 14 films. www.gracejpitts.com
Will Porter (Willy Wonka), age 15, is excited to make his debut at the Arkansas Repertory Theater in this classic show. Some of his favorite credits include Newsies (Jack Kelly) and Big River (Tom Sawyer) at Argenta Community Theater, and Tom Sawyer the Musical (Huck Finn) and 13 the Musical (Evan Goldman) at the Royal Theater in Benton. Offstage interests include chess, piano, and youth worship team.
Alexandra Powell (Grandma Georgina) is a sophomore at Mount St. Mary Academy. She is a member of The Rep’s Teen Ensemble and has participated in their summer musical theatre camps, Summer Cabaret and Conservatory. She spent 3 summers with Arkansas Arts Center’s Summer Theatre Academy. Credits include school productions of The Addams Family (Ensemble) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (make-up artist), and multiple roles in Ballet Arkansas’ Nutcracker Ballet.
Ensemble/Mrs. Bucket US/Ms. Teavee US
Emily Pyron (Ensemble/Mrs. Bucket US/Ms. Teavee US) is thrilled to return to The Rep’s MainStage. A junior at Central High School, Emily has performed in local productions since 3rd grade. Favorite credits include Fiddler on the Roof (Chava) and Annie (Duffy). She is a member of The Rep’s Teen Ensemble and has participated The Rep’s summer conservatory for the last three years. She’d like to thank her family, her voice teacher Claire, and Anna and Mark for giving her this opportunity.
Anna Reynolds (Ms. Teavee) is delighted to make her Rep debut! She has previously appeared in Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre’s productions of Merry Wives of Windsor, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Music Man, and King Henry IV: Part One, as well as in Rapunzel at the Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre. She would like to thank her parents, brother, and Ms. Anna for all the support and love.
William Romain (Mr. Bucket), 15, attends Little Rock Central High School. William has participated in productions at The Anthony School, with roles such as Donkey in Shrek, Daddy Warbucks in Annie, and Yertle the Turtle in Seussical. William was also a part of the first cast to perform Matilda Jr., Junie B. Jones Jr., and Hans Christian Anderson Jr., through the 52nd Street Project in New York City.
Featured Dancer/Veruca US
Melody Small (Ensemble/Veruca US/Grandma Georgina US/Grandma Josephina US), 14, is thrilled to be back on The Rep’s MainStage after her last performance as Helen in A Christmas Story. Active in community and professional theatre for three years, Melody has also performed at Murry’s Dinner Playhouse, Wildwood Park for the Arts, Benton Royal, and as a featured soloist accompanied by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra at Robinson Center.
Young Ensemble/James/Mike US
Miles Tillemans (Young Ensemble/James/Mike US) is excited to make his debut at the Rep in Willy Wonka Jr. He attends The Anthony School and takes classes with Education at the Rep. Previous acting credit includes Aladdin (Aladdin), The Wizard of Oz (Tin Man), and Beauty and the Beast (Lumiere). Miles was also honored with the role of Sam, in an award-winning short film, The Birthday Bully, by Kennedy Jordan.
Magnolia Vincent (Young Ensemble/Matilda), 10, is proud to be performing with The Rep for the first time. Other credits include Jaq in Cinderella (Royal Theater) and Pig #3 in Law & Order: Fairytale Unit (CastNCrew). Magnolia loves to sing, dance, and make her own movies. She thanks Ms. Anna for this opportunity and hopes you enjoy this production!
Walt Wenger (Young Ensemble) is thrilled to be making his debut at the Rep! Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is one of his favorite books so being a part of this production means a lot to him. Walt’s theater credits include: Tike and Moppet, The Wizard of Oz, and Elf. Walt was last seen as Young Wilbur in Charlotte’s Web at the Arkansas Arts Center.
Nate Westerman (Featured Dancer) is excited to make his debut with The Rep. Previous experiences include The Lion King (Timon), Love and Broadway, and Hello Dolly at Red Curtain Theatre and Annie Get Your Gun (Lil’ Jake) at Central Baptist College. He is a Company Dancer at Sonshine Academy and trains in tap, jazz/musical theatre, hip hop, contemporary and ballet. Nate’s hobbies include photography, dancing, and spending time with friends.
Grant Wild (Mr. Salt) is ecstatic to be making his return to the Arkansas Repertory Theatre stage. He last performed in their production of A Christmas Story as Schwartz. He has also acted in multiple Episcopal Collegiate School productions such as The Secret Garden (Colin) and has worked on many films and other projects. Grant would like to thank everyone who has given him this opportunity and continues to support him.
Grandpa George/Grandpa Joe US
Lucas Bachus (Grandpa George/Grandpa Joe US), from North Little Rock, recently discovered theatre is the perfect avenue to express his bright, fun, and sometimes goofy personality. Lucas participates in many school activities including Dance Troupe, North Little Rock Forensics team, and International Thespian Society. Credits include; The Little Mermaid (Sebastian), Mirth & Mayhem (George), and Seussical The Musical (Thing #2). Along with acting and dancing, Lucas enjoys enjoy gourmet cooking and drawing.