Running the show: Student-led summer production of ‘Willy Wonka Junior’ starts June 26 - East Valley Tribune: Ahwatukee Foothills

Running the show: Student-led summer production of ‘Willy Wonka Junior’ starts June 26

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Posted: Wednesday, June 20, 2012 3:55 pm | Updated: 5:19 pm, Fri Jul 13, 2012.

Kyrene School District students will be on stage and behind the scenes for the summer production of “Willy Wonka Junior.”

The director of the summer program said one of the unique things about the performance will be that the students are in charge of virtually every aspect of the production. They have been working on building and dressing the sets as well as the songs and scenes with the help of three supervisors.

“The difference between this production and others is that everything is student run,” said Jenefer Miller, director and choreographer.

The cast and crew of 60 students started on June 4 and will be working up until the first show, which takes place on Tuesday, June 26. There are two shows open to the public, Tuesday and Wednesday, June 26 and June 27, both start at 7 p.m.

Being in control of how the sets come out is both exhilarating and scary at the same time, the students said.

“It’s kind of nerve-wracking,” Fernanda Contreras, 14, said. “The show kind of depends on us and the actor’s depend on us to put together a good set.”

But with that extra responsibility comes a bigger payoff and more involvement. At the beginning of the program, the students said they had the opportunity to choose whether to join the acting side or the production side. For some, the creativity behind set dressing was what ultimately swayed their decision.

“It’s fun because it brings out our artistic ability,” Armando Morales, 11, said. “They give us a lot of freedom on how we put the sets together.”

Andrew De Valk from Desert Vista High School is doing vocals for the production while Sherrie Cantor is doing costumes and sets.

The summer program runs for four hours each day at Kyrene Akimel A-al Middle School, 2720 E. Liberty Lane.

Tickets can be purchased before the show or online at www.Kyrene.org. Tickets are $8.

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