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Children's Theater sweetening the summer for kids

The Shafter Children's Summer Theater group is preparing to put on their production of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" late this month, bringing the entertaining classic to real life in Shafter.

The production will be featured from July 28-30, with performances Friday, Saturday and Sunday night beginning at 7 p.m. Prices are $15 each.

The production features a cast of veterans, with the majority of the players having experience in past efforts. Camryn Yasenchak will take on the title role of Willy Wonka, with Archie Dransoff playing the role of Charlie Bucket, who finds one of the golden tickets hidden in five Wonka bars.

In the play, the five tickets are hidden in the candy bars, with the five winners getting to have a tour of Wonka's infamous chocolate factory. Rounding out the major players in the cast are Micah Neufeld as Grandpa Joe, Bailee Payne playing dual roles as Mrs. Gloop and the Candyman. Also pulling double duty is Caleb Kohler, who plays Augustus Gloop and Slugworth. For the part of Violet Beauregarde, the gum-popping brat, it is played by stage veteran Grace Givens. Givens was also a part of last year's production of "Seussical." Lauren Arambula is playing the part of Veruca Salt, and her father is played by Scott Olsen. Zori Rodriguez is taking on the role of Mike TeeVee, and Giulietta Scialabba plays his mother.

The play follows Buckett as he wins one of the golden tickets when he found it in a bar of chocolate. Enigmatic candy maker Willy Wonka uses the contest to give five lucky kids a free tour of the factory, and a little surprise that is waiting for the last man standing on the tour.

The Shafter Children's Summer Theater is the creation of founder Cris Starrh, who was looking for something for her children to do during the summer. This was over 20 years ago, with the group getting bigger each year.

 

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