Auditions set for ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’

Rachel Jamieson, Havre Daily News

Rachel Jamieson, Havre Daily News

Montana Actors’ Theatre is holding auditions Sunday, Feb. 23, and Monday, Feb. 24, for its production of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

The auditions begin at 6 p.m. each night in the Little Theatre in Cowan Hall on the Montana State University-Northern campus.

“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” will be directed by MAT veteran directors Kate Hagen and Rachel Hutchison.

“We are going to need a whole plethora of adults, youth and older children in order to make this work,’’ Hutchison said. “Some of it will depend on who comes as to what the mix and match will be, but we are anticipating about six adults, five to eight youth and then 10 to 12 kids, middle school and up preferably.”

She said one thing that is going to be different with this production is all the children in this show will be played by adults and the adults are going to be played by children except for the characters of Uncle Joe, Willy Wonka and Charlie Bucket, who will be their correct age.

Hagen said she chose to direct this play because this is one of her favorite books, which she also reads to her class at Sunnyside Intermediate School.

“It’s so much fun for the entire family, and I think after we (Hutchison and Hagen) worked together on ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ last year, which was so much fun for the whole family, we really wanted to do something else,” she said.

“We got a really amazing set designer on board this time. We have been working really hard on logistics for this show, and it really is going to be a ‘wow’ experience,” Hutchison said. “We are excited.”

Hagen said the script of this production will be based off much of the Ronald Dahl book, but adding in some things from the original 1971 movie.

“If you’ve seen the movie you’ll get it; if you’ve read the book you’ll get it,” she said.

“We are staying as true to the original story as possible, but there will be some music that people will recognize, the Oompa Loompas will look familiar,” Hutchison added. “The Oompa Loompas are puppets, so anyone who has ever wanted to try their hand at puppeteering should come and audition. That’s going to be really fun.”

She said the production will also have original music written for the Oompa Loompas.

Hutchison and Hagen offered tips on what they are looking for at auditions.

“Come in comfortable clothing and just be prepared to be creative. We always do a read of some of the lines in the show, but mostly we want to know can you portray a character on stage,” Hutchison said. “So if you come prepared to laugh, smile and have a good time you’re ready.”

“It’s going to be about how much fun can you have up there,” Hagen said. “I love this story so much and I’m looking forward to when the show opens — the audiences reactions to some of the things we have planned.”

The production will premiere Thursday, April 23, at 7 p.m. and will run until the last weekend of April.

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