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Area youth to take the stage at Triple Locks Theater

| July 13, 2018

Grant Cullison, who plays Willy Wonka in the 2018 Footlight Players’ Summer Youth production, is pictured giving the audience background information for the next scene. Thirty area youth, ages 6 to 18 are part of the play. Josie Sellers | Beacon

COSHOCTON – Thirty children ages 6 to 18 are dedicating their summer to bringing “Willy Wonka” to life at the Triple Locks Theater.

“I love Willy Wonka,” said Shelly Lillibridge who is directing the play with Michelle Kittel. “It is one of my favorite movies and the great thing about this show is that it allows for a large cast and a lot of juicy roles.”

The 2018 Footlight Players’ Summer Youth Production tells the story of Charlie Bucket and his family’s wish to provide him with the chance to obtain a Golden Ticket to tour Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory and possibly win a lifetime supply of chocolate.

“It’s a fun filled ride with a circus of characters,” Lillibridge said. “There also are a lot of lessons to learn like not to be greedy.”

This is her 12th children’s production.

“It’s controlled chaos, but the kids are great,” Lillibridge said. “They are here to learn and have some fun or they wouldn’t have given their summer up for this. I love getting to see them grow up in the plays like Emily Kobel who was with us from the time she was 8 all the way through high school.”

There still is, however, a Kobel in this production. Bridget Kobel, Emily’s 10-year-old sister, plays Grandma Georgina, who is one of Bucket’s four grandparents.

“Her husband can’t hear so she is yelling at him all the time,” Bridget said. “She tries to be happy, but he makes her mad.”

Another one of the grandparents is portrayed by 17-year-old Graham Beaumont, who fills the role of Grandpa Joe.

“He’s bright, happy and tries to think positive,” Beaumont said. “He spends a lot of the show with Charlie because he used to work at Willy Wonka’s.”

This is Beaumont’s fourth summer youth production.

“I like taking on different characters,” he said.

Ten year old Paris Peterson has two roles in the play, one of which is being an Oompa-Loompa.

“I went and saw ‘Rudolph the Red Noses Reindeer’ in Columbus,” she said. “I saw how good of a job they did with it and decided I wanted to be in a play too. My brother ended up being in this one too. I’ve liked getting to meet new people and it’s given me something else to do during the summer.”

Mrs. Beauregarde is played by Katie Collins, who is 14.

“I’m the mom of the bratty child Violet,” she said. “It wasn’t who I originally wanted to be, but after I was offered it and read the script I decided I liked her personality.”

This is Collins’ third summer youth production and she encouraged the public to come see it.

“You definitely won’t be disappointed,” she said.

Performances will be held at 2 p.m. July 22 and July 29 and at 8 p.m. July 19-21 and July 26-28. Tickets are $12 for adults and $7 for children and can be ordered online at www.footlightplayers.com or by calling 740-622-2959.

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Category: Arts & Entertainment

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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