Oompa-Loompas Hit SOU Stage

Be prepared to see an Oompa-Loompa with your very own eyes and witness Violet blowing up into a blueberry.  The hunt for the “golden ticket” and the exciting events that follow will be available for your viewing pleasure right here at SOU.  The Department of Performing Arts theatrical presentation of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” opens on Saturday, Feb. 22, at 7 p.m. at the Center Square Theatre on campus.

The play is based on the classic children’s novel written by Roald Dahl in 1964.  For those unfamiliar with the story, it follows a young boy named Charlie Bucket and his quest to find one of five golden tickets, concealed in candy wrappers, which are the way into an exclusive tour of the candy factory.  Unbeknownst to the children, eccentric candy-maker Willy Wonka opens his elaborate factory filled with chocolate waterfalls and rivers, among many other wonderful things. On the journey are many life lessons and tremendous fun!

Guest director Alina Cenal brings a myriad of experience in film, television, and theater.  She is the director of Kids Acting Out-West in Ventura County, Calif., founded in 1997, where she produces and directs over twenty shows a year.  Cenal has directed over 250 plays and musicals in her career, including “Grease” and “Beauty and the Beast”, and has made appearances on “The Shield” and “Diagnosis Murder”.  She is excited to work with a talented group of SOU students and enjoys this play in particular because it has the ability to make children laugh.

“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” was made into 2 major motion pictures. The first featured Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka in 1971, and was later played by Johnny Depp in the 2005 production.  The musical premiered at West End’s Theatre Royal, Drury Lane (Westminster, London) in May of 2013 and opened on June 25.

The play runs Friday and Saturday, Feb. 21-22, Feb. 28-March 1, and March 7-8 at 7 p.m. Saturday Feb. 22, March 1, and March 8 also have 2 p.m. matinee showings, as do Sunday March 2 and March 9. Tickets are $21 regular admission, $18 senior, and $6 students.  With the purchase of three or more plays, prices drop to $17 regular admission and $15 for seniors. You can purchase your tickets with a credit card by calling 541-552-6348 or online at sou.edu/performingarts.  The performing arts box office is located in the lobby of the Theatre Arts building and is open Monday through Friday from noon to 6 p.m. and also two hours before each performance.