GONZALES — Gonzales Unified School District students and community members are coming together to put on a production of “Willy Wonka Jr.”

“Willy Wonka Jr.” is a theater production made up of students from grades K-12 from Gonzales and the surrounding areas.

Director Emily Rios and Co-Director Cybele Foraker are working on the second play production in Gonzales. Last year the duo worked on “Annie Jr.”

“It was a smash,” Rios said. “We sold out all four shows, so this year we added two more shows and upped our tickets prices.”

Gracie Leon portrays Mrs. Gloop, the mother to August Gloop and said she was excited to play Mrs. Gloop because she is a helicopter mom. “Willy Wonka Jr.” marks the second play Leon has participated in.

Taking on the role of Willy Wonka, himself, is Joshua Aguirre. The production is the second play for Aguirre.

“I wanted to do this play because I really enjoy acting and I want it to be my career,” said Aguirre.

Charlie Bucket, from the Roald Dahl’s 1964 children’s novel will be Andrew Castillo. Castillo enjoys playing his character because he is always positive even when circumstances aren’t great, he still looks at the bright side.

No production of “Willy Wonka” would be complete without the Oompa Loompas. Aaron Castillo, Andrew’s younger brother, plays one of the orange small humans along with 6-year-old Alexssa Sandoval, one of the youngest cast members.

“I really feel connected to an Oompa Loompa,” Aaron Castillo said. “Because an Oompa Loompa is always happy and they’re never usually down.”

All the cast and crew efforts will be realized when the production hits the Gonzales High School Music Building Theater on March 2, 3, 9 and 10. Friday, March 2 and 9, performances begin at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, March 3, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, March 10, at 2 p.m.

This story was updated with the correct spelling of Alexssa Sandoval’s name.

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