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News and Notes

Penn Yan Wins Golden Ticket with Summer Youth Production

Penn Yan Theatre Company (PYTCo) Youth will transport Penn Yan to a “world of pure imagination” with their production of Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka JR., a musical based on Roald Dahl’s timeless children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, on July 28, 29 and 30, 2023.


In Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka JR., a world-famous reclusive candy man named Willy Wonka announces that he will offer the tour of the lifetime through his secret chocolate factory to five children who find a golden ticket in one of his world-famous candy bars. One ticket-holder will also win a lifetime supply of chocolate. Against all odds, an impoverished but sweet-natured boy named Charlie Bucket wins a golden ticket. He and his fellow tour members spend a day traveling with the mysterious and marvelous Willy Wonka and his crew of Oompa Loompas through the fantastical factory. The children encounter marvelous sights and tastes along the way, including giant nut-selecting squirrels, fizzy lifting drinks, Everlasting Gobstoppers, and a chocolate river. But each stop proves to be a test, as only one can go on to win the Wonka prize.

“It takes tremendous imagination to communicate the whimsy and wonder of Willy Wonka’s factory, and it requires great sensitivity to deliver the musical’s key message on the importance of good character,” says Dusty Baker, PYTCo Youth Theatre Summer Camp Director. “We want to applaud the Willy Wonka JR. cast and crew and hope our audience will outnumber all the Oompa Loompas in Willy Wonka’s factory,” he adds.


Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka JR. is adapted for the stage by Leslie Bricusse and Timothy Allen McDonald. The show features lyrics and music by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley, including beloved songs “The Candy Man,” “I Want It Now!”, and “Pure Imagination” from the classic film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

“I’ll always be thankful to my third grade teacher, Mrs. Tompkins, who introduced me to the joys of reading by giving me a Roald Dahl book,” says Baker. “These students are playing a similar role by showing their peers how wonderful reading and theatre can be through their production.” he adds.

Penn Yan will have its own tour of Willy Wonka’s secret factory when PYTCo Youth presents Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka JR. on July 28 & 29 at 7:00 and July 30 at 2:00 at Penn Yan Academy (305 Court St., Penn Yan). Golden tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students & seniors. For more information please visit ticket information pytco.org/shows.


Additionally, PYTCo Youth have teamed up with the amazing folks at the Keuka Candy Emporium to offer a one-of-a-kind “Keuka Loompa Bar” special. Stacey and Becky Ingerick and their team of chocolatiers have hand-labeled 2,500 of these bars with 5 of them containing a golden ticket similar to that of Wonka’s competition. These five golden tickets are good for a free ticket to PYTCo Youth’s production. Bars can be purchased at the Keuka Candy Emporium between now and the production or by contacting a member of the cast.


Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka JR. is presented through special arrangement with and all authorized materials are supplied by Music Theatre International 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY, (212) 541-4684, mtishows.com.

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