Clear Space Theatre’s Spotlight on Young Performers troupe presents ‘Willy Wonka’ Nov. 9-11

November 2, 2018

What could be better than biting into a scrumptious candy bar? Why, finding a golden ticket inside, entitling one to a lifetime supply of candy! Oh, and a tour of the candy factory, too. 

To see who gets those golden tickets - and tours - join Clear Space Theatre’s Spotlight on Young Performers troupe the weekend of Friday though Sunday, Nov. 9-11, as they present Roald Dahl’s “Willy Wonka.”  Combining elements of Dahl’s book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and of the 1971 film “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,” it is the tale of five children – four of whom are exceedingly tiresome  who are competing to become a candy factory owner’s successor.   

Featuring Gavin Conner (Willy Wonka), Adrianna Powell (Veruca Salt), Wade Stout (Charlie Bucket), Daphne Branner (Violet Beauregarde), Jake Sanchez (Mike Teavee) and Trista Harner (Augusta Gloop), the fully-staged production is the culmination of the fall term of the Spotlight on Young Performers class. 

Conner spoke to the appeal of the show: “’Willy Wonka’ is full of unique and interesting characters! This is my biggest role at Clear Space - and that’s true for many of the other actors, too —so we’re getting a terrific chance to show what we can do.” Conner is relishing the challenges his own role presents. “Willy Wonka is constantly switching among so many personalities - it’s fun finding different mannerisms. He can go from charming to delusional to serious in a matter of seconds - it’s intriguing to play him!”

Powell, whose character is a wealthy, spoiled brat, also loves the show: “Of all the productions I’ve done at Clear Space, this one is unique because of its wild and crazy atmosphere and its liveliness - for both the actors and the audience! What I love most about my role is stepping out of my personality to take on Varuca’s - she’s a very bratty girl who wants her way all the time. I’m the total opposite, so it’s really fun!”

Both Conner and Powell, who have participated in various Clear Space’s Performing Arts Institute programs, expressed their enthusiasm for the experiences they have had. Says Conner, “Doing the classes and shows opened up a whole community to me! I wouldn’t trade it for anything.” Powell concurs, noting, “Trying new things means meeting new people - and the people you meet at Clear Space are so nice and welcoming! They truly make you feel like part of a family. For anyone who wants to start performing, I say – come to Clear Space! It’s the best thing you’ll ever join or do.”  

Sponsored by Fins Hospitality Group, “Willy Wonka” has Friday and Saturday eveningperformances at 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday matinee performances at 3 p.m. Tickets for all shows are $15, and may be purchased online at, or by calling the box office at 302-227-2270. 

Open by audition only, Spotlight on Young Performers is designed for advanced young performers in grades 4-12.  Classes meet every Saturday from 11 a.m. till 3 p.m.; scholarships are available. Auditions for the Spring 2019 term will be held late this year; watch for announcements at