Willy Wonka AKA “The Set Designer Graveyard”

Written by Adrian Cohen
We’re right in the middle of online summer theatre camps and I’ve been thinking about Willy Wonka which is our third two- week 10-14 yrs camp July 13th-24th. The online version will not have to deal with the one consistent nightmare this show always brings up: the set. And the show has become known as the Set Designer Graveyard, because a company will often lose a set designer after they’ve attempted this show. It’s all about the big reveal of the factory and trying to live up to the music and the anticipation of this amazing chocolate factory- all on a very limited budget. You’ve already spent most of your allocated funds on the Bucket house and the grandparents big bed. Then half way through the story, the “Pure Imagination” theme swells, the curtains slowly open to show four painted boxes, a piece of brown fabric, and no moving parts. “I need moving parts” cries the director, that’s when the set designer starts twitching. 
Without this issue the show’s a tremendous amount of fun, if only we could figure out a way to not give the set designers a nervous breakdown. Hold on, we do: put the theatre camp online! We hope to see you there!