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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Cottonwood Heights community showed off musical talent in ‘Willy Wonka’ begins plans for next year

Dec 02, 2022 12:28PM ● By Jolene Croasmun

By Jolene Croasmun | [email protected]

This past summer Cottonwood Heights Arts Council put on the musical, “Willy Wonka.” Many residents look forward to the yearly musical. This summer’s musical was a sweet production with many folks obtaining a golden ticket to see Charlie and the chocolate factory.

The musical was held at Butler Middle School theatre which has seating for 1,000 plus a state-of-the-art sound and lighting system. Cottonwood Heights has a contract with the middle school and there were as many as nine shows that included matinees in mid-July.

Auditions for “Willy Wonka'' started in March and rehearsals began in spring. “We hold open auditions for anyone and they do not need to be Cottonwood Heights residents. We had people coming from all over the state to audition,” said Tammy Ross, an Arts Council board member.

When asked if residents of the community have an advantage over nonresidents Ross said, “We like to give Cottonwood Heights residents auditioning for the same part, the advantage over others auditioning.”

Ross added, “If all things were equal, this would be our tipping point.”

“The room was full for ‘Willy Wonka’ and we did call backs and then filtered out a little with the entire production team,” Ross said. Everyone is a volunteer except the production staff.

For “Willy Wonka” they had auditions for those 5 years old and up. “We want to include as many members of our community in the production,” Ross said. 

Ross previously owned a theatre in Midvale and is the Cottonwood Heights theatre liaison. She is on the production team for the community musical. Actors do not need to be experienced and they will cast all ages. “We feel it was important to give the actor the ability to learn how to perform,” Ross said.

Cottonwood Heights Cultural Manager Ann Eatchel said, “Not all actors are experienced. The last play we had a lady and her child that were inexperienced but were in the musical and they were amazing.”

The musical has live music with an orchestra. “The gentleman that does the Aspen Winds is the musical director,” Eatchel said.

The Cottonwood Heights Arts Council had not announced the 2023 summer musical as of press time.