Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka TYA
Roald Dahl's timeless story of the world-famous candy man and his quest to find an heir comes to chocolate-covered life. (One-Act Version)
This title is ONLY available for amateur groups to license and ONLY in North America.
Show Essentials
13
Roles
+ Ensemble
G
Rated
1
Act

Full Synopsis

Willy Wonka introduces himself to the audience as the greatest candy maker in the world ("Pure Imagination"), explaining that he has a problem: it's time for him to retire, but who can replace him? Who will make new candy dreams come true?

Willy Wonka gathers all the Oompa-Loompas to announce his retirement and the search for the perfect "bright spark" of a child to replace him ("Golden Age of Chocolate").

Meanwhile, Charlie Bucket lives in a tiny shack with his family. They are very, very poor. Mr. Bucket asks Charlie to go out and see if anyone is done with the newspaper. As Charlie goes out, he sees children waiting outside of his house with nickels in hand for the Candy Man. The only child without a nickel is Charlie. The Candy Man comes along with Wonka treats and offers Charlie a lollipop "on the house" ("The Candy Man"). Charlie asks the Candy Man for his newspaper and brings it home. As Charlie gives the paper to his father, Mr. Bucket reads in the newspaper that Mr. Willy Wonka is having a contest! Golden Tickets have been hidden in five bars of chocolate; the lucky people who find Golden Tickets will win a tour of the factory and a lifetime supply of chocolate.

Soon, Charlie learns the enormous eater, Augustus Gloop, has found the first Golden Ticket in Munich, Germany ("I Eat More"). The reporter, Phineous Trout, announces that Veruca Salt has found the second Golden Ticket in São Paulo, Brazil. Veruca's father assisted her search by having factory workers shell chocolate wrappers.

Saddened to hear that there are only three Golden Tickets left, Charlie heads home, finding his father with news that he has just lost his job at the toothpaste factory. Charlie tells his father to remain cheerful, even though times are tough ("Think Positive").

The next day is Charlie's birthday, and he receives a Wonka bar for his present... but no Golden Ticket is found. The family tunes in the radio, only to learn Violet Beauregarde, of Snellville, Georgia, has found the third Golden Ticket. Violet is a gum chewer who switched to chocolate in order to win the contest, but is now back to constantly chewing gum. Phineous Trout interrupts to announce that Mike Teavee, in Television City, California, has found the fourth Golden Ticket. Mike and his mother explain that the only thing they need is TV, the Internet and computer games ("I See it All on TV").

Annoyed with all of the bratty children winning Golden Tickets, the Bucket family turns off the radio. As everyone goes to sleep, Charlie asks Grandpa Joe, a Willy Wonka aficionado, to tell him a Willy Wonka story. Grandpa Joe replies that he has something better: another Wonka bar! Charlie opens it, but is disappointed to find no Golden Ticket inside. Grandpa Joe and Charlie's parents – who have overheard – tell him that it's not so bad ("Cheer Up, Charlie").

The city is blanketed in a deep snow when Charlie encounters the Candy Man on the way to school. Charlie finds a coin buried in the snow and asks the Candy Man if it belongs to him. The Candy Man rewards Charlie with a Wonka bar for being "such a good kid." The starving boy wolfs it down and then immediately purchases another Wonka bar, looks at it hopefully ("Think Positive – Reprise"). Sure enough, Charlie opens the candy bar and finds the final Golden Ticket ("I've Got a Golden Ticket")! He runs home to tell his family of his win. Mrs. Bucket realizes that the tour is today and sends Charlie off to the chocolate factory with a kiss ("At the Gates").

Wonka greets the five winners at the gates. Augustus asks Wonka how many rooms are in his factory, a number that Wonka isn't entirely sure he knows ("In This Room Here"). They begin their tour of the magical factory ("Factory Reveal Sequence"). They arrive at the Chocolate Smelling Room, where Wonka chills chocolate to the perfect temperature for dipping strawberries. Augustus cannot resist tasting the chocolate and falls into a vat of it, which hardens instantly like Magic Shell, trapping Augustus. The Oompa-Loompas remove Augustus and reveal the moral of eating too much ("Oompa-Loompa 1").

For the next part of the journey, Wonka escorts his guests on a pink boat that goes through a dark and scary tunnel ("There's No Knowing"). They arrive at the Inventing Room, where Violet is tempted by the Everlasting Gourmet Gobstopper. Wonka states that it isn't perfected yet and so it should not be chewed, but Violet ignores the statement ("Chew It"). She snatches one, chews it and swells like a giant blueberry. The Oompa-Loompas remove her and explain the hazards of children who chew gum too much ("Oompa-Loompa 2").

Charlie is separated from the group and discovers the Fizzy Lifting Drink. He tastes a bit of the drink and flies up into the sky ("Flying"). He notices, however, that he is about to be sucked in by a giant fan. Before he reaches it, though, Charlie burps and floats safely to the ground ("Burping Song"). He rejoins the group in the Nut Room, where Veruca demands a squirrel, a pink candy boat and an Oompa-Loompa ("I Want it Now!"). Veruca disappears down a trash chute that leads to the garbage incinerator, which may or may not be lit. The Oompa-Loompas discuss the moral of spoiled brats ("Oompa-Loompa 3").

With just Charlie and Mike left, the tour reaches the Choco-vision Room, where Mike meets his temptation and is shrunk to barely six inches tall. The Oompa-Loompas discuss the moral of too much TV and technology ("Oompa-Loompa 4").

At the conclusion of the tour, Charlie does something remarkable: he thanks Wonka for the tour, admitting to tasting the Fizzy Lifting Drink and breaking the rules. Wonka reveals the truth: that the tour was a test of character, and only Charlie has succeeded! Wonka proclaims Charlie as his successor; the four other Golden Ticket holders enter, now all the wiser as a result of their experiences that day. Charlie reenters, dressed exactly as Wonka, groomed to take over and invent new candy ("Finale").

Casting

Casting

Cast Size: Flexible Cast Size
Cast Type: Children
Dance Requirements: Standard

Character Breakdown

Willy Wonka
The mysterious title character. He is charming, enigmatic, charismatic, and slightly sinister. A chocolatier who guides children and their parents on a tour of his factory. He is looking for someone new to take over his candy empire. Optional Doubling as CANDY MAN and/or PHINEOUS TROUT/GUY POOR.
Gender: male
Age: 20 to 50
Vocal range top: F4
Vocal range bottom: G2
Candy Man
A local candy vendor. He leads the children in praising the joys of candy. Optional Doubling as WILLY WONKA and/or PHINEOUS TROUT/GUY POOR.
Gender: male
Age: 20 to 50
Vocal range top: D4
Vocal range bottom: A2
Charlie Bucket
Our story's shy, earnest protagonist. From a modest home life, he is humble and noncompetitive while maintaining a sense of wonder about the world. One of the Golden Ticket winners whose honesty and general good nature win Wonka over.
Gender: male
Age: 9 to 12
Vocal range top: G4
Vocal range bottom: G2
James
Charlie's school friend and a "Candy Man Kid." Optional doubling as AUGUSTUS GLOOP and/or ENSEMBLE.
Gender: male
Age: 9 to 12
Matilda
A bully at Charlie's school and a "Candy Man Kid." Optional doubling as VERUCA SALT and/or GRANDMA JOSEPHINA)
Gender: female
Age: 10 to 15
Grandpa Joe
A caring, patient, and kindhearted man. Loving Grandfather to Charlie Bucket. He accompanies Charlie to Willy Wonka's factory and it gives him a new burst of youthful vigor.
Gender: male
Age: 60 to 80
Vocal range top: F4
Vocal range bottom: Bb2
Mrs. Bucket
Charlie Bucket's nurturing mother. She is always trying to maintain an energetic positivity. Optional doubling as ENSEMBLE and/or MRS. GLOOP.
Gender: female
Age: 30 to 45
Vocal range top: F5
Vocal range bottom: Bb3
Mr. Bucket
Charlie Bucket's nurturing father. He is always trying to maintain an energetic positivity. Optional doubling as ENSEMBLE and/or MIKE TEAVEE.
Gender: male
Age: 30 to 45
Vocal range top: F4
Vocal range bottom: B2
Grandma Josephina
One of Charlie's caring grandparents. Optional doubling as ENSEMBLE and/or VERUCA SALT.
Gender: female
Age: 60 to 80
Grandma Georgina
One of Charlie's caring grandparents. Optional doubling as ENSEMBLE and/or VIOLET BEAUREGARDE
Gender: female
Age: 60 to 80
Grandpa George
One of Charlie's caring grandparents. Optional doubling as ENSEMBLE.
Gender: male
Age: 60 to 80
Guy Poor
A poor man who lives in Charlie's town. Optional doubling as WILLY WONKA and/or CANDY MAN/PHINEOUS TROUT.
Gender: male
Age: 20 to 50
Phineous Trout
A reporter covering the Golden Ticket story. Optional Doubling as WILLY WONKA and/or CANDY MAN/GUY POOR.
Gender: male
Age: 20 to 50
Vocal range top: F4
Vocal range bottom: B2
Augustus Gloop
A gluttonous German boy. Cheerful and jolly, he defines himself by his ability to eat mass quantities of food. One of the Golden Ticket winners whose constant overeating is enabled and encouraged by Mrs. Gloop. Optional doubling as JAMES and/or ENSEMBLE.
Gender: male
Age: 10 to 15
Vocal range top: G4
Vocal range bottom: B2
Mrs. Gloop
A plump, jolly german woman with a bustling personality. Augustus Gloop's overindulgent mother. Optional doubling as ENSEMBLE and/or MRS. BUCKET.
Gender: female
Age: 35 to 45
Vocal range top: E4
Vocal range bottom: B3
Veruca Salt
A wealthy, spoiled Brit. She is accustomed to having her father indulge her every whim and desire. One of the Golden Ticket winners, she is subjected to the squirrels' nut chute. Optional doubling as ENSEMBLE and/or GRANDMA JOSEPHINA.
Gender: female
Age: 10 to 15
Vocal range top: F5
Vocal range bottom: G3
Mr. Salt
A wealthy British upperclassman who regularly flaunts his wealth and privilege. Father to Veruca Salt who shamelessly spoils his daughter. Optional doubling as ENSEMBLE and/or MR. BUCKET.
Gender: male
Age: 40 to 60
Vocal range top: E4
Vocal range bottom: D3
Violet Beauregarde
A brassy girl with a competitive streak. Violet seizes every opportunity to show off. She turns into a giant blueberry. Optional doubling as ENSEMBLE and/or GRANDMA GEORGINA.
Gender: female
Age: 9 to 12
Vocal range top: F5
Vocal range bottom: G3
Mrs. Beauregarde
Violet's enthusiastic "helicopter parent" who focuses all her attention on her daughter. She indulges Violet's worst competitive impulses. Optional doubling as ENSEMBLE.
Gender: female
Age: 35 to 45
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: D4
Mike Teavee
An obnoxious, hyperactive child addicted to television, video games, and the internet. One of the Golden Ticket winners and Ms. Teavee's son. Optional doubling as ENSEMBLE and/or MR. BUCKET.
Gender: male
Age: 9 to 12
Vocal range top: G4
Vocal range bottom: G2
Ms. Teavee
An old-fashioned housewife. She is Mike Teavee's permissive and clueless mother. Optional doubling as MATILDA and/or ENSEMBLE.
Gender: female
Age: 35 to 50
Vocal range top: F5
Vocal range bottom: B3
Ensemble
The Candy Man Kids (James, Matilda, etc.), Oompa-Loompas, Squirrels
Full Song List
Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka TYA: Pure Imagination
Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka TYA: The Golden Age of Chocolate
Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka TYA: The Candyman
Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka TYA: I Eat More
Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka TYA: Think Positive!
Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka TYA: I See It All On TV
Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka TYA: Cheer Up Charlie
Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka TYA: Think Positive! - Reprise
Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka TYA: I've Got a Golden Ticket
Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka TYA: At the Gates
Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka TYA: In This Room
Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka TYA: Oompa-Loompa 1
Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka TYA: There's No Knowing
Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka TYA: Chew It
Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka TYA: Oompa-Loompa 2
Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka TYA: Flying
Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka TYA: Burping
Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka TYA: I Want It Now
Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka TYA: Oompa-Loompa 3
Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka TYA: Oompa-Loompa 4
Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka TYA: Finale

Show History

Inspiration

Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka utilizes material from both Roald Dahl's children's book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and the 1971 movie musical adaptation, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.  After getting clearance from the Dahl estate to work on the musical, Timothy Allen McDonald went to Leslie Bricusse (Stop The World – I Want To Get Off, Jekyll & Hyde, Victor/Victoria), who had worked on the music for the original film with his deceased partner, Anthony Newley.  Bricusse decided to fill the show with additional new songs that had a "retro-sounding" style of the earlier music.

The stage adaptation of Willy Wonka's story took some liberties with the original material, leaning more towards faithfulness of the film than the book.  Most notably, the character of Willy Wonka serves as the narrator of the story in addition to playing his typical role.  There are also songs written to introduce Augustus Gloop and Mike Teavee, along with two songs dedicated to the sequence of Charlie and Grandpa Joe drinking the Fizzy Lifting drink.

Productions

Willy Wonka premiered at the Kennedy Center from November 26 to December 26, 2004, as part of its "Imagination Celebration" series.  The run was extremely successful and led to a full licensing of the show, in addition to the production of several alternate versions (see "Cultural Influence" section).  Willy Wonka eventually returned to its home at the Kennedy Center for a run from December 23, 2006, to January 7, 2007, followed by a national tour that ran from September 8, 2007. to May 23, 2008.  Other prominent theaters that have performed Willy Wonka include the Seattle Children's Theatre and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, the latter of which notably utilized large puppets for many characters like the Oompa Loompas.

Cultural Influence

  • Demand for Willy Wonka prompted creation of several different stage versions.  Willy Wonka JR. shortens the show to one-act to be performed by middle school kids, while Willy Wonka KIDS abridges the show even more to a "bite-sized," 30-minute version for even younger performers.  Willy Wonka TYA adapts the rather imaginative show for more amateur productions, also shortening the material to one act and doubling several parts for a reduced cast.

Critical Reaction

"Simply Sweet... aggressively downscale, doing its best... to make a virtue of make-believe."
– The Washington Post

"A monstrous theatrical challenge... deeply connected in tone to the nostalgic memory of that 1971 movie."
– Variety

Connect

Billing

Based on the book, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" by Roald Dahl.

Requirements

You must give the authors/creators billing credits, as specified in the Production Contract, in a conspicuous manner on the first page of credits in all programs and on houseboards, displays and in all other advertising announcements of any kind.
Percentages listed indicate required type size in relation to title size.
ROALD DAHL'S
WILLY WONKA
(100%)
 
Music and Lyrics by
LESLIE BRICUSSE and ANTHONY NEWLEY
(50%)
 
Adapted for the Stage by LESLIE BRICUSSE and TIMOTHY ALLEN MCDONALD
(50%)
 
Based on the Book "CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY" by ROALD DAHL
(50%)
The videotaping or other video or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited

Included Materials

ItemQuantity Included
LIBRETTO/VOCAL BOOK20
PIANO CONDUCTOR'S SCORE1
PIANO VOCAL SCORE1
STUDY GUIDE1
TYA PERFORMANCE TRACKS1

Production Resources

Resource
FULL SCORE ACT 1
FULL SCORE ACT 2
HOW DOES THE SHOW GO ON-10/CS
HOW DOES THE SHOW GO ON?
LOGO PACK
LOGO PACK DIGITAL
PRODUCTIONPRO

STANDARD ORCHESTRATION

InstrumentationDoubling
BASS
CELLO
DRUMS
HORN
KEYBOARD 1
KEYBOARD 2
REED 1FLUTE
REED 2ENGLISH HORN (OPT.) , OBOE
REED 3Bb CLARINET , BASS CLARINET , BASSOON
TROMBONE
TRUMPET
VIOLIN