The students behind Mission Hills’ ‘Willy Wonka Junior’ production


This month, Center Stage Children’s Theater (CSCT) will perform the production “Willy Wonka Junior” in the Mission Hills neighborhood.

We reached out to students involved with the CSCT play — all of whom are Mission Hills residents — to see what they love most about their theater group, upcoming production and Uptown community.

The cast of Center Stage Children’s Theater “Willy Wonka Junior” (Courtesy of Fiona Case)

“My favorite part of the experience is hanging out with my best friends. This is my seventh play with the theater group! The challenging part is memorizing your lines and remembering what to do on stage. When I’m not acting, I enjoy going to school. I also love to sew — I make stuffed animals and birthday presents for people. The thing I most love about Mission Hills is all our neighbors, and the nature — the animals and plants in the canyons. Mission Hills has a lot of green space.”

—Isabella Ramos, Mrs. Beauregarde


“This is my first time in a CSCT production. I love acting and all the background scenery and props, and I love my costume — I have a funny and silly costume with a hat. The most challenging part of performing is remembering my lines and knowing where I should stand. When I’m not on stage I love riding horses, and I like going to my school Grant K8.”

—Noemi Moran, Oompa Loompa

“I like being able to sing, act and be a whole new person. I’m the candy man, he wants to get people to eat more candy. I like being part of the theater group because everyone is really nice and friendly. When I’m not acting I love coding.”

—Bryce Benson, the Candy Man


“This is my fifth show with the Center Stage Children’s Theater. My favorite part about being in the show is seeing the audience applaud and enjoy our performances. I like the whole community that has been created by the theater group — it’s really nice that everyone in the cast and crew get on so well together. Everyone is friendly. The most challenging part is remembering when and where to come on stage. The people who made the costumes said they had the most fun with my costume. It has a lot of padding to make me look fat!”

— Ben Case, Augustus Gloop


“I love singing and dancing and meeting new people I wouldn’t have been friends with if I hadn’t joined the theater group — people who go to different schools in our neighborhood. The challenge of performing is remembering all out lines and when to come in. My character is German, so I have to sing with an accent. She lets her son eat all the time — 24/7! I love living in Mission Hills — it’s always sunny and when it does rain it is nice rain and not polluted.”

—Simone Benson, Mrs. Gloop


“This is my first time acting with the Center Stage Children’s Theater. I love going onstage and performing with everyone. I don’t think I’m going to have any stage fright. I’m really enjoying tech week, especially having dinner with all my friends. When I’m not doing this, I mostly do music. I play the piano, guitar, ukulele, violin and flute! My mom has a music studio here in Mission Hills and we know lots of people. I like Mission Hills because there are lots of businesses and coffee shops and donut shops. We have especially good donut shops.”

—Anna Robitallie, one of the Candy Man Kids

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