Mid-South play inspires its young performers - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Mid-South play inspires its young performers

(WMC-TV) - The musical "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" will have one performance Saturday afternoon at Christian Brothers High School, but the show just might change the trajectory of young lives.

"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" tells the story of a poor kids who uncovers a golden ticket inside a candy wrapper that changes his life.

"They've never been on stage," said director Alice Grant.  "They've never presented themselves before in front of an audience, but the learning experience from doing this just goes on and on."

Like all great teachers, Grant uses the play to help impoverished children at Holy Names School learn they can succeed.

"I've learned a lot here," said 10-year-old actor Derrick Turner.

Turner plays Grandpa George.  Acting has encouraged a new confidence in life.

"She put the play together for us to have fun, so we can do something, do something with our lives," said Turner.

Other performers in the play said they are enjoying the songs and performing with friends.

"It's really great to perform with Ms. Grant and everyone else in the play," said actress Amber Elliott.

"I love the songs," said actress Steviana Sheffa.

"It's a whole new experience and they're eating it up," said assistant director Isabel Azar.

"It's just incredible," said principal Halsey Mabry.  "Just to see these kids and the talent they have and to give them another option besides sports.  You never know what's going to come out of this for these kids."

The play also offers lessons in marketing savvy.

"What we did as a marketing idea and to sell our tickets for only $5, there are prizes in here," said Grant.  "There are tickets to Folk's Folly and the Grizzlies."

"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" will debut at Christian Brothers High School at 2:00 p.m. Saturday.  The tickets will benefit the Jubilee Schools of the Catholic Diocese of Memphis.

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