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‘Wonka’ takes stage Thursday

Thursday marks community theater’s return to Brewton with a stunning production of Roald Dahl’s “Willie Wonka” set for four performances this week.

The show features Brewton’s Stephen Billy as director and a cast and crew of more than 60 people.

“I think theater and the performing arts has always been a great tradition here in the city and county,” Billy said, “and that heritage was founded by Hermine Downing at the college. She paved the way for a program that lasted for decades here.”

The production will hopefully be a starting point for a fresh start at the new Coastal Alabama Community College campus.

“The arts program needs revitalization, and we are doing that,” Billy said. “Theater connects and engages people in the community who would never come in contact otherwise. People onstage and off are integral to make the show work. Arts programs like this are unifying for the community, they improve quality of life and give people an artistic outlet. Theater forges a bond between college and community like no other programming does and it brings people from all walks of life onto the campus. Support for this show has been overwhelming but not surprising. Brewton and Escambia County people are wonderful.”

The show opens Thursday night at CACC’s Woodfin Patterson Auditorium at 7 p.m. and runs Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. Tickets are available online at http://www.wonkatickets.brownpapertickets.com or at the Greater Brewton Area Chamber of Commerce and at the show one hour before curtain. Adult tickets are $12, and children 12 and under $10.