GHS Theatre Club to present “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”


By Dawn Hatfield

GREENVILLE — If the cold, gloomy weather has been keeping you inside and feeling blah, the Greenville High School Theatre Club has your remedy! This weekend only, travel into the mind of Roald Dahl to explore the comedic and fantastical story of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Follow young Charlie Bucket and his Grandpa Joe as they join a small group of contest winners who tour the magical and mysterious factory of eccentric candy maker, Willy Wonka. Aided by his diminutive Oompa Loompa workers, Wonka has a hidden motivation during the tour, one he will reveal only after the children in the group show their true colors.

Opening night is Friday, April 1 at St. Clair Memorial Hall in Greenville. Four performances are offered throughout the weekend with tickets available for online purchase at

— Fri. April 1 at 7 p.m.

— Sat. April 2 at 2 p.m.

— Sat. April 2 at 7 p.m.

— Sun. April 3 at 2 p.m.

For only $5, you will receive 90 minutes of total entertainment that is sure to captivate audience members of all ages.

Director Steve Buckingham encourages everyone to come support the GHS seniors in their final show. Buckingham said of his senior officers, “The officers are more than just a group of gophers or underlings for me; they are really the engine and the soul of the group. They generate so much of what we we do, actually. The students basically select the show, and while I have final say, I usually don’t argue with them because they bring very enthusiastic and thought-out ideas.”

In speaking with Buckingham, it was easy to see this final show is bitter-sweet, a culmination of four years of working together in many cases. “We kind of developed a little constituency, and that’s the way it’s been—since I’ve been here, it’s come to a full sense of development with this particular class. They’ve been the core theater kids for their whole run in high school,” Buckingham said. He emphasized the friendships and camaraderie that have developed over the years that keep bringing students back season after season to participate in Theatre Club.

Buckingham, an Arcanum High School alum, has a theater background himself, including a degree from Ohio University and experience in professional theater in Cincinnati. Coming to teaching a little later in life, he completed his student teaching at Greenville six years ago and has been teaching in an official capacity at GHS for five years.

Buckingham recalls being drawn into the theater program by talking with students who were also involved. He first began volunteering, then co-directed with Megan Roessner, and now advises the club individually but with a lot of help from the senior officers. “It’s not just the performance stuff—it’s the staging, the props, and the marketing/community outreach—just every step along the way… they take the initiative on their own.”

Many readers may be experiencing a sense of deja vu while taking in this article. Buckingham explained the coincidence that led to the ‘doubling of your pleasure’ this Wonka-ful season. “It was funny—we had no idea the middle school was doing [a similar] show. We were coming up with spring show ideas, and our president, Winifred Stiefel, brought this idea… because we wanted to do something that was big, well-known, fun, exciting, colorful, and would generate audience interest and drum up excitement.”

Once they learned that the middle school was also planning a Dahl-inspired performance, Buckingham said, “Let’s try to spin this in a positive way—it’s a different script, a different interpretation, and it’s kind of a good thing, a co-branded theme, even though unintended. After receiving [Greenville Middle School Theater Director] Kari Thompson’s ‘blessing,’ I was really happy there was no conflict with that.”

Buckingham admits the days leading up to the show are very hectic but also well worth it. “The students are the ones who have kept me involved in all of this, and I do it for them,” he said.

Senior GHS Theatre Club officers are as follows: President – Winifred Stiefel (Head Oompa Loompa); Vice President – Chloe Good (Narrator and Mrs. Beauregarde); Treasurer – Maxwell Jordan (Willy Wonka); Reporter – Emmie Myers (Reporter and Mr. Salt); and Secretary – Sierra Crist (Head Stage Manager)

Additional senior cast & crew members include Kie Labig (Veruca Salt); Andrew Adkins (Grandpa Joe); Emma Tutwiler (Mrs. Bucket); Libby McKinney, Carmen Badell, Kate Rehmert (Oompa Loompas); and Seth Shaffer (Assistant Stage Manager and Set Designer). Please visit the Greenville High School Theatre Club website for a full listing of cast and crew.

Dawn Hatfield covers education stories for The Daily Advocate. Have a school-related event to share? Reach out by email at [email protected] or by phone at 937-569-0066.

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