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This production is one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken by Ben Luxon and the Sandisfield Players.

Sandisfield Arts Center Presents 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'

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SANDISFIELD, Mass. — Roald Dahl’s beloved classic "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" will be brought to life by the Sandisfield Players at the Sandisfield Arts Center this Father's Day weekend, with evening performances at 7 p.m. Friday, June 14, and Saturday, June 15, and a matinee at 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 16. 

This production is one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken by Ben Luxon and the Sandisfield Players. While Luxon has directed such memorable productions as "Shakespeare Unchained," "Under Milkwood" and "Our Town, "Charlie" is the first musical the group has undertaken. 

The production includes seasoned Sandisfield actors Jean Atwater-Williams, Mary Anne Grammer, Ben Luxon and Susie Crofut, plus a host of child actors and adults from Sandisfield and neighboring communities.

Luxon is joined as co-director by Jesse Howard, drama teacher at the Berkshire School, who collaborated with him last year on directing "Shakespeare Unchained." Howard did a version of "Charlie" years ago, but according to Luxon, "He has always wanted to stage it with both adults and children." A;l of Howard's family are in the production, including his son as Charlie, and Howard himself stars as Willy Wonka.

Some of the songs like "Pure Imagination" will be familiar to anyone who saw the Gene Wilder movie version, "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," but this production also includes original music created by Jesse Howard. The sets are designed by artist Susie Crofut and built by Luxon and crew will create an atmosphere of magical fantasy. 

As with all Dahl’s writings, there is a dark, sinister side to the story, but this side is so deftly woven into the playful, clever prose, music and imaginative tale, that both children and adults will thoroughly enjoy it. 

Tickets are $20 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under and are available online

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Pittsfield Students Receive Superintendent Award

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Emily Mazzeo and Alexander Currie have received the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendent's Award.
 
Superintendent Jason McCandless began Wednesday's School Committee with a presentation honoring two of the highest achieving students in the school system. 
 
"This is one of my personal favorite things of the entire school year and these awards," he said. "We have a remarkable run here in Pittsfield of not only recognizing unbelievable distinguished intellects but unbelievable work ethics." 
 
McCandless first brought Mazzeo, who attends Pittsfield High School, to the podium and read a letter from one of her teachers.
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