Victoria King Rules the Stage in Willy Wonka


Photo courtesy of GHS Duke Troupe

Gloucester High School Duke Troupe’s Production of Willy Wonka

Colleen Brownley, Editor-in-Chief

This year the Gloucester Dukes are putting on another whimsical theatrical production, it will debut on May 11th and run until the 13th. This time it’s “Willy Wonka,” which is a play following a boy named Charlie who gets a chance to tour the most famous chocolate factory in the world after securing a golden ticket. One by one his fellow peers on the tour are picked off by the mysterious Willy Wonka and as the tour goes on the questions only multiply. However, the true delight of the show isn’t the show itself but the young woman behind the esteemed role of Willy Wonka: Victoria King. 

King is a senior at Gloucester High School and will be attending the University of North Carolina School of the Arts next year, majoring in music composition. King has two specific goals in mind for her career: “to write a ballet and write an opera.” She would also “love to be someone who writes musicals or writes for film” as well. 

King’s passion for the fine arts doesn’t stop at her role as Willy Wonka, she is the drum major in band as well as first chair flute, President of Tri-M, Secretary of ITS, attended the Virginia senior honor’s choir, was a featured compose for VMEA young composer’s festival two consecutive years, and composed pieces that have been featured in concerts like the Select Treble Choir Concert, such as “Odysseus’s Return.” King also manages to participate in the National Honor Society and holds a part-time job at Wawa. During an interview with ‘The King of the Stage’ when asked about how she manages such a hectic schedule she stated that “there’s always a lot of time in the day you spend wasting time that you don’t realize… you just need to recognize that and possess the willpower to use that time” effectively and efficiently.

However, with the play approaching it has definitely taken a priority above her various other activities. To get into character King has adopted a Trans-Atlantic accent, used various props such as her cane and top hat to truly embody the role, and even chopped off a few inches of her hair. During the interview King did reveal that she envisions Wonka as a female who “has no empathy for children” and King enjoys being able to break stereotypes and truly think about what changes with the character with a change in gender. 

Other than Willy Wonka, King would enjoy playing Mike Teavee’s mom, developing her character, and being able to just fully explore her role as a skittery, jumpy woman. Her favorite part of the play is a scene in which Violet Beauregarde is being interviewed and her mother is doing melodramatic poses in the background. The stage itself also boasts quite a few set pieces that wrap the audience into the delicious world of “Willy Wonka.” A lit-up sign displays the names of the children attending the tour and as they vanish Wonka will flick his wrist and their names will vanish as well.

Victoria isn’t the only King in the play, her sister, Lauren is playing opposite her as the other main role of Charlie Bucket and Catherine King has assumed the role of pianist in the pit with the other orchestra members. King’s large family has always been very musically inclined, her mother, father, two sisters, and younger brother have all participated in theatrical and musical productions since they were able with admirable diligence to their craft. Lauren hopes to explore “music education and get certification to teach choral and instrumental classes” and has had a great time participating in the play with her sister, she does say that the show is bittersweet though, “it’s weird to think that will be our last show together.” Lauren’s really happy to see her sister in a “role that challenges her instead of” just being cast as a mom again. 

Other than Victoria and Lauren King many other Gloucester High School students will be entertaining the masses during the “Willy Wonka” show. Rey Hogge will be playing Charlie’s grandfather, who escorts him to the factory and distracts him from the horrors that occur. Isa Ferguson takes on the role of Augustus Gloop, a chocolate-obsessed glutinous German boy with an overprotective mother played by Kendall Pratt. Isa Ferguson states that throughout the play King “is always nice to her castmates, no matter how frustrating they are.” This is especially difficult when some of the cast members are in elementary and middle school, as the oompa loompas are. Ferguson also attributes the smooth progression of the show to Victoria’s keen expertise and a positive mindset. 

 Behind the scenes, Mike Teavee, a screen-plagued typical teenage boy, is Rylee Amaral who is accompanied by his mother (played by Emma Layton). Violet Beauregarde, a gum-chewing champion, is played by Tayrn Legg, and her boisterous mother is played by Cora Hargis. Last on the list of troublesome children is Veruca Salt, a spoiled child played by Mary Vanfossen and the perpetrator of this poor parenting is her father, acted out by Renner Andersen.