On entertainment and chocolate

Fantasy and entertainment are what senior Lucila Farina hopes audiences will take away from Generic Theatre Company’s production of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” performed in the Lisner Downstage this weekend.

“I was tired of what I had been seeing,” said Farina, the director. “I didn’t want to see another love story or overly complicated story or drama,” she added, speaking to her production’s emphasis on entertainment over drama.

Farina said it was the accessibility of the show that drove her to direct the production, one that channels indulgence through a most-appropriate representation – chocolate.

“I wanted to put up a new conversation about something completely different,” she said, adding that she recognized the show as one typically intended for a younger audience.

“It’s a children’s play, not really intended for a college audience, but I thought we could use something fun in a time like this,” said Farina, referring to the demand for entertainment in a lagging economy. “I realized I could approach the play through any certain person’s perspective,” she added, qualifying her choice to position Willy Wonka as the narrative voice of the musical.

“The audience gets a chance to see Wonka’s struggle,” she said, adding that positioning Wonka as the narrator gives depth to the performance. “You get to see Wonka deliberate on what makes Charlie the right one to take over the factory.”

Farina, a Presidential Arts Scholar, is majoring in theater with a minor in dramatic literature and recently completed her honors thesis in the discipline. A frequent participant in shows by both Generic and Forbidden Planet Productions, she cites her experience with Generic’s production of “The Wild Party” as an inspiration.

“In ‘The Wild Party,’ we played with interesting things regarding puppets and acting like puppets,” she said. “In this production, I tried to make Wonka like the puppet master. The kids, the Oompa Loompas, they’re puppets being manipulated by Wonka. They’re the medium for him to convey his story.”

“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” presented by Generic Theater Company, will run from Thursday, April 23 through Saturday, April 25 in the Lisner Downstage. Tickets are $5.

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