Meet the “Willy Wonka Jr.” cast: Addison Payne considering career in musical theater

From now until opening day on March 14, The Livingston Post will be profiling cast members of the Hartland Encore Youth Theater production of “Willy Wonka Jr.”

Addison Payne, 12, daughter of Jen and Brian Payne, is a seventh-grade student at Scranton Middle School in Brighton, where she is involved in musical theater, dance, and singing. Her hobbies include Girl Scouts, hanging out with her friends skiing, swimming, and playing with her sister, Charlotte. She plans on working in musical theater, or as a teacher. She takes on the role of Charlie Bucket.

1. How did you get involved with the production?
I have been involved with Encore for almost three years, and have tried out for all of their children’s productions since then.

2. Have you been in any other theatrical productions? If so, what roles did you play?
I have been so fortunate to have been in over 10 productions. Some of my favorites include the title roles in “Annie” and “Matilda” through Hartland Players, Gertrude in “Seussical Jr.,” Beth in “Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” Trixie in “Drac’s Back,” all through Hartland Encore, and Anna in “Frozen Jr.” through Prelude Children’s Theater.

3. What do you most enjoy about being part of the production?
I enjoy growing as a singer and actor, and also hanging out with my friends.

4. Who is/are your inspiration(s)? Why?
My inspirations are the Hartland Encore “Dream team” -Mrs. Bell, Mrs. Ellis, and Mrs. McIntyre. They are a big reason why I love theatre. They make practices and shows so fun. They are kind, supportive, encouraging, and have all taught me so much about theatre and life. I feel lucky to have gotten to work with each of them in so many productions.

5. What’s your favorite part of the experience of being in the production?
Making new friends and watching the show all come together.

6. What can audience members expect when they see the show?
They will see a great cast who has a lot of fun on stage with each other. They will also see the amazing talent/dedication of all of the cast parents who helped behind the scenes to make this musical a reality! Buy your golden ticket at Enjoy the show!

“Willy Wonka Jr.” will be performed at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 14, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 15, at the Hartland Performing Arts Center, 9525 E Highland Rd. Tickets are $6 for students and seniors, and $8 for adults, and are available at


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The Livingston Post is the only locally owned, all-digital information and opinion site in Livingston County, Mich. It was launched by award-winning journalists who were laid off from the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus by Gannett Co. Inc. in 2009.

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