Meet the “Willy Wonka Jr.” cast: Carmen Pushman looks toward career in news

Carmen Pushman

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.”

Carmen Pushman, 13, is the daughter of Michelle and Adam Pushman, and she has two siblings: William and Layton. The eigth-grade student — who participates in theater, singing, guitar and video editing — wants to pursue a career in news broadcasting and journalism.

1. How did you get involved with the production? 

I Started with Encore Youth Theater when I was 8.

2. Have you been in any other theatrical productions? 

Yes, I started theater at age 5 and have performed in over 20 productions. Some of my favorite roles include: Mayzie La Bird- “Suessical Jr.”; Lucy from “Charlie Brown”; Chip from “Beauty and the Beast”; and Annie in a summer camp performance.

3. What do you most enjoy about being part of the production? 

I love hanging out with my friends and spending time with my theater family.

4. Who is/are your inspiration(s)? Why? 

Non- famous (yet: – 0)Scottie Bell, one of the most talented people I have ever met and I hope to one day be as good of an actress and singer as her, Jaclyn Ellis- an amazing singer and actress… Famous role models: Bette Midler and Meryl Streep.

A special thank you to Mrs. Bell and Mrs. Ellis- since age 8 they have been directing me in shows and have been a big influence on my love of theater. I respect and love them both so much.

5. What’s your favorite part of the experience of being in the production? 

Being able to sing a very powerful song with a German Accent . “I eat more” with my best friend Jayan as Augustus.

6. What can audience members expect when they see the show? 

A world of pure imagination- excitement, fun, and a color-filled production. It is truly magical.

“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.