Meet the “Willy Wonka JR.” cast: Mason Gay likes to sing and dance

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.”

Mason Gay, 11, is the son of Dan and Melissa Gay. He has two siblings: Chloe and Elliot. The fifth-grader is active in theater and game club, and likes to watch YouTube and draw in his spare time. He plans to live in Japan, travel the world, and be a paleontologist. He plays Mike TeaVee in this production of “Willy Wonka JR.”

1. How did you get involved with the production?
I have been in other productions with Encore. I heard about this show while I was working on the last production.

2. Have you been in any other theatrical productions?
Yes, I have been in two shows at school. This is my fourth show with Harltand Players Encore. The other 3 productions were Suessical, Matilda, and the Best Christmas Pageant Ever. My roles have been The Cat in the Hat, a student, a monkey (Wickersham Brother), and a Reverend.

3. What do you most enjoy about being part of the production?
I like the movie Willy Wonka. This particular role, Mike Teavee, is also a lot of fun because I get to be rude and ridiculous. I also get to sing and dance.

4. Who is/are your inspiration(s)? Why?
I am inspired by my third grade teacher, Mrs. Beane. She was the person that encouraged me to try musical theater.

5. What’s your favorite part of the experience of being in the production?
My favorite part is having fun with my friends and my sister. The songs are really catchy and we sing them a lot at home, too.

6. What can audience members expect when they see the show?
They can expect to see great acting, and catchy songs with fun dance moves. And of course, lots of candy.

“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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