Meet the “Willy Wonka JR” cast: Ryleigh Harris plans to become an architect

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.”

Ryliegh Harris, 11, who plays Veruca Salt in the Hartland Encore Youth Theater’s production of “Willy Wonka JR.” enjoys drama, singing, reading and writing, plans to be an architect.

1. How did you get involved with the production? 

I have been involved in Encore for 2 years now and auditions for all of their plays.

2. Have you been in any other theatrical productions?
I was in both Lion King and James and the Giant Peach through Prelude Theater and has had the following roles in Encore: Molly in “Annie”; A Who in “Seussical”; Lavender in “Matilda”; Gladys in “The Best Christmas Pageant”; and Veruca in “Wonka.”

3. What do you most enjoy about being part of the production?
I love all the cast and crew.

4. Who is/are your inspiration(s)? Why?
I am inspired by Malala because of her bravery and ability to stand up to terrorism. She also loves how she inspires young girls to get educated and follow their dreams.

5. What’s your favorite part of the experience of being in the production?
Performing in the school shows because the kids always laugh the loudest.

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