Meet the “Willy Wonka Jr.” cast: Tyler Atkin enjoys watching show come together

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.”

Tyler Atkin, 13, who plays Willy Wonka, is the son of Sid and Katherine Atkin. His sister, Bailey, 10, is also performing in the show as an Oompa Loompa. Atkin is a seventh grader at Scranton Middle School who is involved with theter and choir, and enjoys hanging with his friends, camping, singing, video games, and playing with his dog, Pepper. He plans to attend college and pursue his dream of being on Broadway.

We asked him to answer a few questions:

1. How did you get involved with the production?
My first show with Encore was “Seussical” last year and I really love being part of this group. When I heard they were doing Willy Wonka, I knew I had to be a part of it.

2. Have you been in any other theatrical productions? If so, what roles did you play?
Mr. Mayor in “Seussical Jr.” Razoul in “Aladdin Jr.” Michael Wormwood in “Matilda,” ensemble in “Addams Family,” Fireman in “Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” as well as several school shows.

3. What do you most enjoy about being part of the production?
Learning new things and the sense of community and friendship

4. Who is/are your inspiration(s)? Why?
Lin Manuel Miranda and Ben Platt. They are both such amazing artists and examples that with hard work anything is possible.

5. What’s your favorite part of the experience of being in the production?
Having fun with my friends and watching the show come together.

6. What can audience members expect when they see the show?
An extremely talented group of young actors and a surprise around every corner. So come along there’s so much see to more.

“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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