What I have been up too and Pictures of The Willy Wonka Set

I have been a little busy lately, so busy in fact that I actually cannot find part of my kitchen counter, I have dust on all the surfaces of my house, and  have not given the house a good scrub in weeks.  I am pretty sure I have missed some important appointment, but since I have not been home I don’t know I have missed it.

I spent the last few weeks working with a funny crew of set workers, for the school musical Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory.  It was fabulous {I’ll post pictures tomorrow}  I sent the set director a “record of numbers”  and I’ll share them with you because I know you are all dying to see how I spent the last 4 weeks.

A record of numbers for the set

224 tubes of hot glue sticks

216 hours of on stage work time multiplied by 16 workers and 4 toddlers

187 times JS changed his mind (that could be an understatement)

92 paint brushes

81 feet of tubing

76 total yards of fabric (228 feet)

65 degrees was the average temperature on stage

60 fingers were burned by hot glue (that does not count the arms or legs that were blistered also)

35 laps baby A ran around the empty cafeteria

34 yards of chocolate river fabric

29 different colors of paint

16 adult workers on the set

15 times LF  repainted the walls

12 new fingerprints

3 months of planning and set design

5 bottles of stress pills or Advil the crew took to relieve pain and stress

4 preschool helpers

1 nap on the middle of the stage (baby A)

All those numbers were worth it for the beautiful set

Here are some of the pictures I took

AV and LF are hanging up tubing for the Nut Room.Gears on the wall in the nut room, we took cardboard covered it in aluminum foil and used lots of paint to age the metal.  More Nut room pictures.  {Do the gears look old and rusty to you?  That is the look we were trying for.}The first plan of the Good Nut Bad Nut chute.  EC and I worked together on Lion Witch and the Wardrobe a few years back I was glad to be working with her again.C and some of the cast trying out the Good Nut Bad Nut chuteMore going on down the chuteC falling out of the escape hole in the Good Nut Bad Nut chute.AV and RC attaching the Good Nut Bad Nut sign.Ta~Da the Good Nut Bad Nut before the dial was attached.Baby A hanging out In the glass elevator watching Little Bill.Hanging Gears, painting the magic Fizzy Lifting Machine, and finishing the Pink Candy Swan Boat.Attaching the WW to the gate of the factory.The candy cart for the Candy Man song before the labels were added to the cart, and the cart was decorated.The Cardboard Stove that JS spent 2 days trying to make.  It takes a long time making a stove out of cardboard and hot glue.The outside of the Buckets Shack.  The nail heads on the shingles are made of glue dots we painted and then reglued to the board, the shingles are made out of cardboard, we used a lot of card board.The large TV for MikeTV the black screen had a flap we folded over from the “rainbow” test screen to a static screen.  Poor LF repainted the center screens 7 different times.  She was so over that TV.The Glass Elevator before we finished the “glass” and before we repainted the base tearing off the cardboard “bricks”Baby A hanging out on the floor watching Little Bill.  We were all a bit tired of listening to Little Bill, well all of us except A she did not mind.In the rush of Thursday afternoon, hours before the first show, baby A finally fell asleep, right in the middle of the floor, while we were scrambling around finishing the last few things before school let out.Girl friend fell sound asleep!

So that is how I have spent the last 4 weeks of my life, on top of the normal dailiness of my life.  Last week every bit of school day was spent on that stage which is why I did not have any blog last week.  {In case you were wondering why I was not around.}

What about you have you ever been in or worked on a school play did the final bit of set not get done until hours before the first production, did it scare you that it would not be done in time or were you ready well in advance, if so I am jealous!

Go hug your kids and give them some love!

P.S. If you are working on Wonka and have any questions on how we did our set, just ask and I can help you with an answer.

23 thoughts on “What I have been up too and Pictures of The Willy Wonka Set

  1. christine says:

    HOLY COW! Your attention to detail is mind-boggling. I’m going to start praying right now that if my children ever do the high school plays, the plays have easy-peasy sets. I will not do well with anything of this magnitude. I missed you!

    • overholt8 says:

      Thanks so much I missed you too, felt like I had lost contact with your funny family! I was mearly a worker, and did what was told our set designers were the amazing ones. And the crew was creative people we all contributed in a very small way. I finally caught up on your part of the world this weekend. Today is Tuesday, have fun with you little class!

  2. sandra musick says:

    The set turned out beautifully. Ans as you know your children will remember that you did Willie Wonka and not the messy house.

    • overholt8 says:

      Thank you for the set compliments when did you go? I saw Mike but not you. {or actually he came to talk to A} I want them to remember fun times I just wish that the house would naturally stay clean.

  3. Tammy pardue says:

    We are an elementary school that is about to do wonka. Could you explain how you did your gears. I love those. What kind of paint did you use? Also, if you have any more pictures we woulld love to see them.

    • overholt8 says:

      Thank you! the gears were large sheets of cardboard or plastic board, covered in wrinkly aluminum foil {from target} wrapped around the gears, then we took paint in shades of dark yellow, orange, black, blue and green. after i splashed paint on them I used a paper towel to smear the colors together. they were very light we nailed them up to the wall and we did not worry if they fell off. We made some of them almost as tall as my {5’3} and some we made only about 3 feet, we needed it to be seen at the back of the auditorium. We used lots of donated house paint. most of our paints have been donated by families from the musical kids, colors they had in their own houses. I know the blue and red were both from walmart{after they were used at my house} so there was no brand per say, just donated paints.
      wonka’s cane was a flag pole and a curtain rod finial (from hobby lobby) I first painted them silver, then i painted them with silver spray paint… C complained it was sticky and as he practiced the shine wore off. I wrapped it in tin foil and it stayed shiny the whole 4 productions, and when we rented some of our things to another school in our state.
      For obvious reasons we could not “fly” in the bubble room. we painted the fan in glow in the dark paint, and charlie and grandpa were wearing white shirts turned a blue light on them. they “flew” up and down boxes painted a flat black so no one past the stage could see the blocks. they slid up under the nut room walk way, and because they were flat black the were not noticeable. And the super large tv had a flap that opened to show the static and then you could swing it shut and it showed the rainbow screen. someone on the ground flipped it over while the lights flashed and “mike tv” jumped to the ground, crawled into the flats and waited until the curtain closed.
      The post after the one you read has more pictures of the set. Let me know if you have any more questions we just LOVED this musical… We’re doing peter pan this year!

  4. Albert says:

    Hi there!
    Fantastic set pieces. We are currently in rehearsal for Wonka, show dates in Nov. All volunteers parents with our talented set builder missing this show. I wanted to know what state you are in and if your items are available for rent. Also, can you please share some info on how you made your TV. Thank you for sharing.

    • overholt8 says:

      Which TV are you asking about?
      The smaller TV that Wonka pulls MikeTV out of? That is actually card board on a rolling cart. We have some serious cardboard action going on up stage. The screen is empty with a black curtain hung up with MikeTV behind the curtain and as the lights flashed Wonka pushed the fabric behind the doll. The flashing lights were the perfect distraction.

      The BIG TV was on a rolling slide, there was a flap, we hooked it open and decorated the TV, after the paint was dry we then opened the flap and hooked it open the other way. Then we painted the TV with the static. MikeTV stood on square boxes (painted flat black) and did his obnoxious lines, then when he pressed the TV button he jumped onto the floor, as the lights flashed someone crawled out of the rolling slide (it was 2 sided) and changed the TV screen then the person and MikeTV crawled into the rolling slide and stayed until they rolled it off stage.
      We are in the south east where are you located? I do not know what parts of our set are left I will be at school tomorrow working on the set of PeterPan. We are flying for real this time YIKES we hired a ropes course team to come set it up and train our flyers. Very COOL!
      Oh for the flying bubble room we used those same black boxes painted with the flat black paint they were not able to be seen even with the spot light on! Glow in the dark paint and a black light on their white shirts helped with the special effects. Let me know any other questions you have we had a great time but it was a lot of work. We also had a great set director but he was P I C K Y and we were forever redoing things because he had a new idea. We were not amused!

  5. Robin says:

    Love the sets! Our middle school is currently rehearsing for Wonka Jr, the shows start in February. I wondered if you could direct me to the Youtube videos of the show. I’d love to see the set pieces on stage.
    Again – Love the pieces!!

  6. Carol Clarke says:

    Am interested in renting your willy wonka set. My child’s school is doing a play and we are in need of a set.

    • overholt8 says:

      I am sorry we have long since dismantled the set. It is crushing to do it but we re-use walls and the likes all the time. Parts of these walls were taken off the slides and re-painted them for walls on Peter Pan, with large dark trees and then repainted again for “penny”. It was a beautiful set, I still think about it and you are to the first to ask to rent our pieces. I am sorry they are gone.

  7. Lissette says:

    Do you have any other pictures you can share. We are planning an 8th grade dance with this theme

  8. finndoering says:

    Hey there we are doing a wonka theme for our school .. I’d love to know how you did the Wonkavater glass elevator and if you have any finished pics!

    • overholt8 says:

      We do not have any of our pieces anymore, we lent some to a school, they never returned them.

      When we made the glass elevator we made a basic platform box out of plywood (open on the bottom,)
      on the top of the ‘box’ In the top we cut out a rectangular hole so Wonka could walk and slide the elevator small enough that he had to shuffle so the audience could not see him walking, but big enough that he did not look strange shuffling along.

      For the sides we used thick PVC pipes we painted them gold we then covered the entire thing in clear vinyl so it looked ‘glass’

      The back entrance has a ‘door’ it was only for the bottom (straight pipes) we just used a simple latch to make them open and shut the elevator. The door was opened from the back, so the audience did not know it was not ‘glass’ to the top. We had it that way because when there was ‘glass’ on the entire back the mic sounded weird and canned.

      If you have any more questions feel free to ask. We really loved doing this set. The boat would have been better IF we had used something more light weight as the boat base and thick styrofoam as the swan, as it was the boat was so heavy we had to have 3 people pull it across the stage (painted the pull rope black so no one could see it)

  9. shanan says:

    Please contact me about your willy wonka set stuff

    • overholt8 says:

      This was 4 years ago, we have altered props, reused them, or sold them. I’m sorry. If you have a question about a specific thing I can tell you how we made it. Since then we have done Peter pan, Alice in Wonderland, Mary Poppins, and just finished Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
      sorry we no longer have any of the things.

  10. I know this is a very old post, but I do love this set. We are currently doing Willy Wonka. Could you tell me how you did the chute for Veruca? Thank you so much!

    • overholt8 says:

      we built a ‘ramp/balcony along our solid wall, where it ended we filled the bottom with pillows, we also cut a hole in the base of the wall, so she could squeeze out and end up back stage. we used cardboard to make the shape and painted it. also the “bad nut” dial was controlled by a stage hand hiding in the hole. I hope that helps?

  11. Theresa says:

    Hi! I’d love to know how you made the gates to the factory! Thanks!

    • overholt8 says:

      Thanks for asking. The Brick edge pieces were just thin plywood made into squares and as tall as needed. then we painted bricks onto cardboard, cut it out into brick shape and hot glued them on. one of the girls still has a hot glue gun scar on her shoulder as i was standing to glue she backed into me. i still feel awful about it!!!
      the ‘metal’ part of the gates is just an actual metal gate (double door) that was attached to the plywood. we cut the WW and edging out of cardboard painted, and hot glued down. if i remember we did try to cut the gate out of cardboard but it was not strong enough. so we used an actual gate. it was powered so the line ran up the back and we plugged it in before the second act. they were just lamp lights from home depot. and basic lighting skills were needed. Thank you for asking.

  12. Alyson says:

    Thank you for preserving these great images of your set pieces for Willy Wonka! I am curious about the orange tube that Augustus went into. How was the tube made? How did Augustus actually ascend to peek out of the tube? What did you use to “swallow” him with chocolate? Thanks in advance!

    • overholt8 says:

      the orange tube was large cardboard tubs or barrels, cut in half and attached to a ‘wall’ the area behind the wall was a set of stairs so he ‘climbed’ up the steps as he was swallowed. the rest of the wall was supposed to look like rock candy and more chocolate river we used cut foam core board to make the rock candy painted it and added glitter and shiny paint to it.
      when he fell in the chocolate we used yards and yards of brown silky fabric and 4 fabric people (2 on each side) they made ripples, he then ‘fell’ into the river they kept the fabric moving as he crawled under the fabric to the rolling wall, (which had stairs attached to the back) he climbed up the ladder-stairs and was sucked up.
      i hope that helps!

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