Enjoy the energy of ‘Matilda'

9th annual summer musical opens July 18

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The curtain is about to open on the ninth annual summer community musical, presented by the Arts Council of Wilson and Barton College. This year’s show is “Matilda the Musical.”

“Matilda” is the inspiring story of a girl surrounded by anarchy, the power of imagination and her dreams of a better life.

“This show is about childhood and how important it is to keep a spark of childlike wonder inside of you,” said Caleb Skinner, stage and musical director for the show. “It’s based on a children’s novel by Roald Dahl, of course, but the idea is that children each have something special about them. We live in a world where we are pushed to grow up too fast, and this show combats that and brings out some of the inner child in each of us.”

When selecting “Matilda” as the production for 2019, Skinner said the goal was to choose a show that entire families would be able to participate in together.

“That was the original mission of the summer musical,” Skinner said. “It’s not always possible, but this was the perfect show to meet that need, and the rights were just released.”

“Matilda” features many high-energy dance numbers and up-temp songs, and Skinner said that he had no problem finding talented cast member, who have stepped up to the plate. He describes the cast as incredible.

“We are so lucky to have an entire ensemble of extremely talented performers,” Skinner said.

“Madison Winders is playing the role of Matilda, which is no easy task. She has an insane number of lines to learn and four massive monologues. Not to mention that the music is so difficult rhythmically and vocally.”

“Olivia Ingram is pl aying Miss Honey, and it’s fun for me to be working with her since we were in school together before we left for college. She’s really an incredible talent who hasn’t done many shows in the past.”

Fletcher Duke, known locally for playing the Grinch annually in a Hunter’s Dance production, is playing the character of Miss Trunchbull.

“There are certainly some similarities between that green villain and Miss Trunchbull,” Skinner said. “The writers of this show chose to make Trunchbull a role for a man — it was probably to make her more testosterone-y since she’s a former Olympian — but also to make her a little more comic. She’s a pretty intense character, and Fletch has this amazing way of taking on a character.”

Trish Bradshaw with Dance Studio B is in charge of the choreography for “Matilda.”

“I love working with Miss Trish, and I’m lucky to have her because there’s so much music in this show,” Skinner said. “The choreography is super fun, and I wish I could do it with them. All I will say is that these songs require some really fun props, so you’ll have to come see all the fun things we will have on stage.”


“Matilda the Musical” will be performed at the Boykin Center on July 18-20 at 7:30 p.m. and July 21 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for seniors/students/youth. All tickets are general seating.

For tickets, you may purchase securely through eTix; visit the Arts Council of Wilson box office during normal operating hours (at the Boykin Center, Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.); or call the Arts Council of Wilson to purchase tickets over the phone with a credit card at 252-291-4329.