On Stage with Henry Fournier
Play scripts, rehearsals, and music is how eighth grader Henry Fournier enjoys spending his time. He has one of the lead roles in an upcoming Arts Alliance production of Willy Wonka.
Whiz Kid: Henry Fournier, 13
Whiz Kid’s School: Eighth Grade, Robert E. Melican Middle School
Whiz Kid’s Accomplishment: Has participated in acting camp for five years.
Whiz Kid’s Key to Awesomeness: Fournier has been a regular at Arts Alliance summer drama workshops since he was eight years old.
The summer program includes music, acting, and dancing as part of the curriculum. Students of all ages have a program that is catered to their abilities and levels.
Fournier remembers that when he started, they rehearsed 30-minute plays. This summer, he has one of the leads in the production of Willy Wonka Jr., an adaptation of the wonderful Roald Dahl’s story, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Fournier will portray Grandpa Joe.
After auditioning and being chosen for the part, Fournier and about 40 other cast mates meet weekday mornings for rehearsals before the show is performed for a live audience later this month.
“It’s a great show every year,” said Fournier. “The director is amazing and it is fun and exciting to see it all come together.”
Fournier admits that one of the more difficult things is to remember his lines. He enlists his mother’s help. “She quizzes me on my lines and I practice one scene at a time.”
It is encouraged that the actors improvise their lines when necessary, so not to make any errors or missed lines obvious to the audience. “Everyone goes along with it,” said Fournier.
Singing, which is a part of his role in the production, comes easiest for Fournier. He has been involved in the chorus at school.
“I love acting,” Fournier said, “because you can take on the character of someone you would never be.”
Fournier also participates in productions at Melican Middle School, such as Annie this past year. “It’s fun, but sometimes hard to juggle homework and practicing my lines.”
In addition to acting and singing, Fournier has been taking guitar lessons at Jack’s Guitar Garage for a few years. He hopes to form his own band sometime soon.
He also enjoys boxing for fun and exercise and stated that he would never want to fight competitively.
Willy Wonka Jr. will be performed on July 21 and 22 from 7–8:30 p.m. at Whitcomb School, 24 Union Street in Marlborough. Tickets for this show as well as other summer productions can be purchased online. Ticket prices for Willy Wonka are $9/adults; $6 kids under 10.