One small town is about to become home to the nation’s very first “weed factory,” and it’s causing a stir of mixed emotions among its citizens. While some are excited about the new legal status of cannabis and the arrival of the factory, others are completely terrified. The town has always thought, “marijuana is dangerous gateway drug that leads to violence and criminality,” a belief well enforced by Mr. Candy Man, the town’s trusted pharmacist. So, it’s up to eccentric outsider and hemp enthusiast, Mr. Willy Wonka and the weed factory, to convince the townspeople that weed is not, in fact, “the devil’s lettuce,” but is, instead, an environmentally sustainable plant with many useful properties. But, when Mr. Wonka invites five “ Golden Spliffin ” winners into his factory to enlighten and educate them, he unexpectedly learns something from the townspeople in return—-although “weed is a drug that makes you feel free, love is the drug that everyone needs.”
Willy Wonka and the Weed Factory is a live musical satire created by two weed-loving female comedians, Brittany Belland and Weslie Lechner, who grew up in conservative towns and were taught the “dangers of marijuana” through the D.A.R.E program. After moving to liberal Los Angeles and finally experimenting with cannabis themselves, Brittany and Weslie realized that what they’d always been told about the dangers of weed had been quite an exaggeration. Brittany, who has suffered from an anxiety disorder since she was a teenager, has found CBD to be an incredibly powerful, yet gentle solution to controlling her anxiety as well as a much safer option with far fewer side effects than the intense prescription pill she had been taking. Weslie has been enjoying smoking pot ever since realizing that cannabis is a far more gentle recreational option than drinking alcohol, one that expands your mind in ways that alcohol inhibits. The two of them began writing a musical inspired by their own personal experiences, and by the Roald Dahl classic story as well. It was while writing that their research revealed the so called “dangers” of the cannabis plant to be largely false information, with roots in historical racism, promulgated by the government. Immediately, they knew they wanted to make their musical not just a parody about smoking pot, but also a vehicle to set the record straight about “wacky tobaccy” and ultimately reduce the stigma associated with cannabis use.
Willy Wonka and the Weed Factory is a full length musical comedy that explores the history of weed’s criminalization and its ties to social and racial injustice as well as the many medicinal benefits of cannabis use and the thousands of environmentally sustainable products that can be made from hemp. With original lyrics and musical arrangements, Willy Wonka and the Weed Factory tells a tale of love, trust, and acceptance of others, all through singing, dancing, and, of course, smoking weed. Presented by Welland Productions and Executive Producer Stephen S. Price and sponsored by Spliffin, Willy Wonka and the Weed Factory runs July 20th through July 24th at The Fremont Centre Theater in South Pasadena, California.