Bluefield University in the News

Bluefield Youth Theatre to Present Matilda the Musical

by | Apr 10, 2023

Bluefield Youth Theatre at Bluefield University will present the Tony Award-winning musical Matilda, featuring music/lyrics by Tim Minchin and book by Dennis Kelly. Public performances of Matilda will be presented Thursday, April 27 through Saturday, April 29 at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee performance on Sunday, April 30 at 3:00 p.m. Advance tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and may be booked at Tickets will be $12 and $7 at the door on the day of the performance.

Matilda, based on the popular children’s book by British author Roald Dahl, made its Broadway debut in 2013 and was recently adapted into a star-studded movie for Netflix starring Alisha Weir, Lashana Lynch, and Emma Thompson.

The musical tells the story of the precocious Matilda Wormwood who reads multiple books a week and does advanced mathematics in her head by the tender age of 5. Matilda seems to have everything against her: her parents think reading is unnatural and anything you need to learn can be picked up on TV while the headmistress at Matilda’s new school, Crunchem Hall, is the infamous Agatha Trunchbull, former national hammer-throwing champion of Great Britain who feels that the best way to educate a child is to make sure they never color outside the lines. However, Matilda does have two people in her corner: a supportive librarian named Ms. Phelps and a sweet, nurturing teacher named Miss Honey.

The biggest thing that Matilda has on her side in the struggle with Ms. Trunchbull is her own inexhaustible wit, her irrepressible optimism—and just a tiny dose of telekinesis thrown in for good measure! By the end of “Revolting Children,” the closing number of this exuberant two-hour musical, Crunchem Hall has learned that all it takes to overcome the Trunchbulls in life is a dream and the willingness to be “A Little Bit Naughty!”

In the Bluefield Youth Theatre production, Matilda is played by Olivia Deel. Mr. and Mrs. Wormwood, Matilda’s parents, are played by Noah Munique and Isabella Deel. Miss Trunchbull, the oppressive head mistress, is played by BU student Laura Horton while her nurturing teacher Miss Honey is played by Ana Barros. The friendly librarian Miss Phelps is played by Abigail McComas. Matilda’s classmates include Bruce Bogtrotter, played by Levi Mullins; Lavender, played by Blaire Anderson; Amanda Thripp, played by Callie Wilkinson, Nigel, played by Elijah Thyng; Hortensia, played by Eschall Kahn; Alice, played by Ryleigh Linginfelter; Eric, played by Micah Deel; and Tommy, played by Gavin Bolton. The Escapologist and the Acrobat are played by General Smith and Cadence Lane. Rudolpho, the dancer Italiano, is played by Miles Munique, and Sergei, the head of the Russian Mafia, is played by Aaron Sudderth. Other cast members include Lily Auton, Jaysen Branham, Arianna Bowling, Bobby Burnett, Ava Cox, Caleb Cumbow, Catherine Dixon, Silas Fain, Lakin Fox, Bethany Goins, Deacon Goins, Teddi Groseclose, Skylar Harold, Ian Matullo, Christina Robinson, Faith Shrader, Cannon Smith, Finn Smith, Claire Thyng, Kate Thyng, Alysia Townley, Andy Vaughan, Jillian West, Ellie Whittaker, Bear Woodard, and Koa Woodard. The play is directed by Charles M. Reese and Rebecca McCoy-Reese with choreography by Abigail McComas and music direction by Laura Horton.

“This show has been a blast,” director Reese said. “With a cast of 45 children and college students, there is an incredible amount of energy and enthusiasm on the stage. I think that energy is going to be overwhelming when the children sing ‘Revolting Children,’ which is a cast favorite.”

Matilda opens on April 27 and runs through April 30. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and 3:00 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are on sale now. Advance tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for senior adults and students from other institutions. Tickets are $12 and $7 at the door. Admission is free for BU students, faculty, and staff. To reserve your seats today, visit

For more information, contact Charles M. Reese, BU professor of theatre, at [email protected]. For media inquiries, please contact [email protected].

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