Candice Anvari co-editor-in-chief
Theater students will perform “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown” as their first in-person production of the year on Sept. 25 and 26 at the Horace Mann Auditorium.
The production is based on Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz, which follows the life of Charlie Brown and the obstacles of growing up. In regards to safety protocols, the theater department will implement social distancing by blocking off two seats between audience members and allowing audience members to sit in every other row.
“It’s long been my irritation that we’re a school with this level of talent that doesn’t do a second musical, especially at least one musical with a smaller cast,” Chandler said. “Mr. Smith and I decided that we really need to do this because we really want to start promoting the theater program to younger children, so they can get excited about what they can do in high school.”
In order to make this production possible in a short time frame, the performers learned their music over the summer.
“I normally don’t give my students materials to learn on their own during the summer. It’s really not normal. So, we had to make sure to cast people who could sight read and perform without having someone hold their hand. It was also really helpful that almost everybody in the cast is in Madrigals as well, so they have the skills we were looking for,” Chandler said.
Although the cast faced a “time crunch,” Chandler was “incredibly proud” of the performers’ ability to learn the music and choreography quickly and their willingness to take her notes.
“This is a consummate group of performers. This group loves to perform. They would slice away a chunk of their lives and give up on something else to be able to do this. The thing they most want is an audience to watch their hard work, so I’m hoping we have a great turnout,” Chandler said.
Senior Emma Maurer, who plays the role of Sally Brown, does not believe the time crunch was an issue for the cast.
“We were super prepared. We came to school with everything mostly memorized and we knew all our music really well. So, what was really new was just solidifying our lines and learning choreography. We’ve been pretty ahead of schedule,” Maurer said.
With this show being the first of the semester, senior Stephanie Ortiz, who plays the role of Marcie, is “so excited” to perform with the cast after a year of virtual learning.
“It feels amazing to be performing again in-person. I am so ready to be on stage and perform in front of people again after a year of Zoom, which only showed the audience the upper half of my body,” Ortiz said.
After months of preparation, Maurer is looking forward to kicking off her senior year with this production.
“I feel so old when I think about starting in this program as a freshman. It’s crazy that I’m a senior now,” Maurer said. “I think this show is a great way to start off senior year because we’re all such great friends, so we’ve been having a great time rehearsing and spending time with each other.”
Although senior Chloe Levine, who plays the role of Lucy van Pelt, is “really looking forward” to the show, she finds it “bittersweet” because she is going to miss performing with her classmates when this school year ends.
“We missed out on performing on a stage last year because of COVID, so I forgot what it felt like to be so connected to people on stage. The second that we started performing again I remembered just how much I loved performing,” Levine said.
Chandler believes students will “love” the show. She hopes that people will decide to attend either the shows on Saturday or the show on Sunday to show their support for the theater department and for their peers.
“This show is so funny. I still laugh out loud when I think about one of the lines, even though I’ve seen them rehearse so many times,” Chandler said. “In this school, we’re so fractured because we don’t do things together. This is a chance to come together and watch a great production. I think everyone should attend.”
The show will run Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the door or from the student store for $10 or $5 with a Go Card.