By Carolyn Corsano Wong
That’s right, the beloved Christmas special A Charlie Brown Christmas will be presented by STAGE RIGHT of Texas at the historic Crighton Theatre December 1-17. With story by Charles M. Schultz and based on the television special by Bill Melendez and Lee Mendelson it was adapted for the stage by Eric Schaeffer. STAGE RIGHT leading lady, Sara Preisler, is the director and also provided additional material. Sara is well known to our audiences for her leading roles in some of our most popular musicals including Eliza in My Fair Lady, Inga in Young Frankenstein and Kathy Selden in Singin’ in the Rain. Since the TV special is only ½ hour long, Sara provided some additional songs the entire family will enjoy and help us all remember, as Charlie Brown does in the show, what Christmas is all about!
Normally, this show and You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown are cast with adult actors but Sara decided she wanted kids to portray kids (just as they were voiced in the TV special over 50 years ago)! She has cast the show with an exceptional collection of talented kids: the cream of the crop of young theatre artists in our area. We thought it might be fun for you to get to know our cast so we asked them a few questions. These responses are unedited:
- What is your favorite thing about playing your character?
“I love being a smartie pants. I love that Marcie has a good sens of humor. I love she has a best fiend like Patty.” – Marcie, Charlee Turner, 8
“I Don’t have to take a shower!”- Pig Pen, Sam Siemsnosma, 9
“I get to act loud, lazy and sloppy. I’m kind of the comic relief, so I say a bunch of funny lines. And I can fall asleep (like Patty does) randomly during the show!” – Patty, Gabby Rickwalt, 12
“I’m playing my favorite character. I love Christmas and so does Linus. I’m also Charlie Brown’s best friend.” – Linus, Keegan Pepper, 9
“I get to be sassy. I don’t want to sound mean but I like bossing people around. I also get to look pretty.” – Violet, Emma Dantzler, 10
- What is your favorite thing about being in the show?
“All my friends are in the show. I also get to perform in a historical building and it’s during the best time of the year – Christmas!” – Jingle, Micah Clarke, 10
“I love the Christmas Songs. I also like to pretend to be someone you are not. I also love working with the amazing directors.” – Lucy, Daire Mcleod, 10
“I love getting to see Santa Claus. I also love the movie we made of Snoopy flying the plane. I also have loved making new friends.” – Jangle, Liam Dempsey, 7
“I get to sing, which I love. And I get to dance. But what I love the most is I get to act.” – Little Red Haired Girl, Keali Krueger, 10
- What have you learned from doing this show?
“I learned that to put on a good show we have to work together. I also learned that you need to be able to adapt to new places. We also have to be nice to everyone and try your hardest.” – Violet, Emma Dantzler, 10
“I learned that this is a lot more fun than I thought.” – Marcie, Charlee Turner.8
“How plays are put together. ACTING IS A LOT OF WORK! I’m also learning how to sing / dance.” – Re-run, Wesley Burns, 8
“Charlie Brown’s friends judge him. I think the morol of this show is never judge a book by its cover.” – Charlie Brown, Jonah Czarnopis, 13
“I think one of the greatest things I’ve learned from being in Charlie Brown Christmas, (besides a bunch of Christmas Songs) is how much the show impacts your life. I will never look at a Peanuts comic strip the same way again.” – Patty, Gabby Rickwalt, 12
“Always Listen and Don’t be rude.” – Sally, Aria Czarnopis, 8
Christmas time seems to be a rather kid-focused holiday and can leave our more seasoned citizens feeling left out. Once again, we will be collecting items for the elderly for donation to the Salvation Army. Help spread the true meaning of Christmas this year to a stranger by bringing an unwrapped gift or personal care item for the elderly (new and unused items only, please). Suggestions include: gift cards, towels, blankets, clocks, large print books, games and puzzles, non-skid socks, underwear, personal hygiene items, soap, deodorant, toothpaste, and toothbrush.
We hope you will bring the entire family for this uplifting show. Especially when times are hard, as they have been for many this year, we need to be reminded of the gift we were all given on that very first Christmas. A Charlie Brown Christmas will be presented at the historic Crighton Theatre located at 234 N. Main Street in downtown Conroe from Dec 1 – 17. Performances will be Friday and Saturday nights at 8 pm and Sunday matinees at 2 pm. Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 936-441-7469 or online at www.stage-right.org. Don’t be a blockhead – get your tickets soon before the show sells out!