This past weekend the Seminole High School Theatre company put on brilliant production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.” This show takes the iconic Peanuts comic strips and brings them to life. Each scene acts as a stand-alone comic strip which can make it extremely confusing if you are unaware that this is what is happening. However, once you embrace this concept, it becomes extremely entertaining.
IB Junior, Madeline Samples, says “It was a play that you can’t really understand the first time you see it, so I went to go see it a second time. This is when I realized that it was really like Charlie Brown the comic strips. The scenes don’t really get pieced together. My favorite songs are a tie between the blanket song and Beethoven Day. They were so engaging. I just couldn’t take my eyes off of it ”
This theme carried even into the cast and crew, co-stage-manager, Ava Nelson, says ““The first time I heard it I was definitely confused. A comparison I make a lot is Waiting for Godot but for kids in the sense that it makes absolutely no sense, which is why I think it’s really fun to do.”
Nelson makes a comparison to Waiting for Godot, an absurdist play from the 1950s. I believe this comparison is very apt because it explains the lack of plot or specific throughline. Waiting for Godot does not have any real plot similar to You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown instead has each scene act as it’s own independent comic strip brought to life.
Most of the classic Peanut’s characters are present, but the show does lack Peppermint Patty, Marcie, and Franklin. Personally, I was disappointed that these characters were missing, but the cast made up for with their spirited performances. All of the actors were fantastic and completely understood their roles. Another change from the classic comics was that Snoopy talked and sang.
Samples believes “it makes it unique, and Snoopy is such a fan favorite. Everyone loves Snoopy, and the actress just really brought her to life. She brought another layer to the character that I had never seen before.”
Additionally, the staging of the play was incredible. Due to the nature of the play, having independent scenes, very few set pieces were reused, so backstage must have been quite complicated. Nelson was a co-stage manager, who worked mainly with Snoopy and Snoopy’s dog house. Snoopy primarily existed on top of his dog-house. Nelson says “The hardest part was taking the dog house on and off the stage. I have to make sure she was safe and comfortable. My main goal was just to make sure she was safe and she felt safe.”
The costumes were also fantastic. They looked exactly like they did in the cartoon, connecting it back to the source material and adding a cartoonish element to the stage production.
However, working in theatre also teaches people a lot. Nelson adds “I learned how to work with different personalities because when you’re stage manager it doesn’t matter if you have personal issues with people, you have to put all that stuff behind you. Another thing I learned is that if you have a big stage, fog machines don’t really work, so I had to stand back there fanning it. Despite the difficulties, my favorite song was Beethoven Day because backstage we were all dancing. My favorite songs were when backstage we could be having fun too.”
The musical not only displayed the various talents of the cast but the talents of the orchestra students who played the music that supported the whole musical. This is particularly special because it showcases our school’s ability to work together and excel.
All in all, the musical was a huge success that was enjoyed by everyone who saw it, was on stage or was playing the music.