Charlie Brown comes to SPLHS

Wednesday, November 16, 2011
The theater troupe at Saint Paul Lutheran High School presented "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," last Friday and Saturday at Kaeppel Hall. Charlie Brown (above), played by Josh Perrin, sings about his woes to Lucy, played by Samantha Heisleman.

The cast of the 2011 fall musical, "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," at Saint Paul Lutheran High School (SPLHS) kept their audience laughing and entertained during a special preview performance last Wednesday morning.

The cast gave its first performance for a group of elementary students from area grade schools. With its whimsical one-liners and quirky characters to young audience was laughing through most of the performance.

On Friday and Saturday evening, the musical was performed tow more times for the general public in Kaeppel Chapel. "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," is a 1967 musical written by Clarke Gesner, based on the "Peanuts" comic strip created by cartoonist Charles M. Schulz.

The musical primarily focuses on Charlie Brown, who is a shy boy searching for what it means to be a good person. Throughout the musical the audience learns a little about each character and their perculiar antics. However, eventually, the story comes full circle with Charlie Brown finding -- with the help of his friends -- that while he may have many shortcomings, those faults do not define him.

Charlie Brown was played by Josh Perrin. Other Peanuts characters included Nathan Gerdts as Snoopy, Samantha Heisleman as Lucy, Haley Schemmer as Sally, Nolan Peters as Schroeder and Josh Mourey as Linus.

For the cast, the musical had some unique challenges, but the end result was worth the extra effort.

"The biggest challenge is that you have to act and sing at the same time. That adds a little more work," Gerdts said. "It challenges you to work harder. [But] it turns out being worthwhile because it ends up looking really cool."

Gerdts said he grew up watching the Charlie Brown movies and reading the Peanuts comic strip.

Gerdts really enjoyed the chance to bring the characters to life. He liked playing Snoopy because the character is funny and mischievous.

Perrin said his character is supposed to be shy, but he tried to change him a little by making him more outgoing. Perrin said one fun aspect of acting is the process of taking a familiar character and giving a new interpretation of the role.

"I like being able to take on a play that is not myself and to change what people think of as Charlie Brown and turn it into my own thought of what they would be like," Perrin said.

Perrin, who has been performing in musicals and plays for seven years, said working with the drama group at SPLHS was a lot of fun. He said through the entire process, they really learned a great deal about working together and became close friends.

The musical was directed by Kim Brandt and Rebecca Nelson. William Gasau directed the music.ญญญ

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