The North Greenville University (NGU) Cline School of Music and School of Theatre are collaborating to bring Clark Gesner's "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown" to the NGU Billingsley Theatre stage in February.
When the play was first staged on March 7, 1967, there was no real script at Theatre 80 in New York City. The six young actors were armed mostly with ten songs and ten years' worth of cartoons by "Peanuts" creator Charles M. Schulz.
Gesner, who created the music and lyrics for the play, notes that the play's success could be primarily attributed to Charles Schulz's "immensely human view of the world and his special ability to say it for all of us."
NGU will be presenting the revival version, which opened on February 4, 1999. It featured new dialogue by Michael Mayer and additional songs and orchestration written by Andrew Lippa. It is a vibrant and heartwarming production.
"The scope of the play is described as an average day in the life of Charlie Brown and is broken into two acts. The play concludes with the characters each listing the things that, for them, constitute happiness," said Associate Professor of Voice at the Cline School of Music Angela Horn-Barrett and stage director, musical director, and choreographer.
"The light-hearted story that leaves a smile on your face is the reason we chose this production for this season. The COVID-19 pandemic has stolen joy away from so many and left people feeling down and discouraged. This show allows us to laugh together, cry together, and embrace our humanity with hope through the eyes of these wonderful characters. It is a show for the whole family." said Horn-Barrett.
The whole gang is here: bossy Lucy, who is hopelessly in love with piano prodigy Schroeder, who does not give her the time of day; perfectionist Sally who is still mocking blanket-toting Linus; Snoopy, who is on his doghouse with his wild imagination; and of course Charlie Brown, the lovable, but self-loathing boy trying to find his place in the world.
The six cast members are Wyatt Duncan from Reidsville, NC, as Charlie Brown, Rachel Gasdia from Lexington, SC as Lucy van Pelt, Cheyenne Veach from Statesville, NC, as Sally Brown, J.P. Waynick from Greer as Schroeder, Michael Thomas of Angleton, TX, as Linus van Pelt, and Sam Lawson from Liberty as Snoopy.
The show runs Feb. 18-20 and 25-27. Tickets are on sale now in the Billingsley Theatre Box Office or online at NGU.edu/theatre-season.
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