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A last minute play change didn’t stop the Chrisman Theatre from putting on a great show. The cast of eight actors performed ‘You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown’ on March 25th and 26th. The cast featured seniors John Phipps and Clara Wheeler as Charlie Brown and Lucy. Joining them was Asa Hoult as ‘Linus’, Kaylee Ruff as ‘Peppermint Patty’, Ryan Dippy as ‘Rerun Van Pelt’, Tori LaBaume as ‘Sally, Ali Prisecaru as ‘Schroeder’ and Durham Switzer as ‘Snoopy’.
The play was the final production for Cole Huber, who will be leaving at the end of the year for another position in the Sullivan school district. “Making the decision to leave Chrisman was incredibly difficult. Making the decision to leave the theatre program that I have built was soul crushing,” Huber said. “I am incredibly thankful for the hundreds of students who have been in my casts. I love you all. I cannot wait to come back and see shows here for years to come and see the next steps the program takes.”
The play began with Charlie Brown’s friends giving their various opinions of him, everyone calling him a ‘good man’ and telling him that he could be king. Everyone except Lucy, who says he could be kind if he wasn’t so ‘whishy washy’. Hearing his friends’ words, Charlie decided to find out how he can really become a ‘good man’.
Alone one day during lunch, Brown talks about his bad days, then notices ‘The Little Red-Headed Girl’ and tries to convince himself to go sit with her. However, he cannot find the courage to do so and puts his lunch bag over his head. Lucy and Sally walk by talking about dress and Lucy proceeds to draw the dress she wants on top of the bag.
The next scene involved Lucy expressing her deep infatuation with Schroeder and asks him what he thinks of marriage. Schroeder is aware of her feelings, but remains aloof as he plays the piano. “My Aunt Marion was right. Never try to discuss marriage with a musician!,” Lucy exclaimed.
Once the number is finished, Sally enters, sad because her jump rope tangled up.
The play then moves to Snoopy lying on his doghouse relaxing and daydreaming about being a wild jungle beast. Linus enters, hold his blanket and sucking his thumb. Lucy and Sally begin to mock Linus, causing him to prove that he doesn’t need his blanket. Linus sits it on the ground and walks away, only to run back a few second later to grab it.
After Lucy and Sally leave, Linus daydreams of a blanket fantasy where everyone can relax with their blankets and performs the song ‘My Blanket and Me’. Lucy later tells Linus that she would someday like to be a Queen. However, Linus tells her that she can’t and she threatens to punch him.
Sally expresses her feelings on receiving a ‘D’ for her coat hanger sculpture.
In his quest to become a ‘good man’, Charlie Brown appear, trying to get his unusually stubborn kite soar in the air. Eventually, he succeeds and enjoys just a few minutes of triumph before the notorious ‘Kite Eating Tree’ eats up the kite.
After this trauma, Charlie Brown tries to find the right way to give ‘The Little Red-Headed Girl’ her Valentine’s Day card, but he ends up saying ‘Merry Christmas’, making a fool out of himself. Brown decides to go see Lucy, who is in her psychiatrist booth. He tells her all the things he thinks of himself.
Lucy then clears it up by saying that Charlie Brown is unique the way he is, then asks for the five cent price. Later, Charlie Brown sees a happy Schroeder spreading the word of Beethoven’s birthday and pulling together a celebration. He and company join Schroeder in the song ‘Beethoven Day’.
The next morning, Sally wakes up Snoopy to go rabbit chasing. While the pair are rabbit chasing, Linus, Lucy, Schroeder and Charlie Brown are working on their Peter Rabbit book reports, in their own way.
Lucy is simply babbling to fit the 100 word requirement, Schroeder is going a comparison between the book and Robin Hood. Linus is doing and over complicated psychological analysis and Charlie Brown hasn’t even started out of worry. In the background, Sally and Snoopy are chasing rabbits.
Act Two begins with Snoopy in his World War I flying ace uniform atop his doghouse. He then begins his search for the illusive ‘Red Baron’. In his imagination, he is defeated by the Red Baron and returns to the aerodome in France.
Sally enters, clearly cross about her ‘D’ her teacher gave her on her homework assignment. In her response, she says ‘Oh yeah? That’s what you think!’. Schroeder hears and asks why Sally is telling him that. It quickly becomes Sally’s new philosophy as she bursts into song about her philosophies. Schroeder, after failing to explain to her how philosophies work, leaves in bafflement as Sally continues to sing.
Charlie Brown returns and with his friends, plays in the Little League Baseball Championship. After some mishaps, the team finally manages to make some progress. Charlie Brown steps up to the plate, and despite his valiant efforts, strikes out and loses the game.
At this point, the crowd learns that this was a flashback and Charlie Brown expresses his deep sorrow to his pen pal. After the flashback, Lucy takes a crabbiness survey and Linus says her crabbiness rating is ninety-five. After punching him, she realizes that she, in reality, is really very crabby.
Determined not to let what happened at the championship bother him, Charlie Brown decides to join Schroeder’s Glee Club and cheer up by singing ‘Home on the Range’ with his friends. Unfortunately, a fight ensues between Lucy and Linus over a pencil. The fight spreads and Charlie Brown decides to leave with his angry friends, leaving Schroeder and Snoopy the only ones singing.
Later, Charlie Brown comes across Lucy teaching Linus about nature the way she views it, with “facts” such as bugs pulling the grass to make it grow and snow growing out of the ground in the winter.
Charlie Brown tries to correct her, but she retaliates with a false explanation, causing him to bang his head against a tree in frustration.
That evening, Snoopy complains that he hasn’t been fed yet and begins to overly complicate and dramatize the matter until Charlie Brown shows up with his dinner. Snoopy bursts into song about his craving for supper until Charlie Brown firmly tells him to eat his meal.
That night, Charlie Brown is still sad that he has not discovered what it means to be a ‘good man’, then he discovers a pencil which has been dropped by ‘The Little Red-Headed Girl’. As he examines it, he discovers ‘there are teeth marks all over it…she nibbles her pencil…she’s HUMAN!’.
With that realization, he concludes that today hasn’t been so bad, after all, he’s done a lot of things that make him happy. As Charlie Brown expresses what makes him happy, everyone, touched by his love of life, begins to express what makes them happy as well as they perform the song ‘Happiness’.
Right then, he realizes, being a ‘good man’ means trying your best and making the most of the things you’ve been given in life. As his other friends leave the stage, Lucy turns to him and puts out her hand, making him shrink back. As he reaches out, she shakes his hand firmly, then tells him ‘You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown’.
A medley of ‘Happiness’ and ‘You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown’ was performed as the cast comes out for a final curtain call.
The Chrisman High School cast put on a great show and we look forward to seeing what they do next year.