The North Surry Players are presenting “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, the Broadway Musical” Saturday night in the Black Box Theatre at North Surry High School with two performances slated at 3 p.m. and then at 7 p.m.
This follows a Friday night show of the production.
“This is the first time that a theatrical production of this magnitude has been attempted at North Surry, let alone, presented on campus,” said director Debby Diamont.
Auditions were held in February, and rehearsals began in March. Although the cast is small, “North Surry is lucky to have some veteran performers in some of the lead roles and behind the scenes,” the school said in a statement.
Starring in the title role of Charlie Brown is Robert Parks, whose recent credits include the title role in “Hamlet” and the character of Buddy in “Elf, the Musical, Jr.”
Lucy Van Pelt will be played by theatre veteran Bailey Atkins who is best known for her comic improv skills as well as numerous productions in Elkin. Newcomers Gavin Jones and Laura Uriaga-Vega were cast as Schroeder and Sally Brown “and have been a delightful surprise,” Diamont said.
“Lending his powerful voice to the cast is Adam Perez Butcher as Linus. A bold, but smart move was made in casting Haley Keck as the ever-popular Snoopy. She brings a wonderful freshness and humor to the role that is normally cast as a male.”
One innovation in this production, according to the director, is that Linus’ blanket will come to life during one of his signature songs in a “dance number” choreographed by Amy Cockerham and danced by Juliana Cook, who is playing Peppermint Patty.
While not written in the script, other characters, Shermy and Marcie, from the comic strip by Charles Schulz, are also highlighted in the ensemble and played by Samuel McMillan and Kristen Goins.
Additionally, Woodstock, played by Briana Thrift, makes several cameo appearances. Also helping behind the scenes are Marissa Mabe, Annabeth Flippin, Taylor and Tanner Whitaker, Paul Webb, Karlie Marion, Justin Angel, carpenters Aaron McGuire and Librado Perez, and business manager Chantea Taylor. Senior Edgar Aguirre is assistant director.
“While I was working on my doctorate at UNC-G, I had the opportunity to research the concept and history of the Black Box Theatre, especially in regards to developing one on the campus of my high school,” Diamont said. “Building an auditorium on the campus of a Surry County school seemed to be an impossibility for the immediate future, so I decided to take a positive approach to this dilemma. Creating our own performance space out of what we already had available to us was the perfect solution. My 1,200-square-foot chorus/drama classroom became the guinea pig.”
Diamont says that a black box space is typically small with a simplistic design. “This makes it an extremely flexible with endless configurations, only limited by one’s imagination.
Anyone interested in tickets to the show, can call the North Surry Players at 336-429-2727 to make reservations. The Black Box Theatre is located on the football stadium side of the new wing building. The show is based on the comic strip “Peanuts” by Charles M. Schulz. The book, music and lyrics are by Clark M. Gesner. Admission is $5 for students and $8 for adults. Seating is limited.