Archive

ShareThis Page
‘Charlie Brown’s Christmas’ reminder of holiday message | TribLIVE.com
Theater & Arts

‘Charlie Brown’s Christmas’ reminder of holiday message

vndTKcharliebrown1112714
Submitted
Paul Wright of Kittanning plays Charlie Brown in the Armstrong Community Theater production of “Charlie Brown’s Christmas.”
vndTKcharliebrown2112714
Submitted
Laura Lloyd (left) of Vandergrift is Lucy and Marj Thomas of Kittanning plays Peppermint Patty in the Armstrong Community Theater production of “Charlie Brown’s Christmas.”

One of America’s favorite television Christmas specials will be brought to life onstage when Armstrong Community Theater presents “Charlie Brown’s Christmas” on Nov. 29 and 30 at the Worthington Civic Center.

The play was created for the theater group by Emily Younkins, who also directs the production. It is closely based on the annual television special.

“It’s a classic that we all grew up watching,” Younkins says. “It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve seen it, you still watch it.”

Most audience members will be familiar with the heartwarming story of Charlie’s search for the true meaning of Christmas. As the holiday approaches, Charlie is saddened by the commercialism he sees all around him. When the other kids laugh at the scrawny tree he chooses, he begins to wonder whether he even knows what Christmas is all about.

After Linus recites the Christmas story from the Bible, the other children follow Charlie home and help him decorate his tree. Charlie is surprised at their kind gesture, and they all wish him a merry Christmas before joining in to sing “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.”

“It shows you that commercialism isn’t the way that Christmas is supposed to be celebrated,” Younkins says. “It’s good to be reminded of that every year.”

With the exception of Snoopy, all the characters in the play are portrayed by adults. Charlie Brown is played by Paul Wright, who says the story’s message has a timeless appeal.

“The message that it sends is about how people get so lost in the commercialism of Christmas that they lose the true meaning of it,” Wright says.

While the play follows the TV plot, there are extra elements added from other Charlie Brown specials, such as the glee-club scene from the Broadway musical, “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”

“It’s hilarious,” Wright says.

Although the actors will dress like the cartoon characters and act like them, there are differences. “We’re making Charlie Brown into a real person,” Wright says.

Presenting the show and offering the tickets at a minimal cost is a way for the theater to thank its loyal audience.

“It’s our way of giving back to those who have helped us out during the year,” Wright says.

Charlie’s little sister, Sally, is played by Karissa Lloyd.

“Sally’s fun because she’s one of the youngest of the Peanuts gang,” Lloyd says. “She’s the bubbly younger kid who’s always trying to hang out with the older kids.”

Lloyd says that she and the other cast members enjoy bringing the beloved characters to life onstage. “It’s fun for all of us to let our inner children out to play,” she says. “Whether you’re 3 or 93, most people recognize the Peanuts characters.”

Santa Claus will visit after each show. Audience members can buy chances to win a Peanuts-themed gift basket and try their luck in a 50-50 raffle drawing.

The evening will last a little over an hour, including the visit by Santa.

Cynthia Bombach Helzel is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.