On March 16th and 17th, the Prospect Players presented SJCP’s annual drama production. This year it was YOU’RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN, Clark Gesner’s musical from 1967 that presents the Charles Schultz comic strip PEANUTS in the form of a musical. This lighthearted play features all of the famous characters, including the dopey-but-loveable Charlie Brown, played by freshmen Nate Hayes. Through vignettes on the stage featuring different configurations of Peanuts characters and in snapshots that resemble a cartoon strip, YOU’RE A GOOD MAN reflects on the often-disappointing life of Charlie Brown. Directed by Campus Ministry Director Becca Dickerson with music by band director Rei Phillippi, the production was a success with students from all grade levels participating in the lead roles: Sophomore Emily Ryan as Snoopy, senior Yerusa Sandhu as Lucy, sophomore Rose Haley as Sally, junior Patrick Haley as Linus, senior Bridgit Rogers as Peppermint Patty, and sophomore John Nelson as Schroder. With the support of another eight cast members plus a dedicated stage crew, this production packed the SJCP gym both nights and garnered positive praise from all who attended.
One of my biggest takeaways from this musical is the resilience of Charlie Brown, a character who navigates the often cruel environment of school where many students can be critical and judgmental without intentionally doing so. Despite his flaws, Charlie Brown bumbles along, eager to find acceptance among his peers or better yet, a caring friend. In this current age of cyber relationships (both positive and negative) which have a major impact on today’s youth, the interactions of Charlie Brown’s schoolmates in an earlier time period provides another important perspective on teen relationships. The musical YOU’RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN gives insight into how typical adolescent behavior may sometimes border on bullying. Ultimately, it is the defeatist attitude of the protagonist Charlie Brown and his outlook at the end of the play that can give us some hope that even though things may seem bad, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. The school’s production reminds us all what is important in life: friends, family, and faith.
Congratulations to Mrs. Dickerson, Mr. Phillippi, and the entire cast and crew for this year’s drama production.