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Chris Kemp

Starting tonight at 7:30 p.m., Charles Schultz’s classic Peanuts characters will be brought to life when UW-Eau Claire Theatre for Young Audiences presents “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown” in Kjer Theatre.

This production originally appeared as a Broadway musical in 1967, and was altered in 1999 by Schultz.

Associate professor of music and theatre arts Cheryl Starr is directing the play and said the story is divided into several short vignettes.

“It’s a day in the life of Charlie Brown,” Starr said, “and in almost every Charlie Brown scene something goes wrong.”

Junior Jenni Aldridge, who plays Lucy, said although the show is geared toward a younger audience it is worthwhile for students to come and see it.

“There are so many things above a child’s level,” Aldridge said.

The play includes jokes that younger patrons will not understand, but older members will appreciate, she said.

Junior Aaron Loy is playing Charlie Brown and said that the show is unique because it doesn’t focus on one main character but instead has an ensemble of main characters.

“You don’t see individuals playing parts,” Loy said. “You see a group being presented.”

Loy also said that they prepared for each rehearsal by playing games like “Red Light, Green Light” to get into character.

You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Date: Tonight through Saturday
Matinee: 1:30 p.m. Saturday
Place: Kjer Theatre
Cost: $6 for students, $7 for faculty and staff

The cast is only six members, but there are about 68 students total involved in the production, Starr said. Students not in the cast are in charge of tasks ranging from set design to playing the show’s music.

Eau Claire’s Theatre for Young Audiences puts on one campus play a year and also goes on one tour each year, Starr said. On tour they preform around 20 shows for school-aged audiences around the region.

Starr said she felt that along with being a service to the community, the plays were geared toward a young audience.

“I think we’re providing their first arts experiences,” she said.

Providing this experience might spark their interest to be patrons of other performances later in life, Starr said.

There will be four public performances tonight through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and one at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. They will also be performing for schools that will be bused in to see the show.

Loy said he didn’t think college students thought about theater very much when deciding what to do for the weekend, unlike seeing a movie or staying in.

“Students don’t realize there are other options,” he said, “like live theater.”

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The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.
Good grief!