Opening Dec. 8, ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ invokes the original

Charlie Brown, (Raven Levine) and Schroeder (Noble Williams) look on as Linus (Hanna Clute) endures taunting from Lucy (Audrey Fuentes) over his beloved blanket.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea
Charlie Brown, (Raven Levine) and Schroeder (Noble Williams) look on as Linus (Hanna Clute) endures taunting from Lucy (Audrey Fuentes) over his beloved blanket.



Tickets and Times

Shows are Dec. 8 and Dec. 14-15 at 7 p.m., and Dec. 8, 9, 15 and 16 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 general admission, and free for kids 10 and under. Kids must be accompanied by an adult, and all people wishing to see “A Charlie Brown Christmas” should plan on purchasing/registering for tickets at columbiaarts.org.

Audiences are encouraged to arrive early; crafts and activities are planned in the lobby starting 45 minutes before the show. After the show, join the cast for carol singing in the lobby.

A Charles Schulz homage of sorts opens Dec. 8 at Columbia Center for the Arts, just in time for Christmas.

“A Charlie Brown Christmas,” with a cast of 14 local youth, imbues the beloved cartoon original story, under the guidance of Director Sullivan Mackintosh.

From the upraised chins on “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” to Snoopy’s ecstatic, paws-to-sky dance and the way Linus’ blue blanket drapes over his arm, to the re-creation of Linus’ and Charlie Brown’s iconic shirts, the charms of the 1965 Charles Schulz animated film come through.

The plot is a simple one: How can Charlie Brown, with help from Linus, help his friends come to understand the true meaning of Christmas?

“Many of our audiences will be coming to the theater with their own personal connections to the show and the characters, so I wanted to honor the overall look and feel of the cartoon itself,” said Mackintosh, who directs CCA’s youth theater program.

“This is a big demand on the actors, but they’ve fully invested themselves, and spirit of the play has imparted itself as they’ve put their hearts and souls into the rehearsal process,” Mackintosh said.

“Some of the actors watch the original cartoon annually as part of their family festivities; some had never seen it. We’ve spent a lot of time studying the film,” said Mackintosh. “They’re really doing a service to the community in bringing this story to life, especially to the groups of elementary students that will be coming to our school matinée on Dec. 7.”

The production is unusual in that most of its performances are matinées. Stage managers are Adrian Chaton and Dell Charity. Bill Weiler is music director, Noble Williams performs some songs as Schroeder, and Douglas Hawksworth is overseeing set construction (yes, there is a Snoopy house and a Lucy booth).

Auditions are coming up for CCA’s youth theater’s next production, “Big Smoke” by Finnegan Kruckemeyer. Kids in third through seventh grade and adults age 17-70s will be considered for roles in this U.S. premiere show. Auditions are Dec. 9 and 10 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the CCA Theater.



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