On January 29, 2011 I drove over to the west side of Indianapolis to Wayne Township Community Theatre’s presentation of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” in the Ben Davis High School Theatre.
That was the last night of its run, and I didn’t accept a media pass for it, so I never planned to write a full review of it, but I would still like to record a few quick thoughts and the full “who did what” from the program so that that information will be searchable here on Indy Theatre Habit months from now if I want it.
I wanted to see WTCT’s production of this piece for three main reasons:
One: Rebecca Devries McConnell was playing Lucy. She and I share another passion besides theatre: we both love to read young adult literature (aka YA lit.) I wanted to express my appreciation for that relationship. Plus, I have enjoyed her work in other community theatre productions around town. She has good comic timing and a big, belty singing voice that she seems able to place effortlessly no matter what whacky antics her characters are up to.
She was, to my satisfaction, a hoot as Lucy. I never mind going to a show by myself but this time I did want to be able to turn to a companion and say, “I told you so!”
Two: I first saw this show on a tiny stage in a church basement. I was curious what the WTCT director and design team would do with it on the vast stage at Ben Davis.
Set designer Justin Cooper made me laugh with his vast, black, up-and-down stripe on a yellow background, reminiscent of Charlie Brown’s signature shirt. There were other creative uses of the space as well.
Three: Shayla Kenworthy, Director of Special Events and Communications for the Wayne Township Education Foundation, which produces WTCT events, always includes me when she emails a press release about whatever is going on with Wayne Township Community Theatre. I am not able to get out there for every show they produce, but I appreciate every email she sends me. Going to this show instead of the dozen others that I could have seen that night was my attempt to say “thank you” in the most meaningful way I could.
WTCT is one of the eleven member theatres of the all-volunteer Encore Association. As I watched “Charlie Brown,” I found myself feeling a little nostalgic for the year I served as an Encore judge. I would have written several names on my nomination ballot for this show if I were judging this year.
Who Did What
“You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” was directed for WTCT by William Andrews, assisted by Conni Kelley-Schoen. The vocal director/conductor was Jen Bolejak. The musical director was Margaret Humrichouser.
The pianist was Larry Bonebright. The choreographer was Erin Cohenour.
Male costume design was by William Andrews. Female costume design was by Rebecca Devries McConnell. Female costume construction was by Donna Jacobi. Susan Best served as costume assistant.
Set designer Justin Cooper was also the stage manager. Janice Hannon and Erin Cohenour were the assistant stage managers. The stage crew included Bradley Bolejak, Ellie Espinoza, and Kari St. Louis. Set construction was by Justin Cooper, William Andrews, Conni Kelley-Schoen, Jeff Best, and Craig Underwood. Set decoration was by William Andrews.
The sound/lighting designer was Jake Runnals. Sarah Runnals was the lighting assistant. Jeff Best was the sound board operator. Conni Kelley-Schoen was the light board operator.
Susan Page Freeman, Erin Cohenour, Mel Smith, and Shannon Stinson were the audition coordinators.
Here is the cast list:
- Charlie Brown = Craig Underwood
- Lucy VanPelt = Rebecca Devries McConnell
- Linus VanPelt = John Brennan Hayes
- Sally Brown = Jessica Bartley
- Schroeder = David Michael Cress
- Snoopy = Tom Bartley
- Woodstock = Dustin Bowers
“You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” is based on the comic strip “Peanuts” by Charles M. Schulz. Book, music, and lyrics by Clark Gesner. Additional dialogue by Michael Mayer. Additional music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa. Original direction for this version of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” by Michael Mayer. Originally produced in New York by Arthur Whitelaw and Gene Persson.
‘See you at the theatres!
Hope Baugh – www.IndyTheatreHabit.com
Follow me (@IndyTheatre) and/or the topic #indystage on Twitter.com, too, if you like. I never tweet during a show (and I beg you not to take your phone out during a show either, for any reason!) but I often tweet my first impressions during intermission or immediately after a show.