Musical Theatre Production - March 2017 Musical Theatre I Fine Arts I Academic Programs

You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown

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From the Director’s Chair …
Laurie Mitchell

We always seem to find it challenging to choose a musical that suits our needs: we want it big enough to include many students singing, acting and dancing on stage, we need catchy music, manageable set and costume requirements, something that will appeal to the ticket buying audience and a show that will provide a meaningful five months of learning for our cast and crew and be even better than the last show – believe me this is difficult. When You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown was mentioned we all just kind of stopped and smiled – that is a good sign!

This show is a classic for many reasons. The Peanuts Gang had its beginnings back in 1947 so having been in our public conscience for seventy years means it should be recognizable and appeal to all ages –well at least Brent Hogan and I get most of the jokes. The musical itself is celebrating its 50th anniversary and had a Broadway revival/revision in 1999 so it is reasonably current for our young cast to recognize and be able to search up songs and video clips – this is also very helpful. The cartoon catalogue is rich providing many inspirations for both set and costumes so we are also fortunate in that area. When you hear the songs which are so fun and catchy, I am sure you will be able to sing along with a few, want to “pony” to others and I guarantee they will make you smile. As the director, working with such classic characters has been both fun and challenging to bring such well-known cartoon characters to life and find the balance of honouring the cartoon creator’s vision and the talented young actors with whom we are blessed to work.

Last year we celebrated 25 years of musical theatre productions here at CCH and this year we say good bye to a couple of our founding production staff: Carol Koran who has worked in many capacities for 26 shows has been a constant supporter and force in creating musical theatre here at CCH; Carol has decided to share her ample talents with a school division in Tokyo. We also say thank you to David Hignell who not only helped plan the Eggplant Theatre but designed lighting and shared his wealth of theatre knowledge with all involved. Their Eggplant family hope they “break a leg” in the best way possible! Thanks to all who make this creation process possible and remember we can all learn from Good Ol’ Charlie Brown who despite feeling challenged with a variety of issues from flying kites to getting the attention of the Little Red headed girl, he remains optimistic, keeps on trying and makes us all realize we aren’t so bad after all.

Exit -  Stage Right

The year was 1991.  The place was the Catholic Central staff room.  And, if my memory serves me correctly, the person was Don Robb who casually suggested that we might just have the right people in place to do a school musical production.  In March of 1992, Godspell played at the Sterndale- Bennett Theatre, and CCH Musical Theatre was born.

It has been an unforgettable 26 years.  It is hard to believe that I am the second last of the original production staff still involved in CCH productions.  My congratulations to young Gerry Tomiyama (now Unger) for out-lasting us all!  In his Director’s Notes for the program, Peter Mueller referred to her as “a fabulous find.”  Truer words were never spoken!

Working with CCH Musical Theatre has been a highlight of my career as an educator.   I never tire of looking over photographs of past productions, and playing the “what is he/she doing now?” game.  Very often, the answer is that he or she is doing something wonderful, because involvement in the arts is an experience that encourages young people to find their voice, to embrace possibilities, to take risks and to live joyously.   As I finally graduate from CCH and from the Musical Theatre family, I would like to pay tribute to those amazing performers who started it all. In the end, CCH Musical Theatre has always been about the students. So, thank-you, David Barva, Nicola Hazell, Lisa Kireef, Julie Lemire, Teri MacNeil, Gina Martin, Jon Megella, Angie Parkinson, Trevor Pittman, Mark Randell, and Grahame Renyk.  You were (and are) so brave, and so passionate and so much fun.  Your legacy remains strong. 

Carol Koran,
Producer, Props, Costumes, Stage Manager 

One School, Two Buildings, Endless Opportunities

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