A Charlie Brown Christmas, directed by Robyn Allen, opens Thursday, Dec. 8 and runs through Dec. 18, in the Cabaret at Prescott Center for the Arts (PCA), 208 N. Marina Street. A joyous musical celebration will follow the play in the second annual holiday concert, Spirit of Christmas, directed by Cole Brackney Wandelear.
When Charlie Brown complains about the overwhelming materialism he sees amongst everyone during the Christmas season, Lucy suggests he become director of the school’s Christmas pageant. Charlie Brown accepts, but it proves to be a frustrating struggle. When an attempt to restore the proper spirit with a forlorn little fir Christmas tree fails, he needs Linus’ help to learn the real meaning of Christmas.
Mateo Pena, the 14-year-old actor playing Charlie Brown, explained that the most important part of becoming the iconic character is embodying his depressed persona.
“He’s just depressed all the time, so I don’t have to be the happy character too much,” Pena said. “It’s hard not to smile, just to be sad all the time. It’s just not easy.”
Pena, who also played Charlie in PCA’s presentation of Willy Wonka, hopes to make a career out of acting.
“I hope acting can get me into, like, Broadway maybe, or movies, TV shows, hopefully,” Pena said.
According to Theo Ditto, the 17-year-old actor playing Lucy, it wasn’t easy memorizing all of the character’s lines.
“There’s a part where I’m listing a bunch of different phobias and that was probably the most difficult part was memorizing all those phobias,” Ditto said.
Ruby Tomasovitch, the actor playing both Sally and Snoopy, explained that the two characters have completely different personalities.
“Sally is just like this sweet little, like, fun character and I play a lot of sweet characters, so that’s really in my comfort zone,” Tomasovitch said. “I really like playing Snoopy because it’s more sarcastic and I can be a little bit moody and rude and it’s fun.”
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According to Stage Manager Dandelion Venture, the performance is unique among others presented on the same stage.
“Seeing all the kids come together, it’s just really fun to watch all of their friendships develop and everyone just become closer, so it’s really cool to see the community become even stronger with this play,” Venture said. “It’s a kid focus and we’re also adding a fun holiday concert to follow it, so it’s not something we always have going on during our seasons.”
The performance starts at 7 p.m. on Dec. 8, 9, 10, 15, 16 and 17; and at 2 p.m. on Dec. 11 and 18.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.pca-az.net, or call 928-445-3286.
Jesse Bertel is a reporter/videographer for the Prescott News Network. Follow him on Twitter @ JesseBertel, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2043.