Story By Ashley Llorens
Missouri Valley’s Division of Fine Arts put on the production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” October 16-19 in the Eckilson-Mabee Theatre at 7:30 p.m.
The cast included Matthew Ryan Ford as Charlie Brown, Emma Quinlan as Lucy, Bailey Yeater as Sally, Terrence Mickens as Schroeder, Taylor Castillo as Linus, Megan Weathers as Peppermint Patty, and Caitlyn Davidson as Snoopy.
The cast learned songs, dance routines, and their lines for “Charlie Brown” and the crew behind the scenes believes they worked really hard. “My favorite part was working with the students and seeing them grow and develop their roles,” said choreographer Janie Morgan, associate professor of Dance.
She’s not the only one who felt that way. The director, Harold Hynick, assistant professor Theatre, said he felt the same way. He said, “My favorite part was watching the actors grow during the process. This group was dedicated.”
The cast and crew have been working on this production since August and they said that improvements were made since then.
“This cast picked up the choreography rather quickly but then it took some time to clean it and unify the movements. The cast was a group of hard working students and eventually they got it together and I think they did a great job performing the choreography,” added Morgan.
Music Director Diana Malan, associate professor of Music and Theatre, said the actors had to create a singing voice to go along with their characters. “This cast worked very hard to achieve the vocal energy and vocal animation needed for this show. I think the actors did a great job with this because it’s not easy to sing in a character-style voice, but I thought they were ‘spot’ on,” said Malan.
The cast and crew put on four performances, three performed for the general public and one for Eastwood Elementary third graders and St. Peters Catholic School fifth-through-eighth-grade students.
“I loved performing for them. Those kids had great energy which made the performance a lot of fun,” said Bailey Yeater, who played Lucy, about how it was to perform for elementary students.
“It’s hard to top a theatre full of laughing children. For many it was their first true live theatre experience, and I’m glad it was such a positive one. It’s important to expose children to the arts as often as possible,” said Hynick.
The cast and crew enjoyed performing for a younger age group, but they were also pleased with all their performances.
“All four audiences seemed very receptive to this show. They seemed to be with us from the start to the finish,” said Malan. She later added that they were a believable “Peanuts” gang that came to life on stage.
“It’s often difficult to watch a play I’ve directed. Not because I think they are bad, but because I become so invested in every moment that it is difficult to enjoy it. The cast was so prepared, and so comfortable with the play that this time I was able to sit back and enjoy the performances,” Hynick said.
Cast members said the audience enjoyed it as well. “I believe when a performer enjoys what they do, so does the audience,” said Yeater.
Wes Ng, a junior at MVC who attended the production, said it was very enjoyable. “I enjoyed the dancing a lot and my favorite scene had to be Snoopy on the roof top pretending to be on an airplane.“
“You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” was loved by many and the cast and crew couldn’t be happier about it.
“We wanted to offer a family oriented season this year and I think ‘You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown’ got us off to a great start,” said Malan.
For a full schedule of the upcoming events, visit moval.edu/fine_arts/production_schedule.