Cape Fear Community College Drama Club presented two showings of the widely known A Charlie Brown Christmas, at the new CFCC’s Union Station Auditorium, in downtown Wilmington, December 8th at 3:00pm and 5:00pm.
The Drama Club started with rehearsals by the middle of September, and we must say that all the vibe was very flowing and special. The auditions soon showed that the talent was there. As much as 90% of the Drama Club members either built, designed or acted in the production. They essentially made the play what it was, and this team work transmitted to the audience, composed mainly by families and lots of children.
It’s very different to see the crew rehearsing every week, that to be at the play as a part of the public was interesting. Our favorite parts started right at the beginning when Jack Landry, the Technical Director and Club advisor, presented the play and called the kids to sit right in front of the stage. Snoopy came out and we immediately saw that she “clicked” with the little ones.
Snoopy flew in, danced, gave candy, went back and forth from her dog house, and the kids love it. There she was playing with the kids throughout the shows. Later when CB asked if anyone could tell him the true meaning of Christmas and a couple kids eagerly raised their hands and were ready to jump upfront and become a part of the play. We all know that things don’t always happen exactly as planned; the little tree proved this when it fell completely over after Charlie Brown put the ornament on it in the 5pm show.
The Drama Club did a very accurate job of staying with the original Christmas cartoon of 28 minutes made in 1965 we all know and love. The jazz musicians were wonderful doing the music of Vince Guaraldi with Kevin Kolb (on keys), Troy Pierce (on drums), and Marc Seigel (on bass). They worked with the cast and crew only a couple of times before the play, but you could see how much fun they were having. The kids danced along at the end of every play and no doubt they had a meaningful experience with the play.
Keeping up with the concept that they are performing as the cartoon characters, the actors performed in two-dimensions, as if they were the primitive cartoon drawings that we have all grown to love over the years. It was a lot of fun for everyone involved.
The director, Kristen O’Neil said: “This experience has been both amazingly fun and a great learning experience for me.” Jack Landry, the CFCC Lead Drama Instructor and Technical Director, said: “The experience was awesome and I don’t think very many students could have pulled it off, but Kristen did.”
This production was able to raise over 26 bags of groceries that were donated to Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard. All the proceeds went to the National Brain Tumor Society.
Snoopy: Mandi Lingenfelter
Lucy: Kenzie Sharp
Sally: Victoria Drake
Patty: Ashleigh Wehunt
Shoulder-Dance Kid: Gary Paige
Violet: Hannah Black
Frieda: Emma Pickett
Charlie Brown: Bill Starke
Linus: Scot Cash
Schroeder: Charlie Zyzyk
Pigpen: Mike Young
Shermy: Joe Fogleman
*The Event of the Month will be bilingual