ENMU students to perform ‘Peanuts’ production

By Alisa Boswell: PNT staff writer

So much talent showed up for auditions, Eastern new Mexico University’s production of “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown” features a double cast production.

The musical opens today.

Steven Roberts, director of the production, said one set of actors will be performing Thursday and Saturday and another set on Friday and Sunday, with the exception of one character.

“So many people wanted to be in it,” said Roberts. “And we wanted them to be able to participate.”

The screenplay was originally created by Clark Gesner in 1967 and was adapted from comics created by Charles Schulz. The original cast of the production began by reading their lines directly from Schulz’ comics.

According to Roberts, the musical was revised in 1999 to give it appeal for modern audiences. Some scenes and songs (not from the comics) were added, but the dialogue still follows with Schulz’ comic strips.

Roberts said the production is “a day in the life of Charlie Brown” as he was known in the comics, with most lines being verbatim to Schulz’ work.

“Both our students and audience have been wanting to do a musical,” said Roberts. “Charlie Brown is something that appeals to all ages, so it has something for everyone.”

Rojun Alexander, who plays Charlie Brown on Friday and Sunday, said he had been in the Charlie Brown production once before as Snoopy, but he had always wanted to try for the part of Charlie Brown. Alexander said his second time playing in the production has been fun and educational.

“It’s been a blast,” Alexander said. “Both casts have worked really well together as a unit and as separate groups.”

When talking about the educational aspect of the play, Alexander quoted the director Steven Roberts as saying, “Every line in every song has an intention.”

“All three directors have been great,” Alexander said. “They teach us to not just perform but to delve into the characters.”

Diane Cole is the costume designer and Joseph Sanders is the choreographer.

Mackenzie Kennedy, who plays Sally Brown, said she tried out for the production, so she could experience another venue of acting.

“I’ve done a lot of serious roles,” said Kennedy. “I thought it would be a stretch and be fun to do something more childlike.”

“You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” will show at 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday.