-By Chattanooga Theatre Center
From a sad, droopy Christmas tree to a dancing dog atop a piano, there are timeless images in A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS that make the Chattanooga Theatre Centre’s upcoming stage adaptation a faithful reflection of the classic animated TV special on which it’s based.
The stage show, a production of the CTC’s Youth Theatre, opens Friday, December 10, and runs through Sunday, December 19.
Twenty-two young actors bring the story to life through familiar scenes and music. As the story unfolds, Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the rest of the Peanuts gang discover the true meaning of Christmas.
Based on the characters created by Charles M. Schulz and the TV special that first aired in 1965, the stage version of A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS premiered in 2013 and includes Vince Guaraldi’s well-known jazz music from the TV show.
As the familiar story goes, Charlie Brown is feeling glum despite the arrival of the cheerful holiday season. When he complains about the overwhelming materialism he sees, Lucy suggests that he direct the school Christmas pageant. Charlie Brown accepts, but his best efforts are ignored and mocked by his peers.
When an attempt to restore the proper holiday spirit with a forlorn little Christmas tree fails, Charlie Brown, at his wit’s end, loudly asks if anybody knows what Christmas is all about. As Linus tells him about the true meaning of Christmas, Charlie Brown cheers up, and the Peanuts gang unites to celebrate the holiday season.
With two casts performing on alternate days, Eli Binder and Carter McKissick share the role of Charlie Brown. The casts also include Isa Baez (Frieda), Beatrix Burbank (Sally), Charlie Clevenger (Linus), Aaron Glover (Schroeder), Thomas Hardin (Pigpen), Ivy Hays (Violet), Josie Julienne (Violet), Brady Lewis (Schroeder), Eden Lewis (Shermy), Hayley Lewis (Lucy), Lilly Lewis (Frieda), Abigail McGee (Patty), Jeannyia Phillips (Lucy), Katherine Pipes (Patty), Max Schulmeister (Shermy), Zachary Schulmeister (Pigpen), Winter Tutor (Snoopy), Libbie Weaver (Sally), Parker Williams (Snoopy), and Hillman Withers (Linus).
James Derrick and Tate Mink are the stage managers.
Public performances take place on Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 2:30 and 7 p.m., and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. The two Saturday evening performances have been designated COVID Safety Nights, at which patrons ages 5 and up must present proof of vaccination or a recent negative test upon arrival. Masks are required at all performances, and seating is limited to 40% capacity at all performances to allow for social distancing.
Tickets are available at the CTC box office at (423) 267-8534 or at TheatreCentre.com.