‘You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown’ Sells Out The House

Anne Orban, Contributing Writer

The Black Hills State University Theatre and Music Department presented the fun-loving musical “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown,” and sold out every on-campus performance.

The musical which is based around Charles Shultz’s beloved comic strip “Peanuts” ran Feb. 20- 23 and featured characters Lucy, Sally, Linus, Schroeder, Snoopy, and of course Charlie Brown.

Auditions for the show took place in early December. The cast included Tyler Millslagle as Schroeder, Kassie Blue as Sally, Emily Morse as Lucy, Jessie Dunaway as Snoopy, Cody Pepitone as Linus, and Matthew Adair as Charlie Brown. The cast was given books before Christmas break. They started rehearsing as soon as break was over.

When asked about his experience in the show, Senior Tyler Millslagle said, “The first thing we learned was all the music…it was so nice to have all the music learned before we even started blocking.”

Millslagle has been in close to 20 performances and said it has had a great experience in all of them as an actor.

Before the show on Thursday Feb. 20, Director Bert Juhrend told the audience they worked for 30 days straight to ensure they would be prepared for the performances. Their hard work paid off in the show which featured many songs and dance routines.

Matthew Adair who starred as Charlie Brown said, “I have been in a handful of musicals…and I don’t think those were nearly as much work as this one was.” He continued to explain how there was no one scene that could be practiced without everyone there. Every rehearsal is important with a small cast like this one.

The crew had to put in just as much work as the cast.

“As stage manager I was to first to show up and the last to leave,” Stage Manager Katrina Schrader said.

Stage managers are important to a show because they keep things running smoothly behind the scenes so the cast and crew are at the right place as the right time.

The show was performed in the Pangburn Black Box and featured the new LED lights that were put in earlier this year. Lighting design for the show was done by Melissa Mason, which helped capture the emotion of the show.

Mason has been doing a work-study for the theatre department for 5 semesters and has done the lighting design for 2 other shows this year. She was also the shop foreman, master carpenter and stage manager for Summer Stage.

Instead of using musical recordings like in summer performances, the music department helped to organize a pit orchestra for the show. The Orchestra was conducted by Dr. Jonathan Nero and included, Marie Steckline on Bass, Christopher Hahn on percussion, Les Stahl on piano, Colleen McKirdy on the keyboards and Miguel Beal on the saxophone. The orchestra added raw attributes to the performance and gave audience members a true musical experience.

Having a full house for every performance was an honor for the cast, crew and orchestra. The performances were filled with fun music and familiar faces of characters that are well-known and loved.

The shows last performance was on March 1 at 7:30 P.M. at the Dahl arts Center in Rapid City.