The classic holiday TV special “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” was brought to life last week by a troupe of young and talented actors from The Fernie Academy.
The cast of about 60 kids had been working on the performance since October, said Fernie Academy drama teacher Denise Baughan.
“I’m biased because I’m the director but I think they’ve done a really good job,” she said. “They’ve come to class really eager and ready to work.”
On Dec. 13, the cast comprised of Grades 1 to 3 students put on quite the show at Knox United Church.
The plot follows Charlie Brown as he laments the over-commercialization of Christmas. He decides to put on a play with his classmates but things get out of control.
The character Lucy played by Sofia Arcoite was delightfully bossy when she asked Charlie Brown to go fetch “a big, shiny, alumiium tree,” for their play. The whole cast captivated the audience when they put down Charlie Brown after he comes back with a tiny sapling. Charlie Brown played by Isaac Stuckey was convincingly upset when the rest of the cast mocked him.
Pig-Pen played by Findley Martin was undeniably dirty, Snoopy, played by Sophie Geoffroy, danced with aplomb and the audience cheered when the play concluded with a happy ending.
“It’s a challenging piece,” said Baughan. “That comic was made with an adult sense of humour and vocabulary in mind so I think to give that to a Grade 2 or 3 class and say ‘here have a swing at it,’ is something. They’ve really stepped up to the plate.”
“It’s one of my favourite Christmas specials,” she continued. “It’s something all of us in our childhoods have seen.”
The Grade 3 class handled the main characters, while the second-graders were in supporting roles. The Grade 1 class performed as the choir and sang very well.
There was also a performance on Dec. 12 where another set of actors hit the stage. Baughan said double casting gave more opportunities for kids to have lead parts.
“All the kids are having fun with it,” she said. “That’s the whole point of doing theatre with kids especially. A play is called a play because you get up there and do your best.”
The Fernie Academy principal Jocelyn Sombrowski was equally impressed with the students.
“I think everyone here is entertained and put into the Christmas spirit,” she said. “They’re excited to bring this to the stage.”