State Street Theater Co. presents… “A Charlie Brown Christmas”
NEW ULM — One of the most well-known, classic animated television specials comes to life on Nov. 29 and Nov. 30 as “A Charlie Brown Christmas” hits the State Street Theater Co. (SSTC) stage in New Ulm.
The first showing will take place at 2 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 29. There will then be a 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. showing on Saturday, Nov. 30.
If you go…
Where: State Street Theater Co., 1 N. State Street, New Ulm
When: Nov. 29, 2 p.m.; Nov. 30, 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Tickets: Available online at statestreetnewulm.org, New Ulm Hy-Vee or New Ulm Chamber of Commerce; $12.50 in advance, $15 at the door.
Tickets are on sale now for $12.50 in advance at the New Ulm Hy-Vee, the New Ulm Chamber of Commerce or online at statestreetnewulm.org. They can also be purchased at the door for $15.
Based on Charles M. Schultz’s “Peanuts” comic strip, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is about a boy named Charlie Brown who believes overwhelming materialism is present among everyone during the Christmas season. When Charlie’s friend Lucy suggests that he become director of the school Christmas pageant, he accepts. The task, however, proves to be a difficult and frustrating endeavor. When an attempt to restore the proper holiday spirit with a forlorn little Christmas fir tree fails, Charlie needs his friend Linus’ help to discover the real meaning of Christmas.
The play is based on the television special by Bill Melendez and Lee Mendelson. The stage adaptation is by Eric Schaeffer and with special arrangement by Arthur Whitelaw and Ruby Persson.
Jim Templin, who plays Charlie Brown, said that he has watched the Christmas special since he was young and looks forward to taking on this upcoming role.
“The fact that I grew up with it — it’s been on the air since ’65, so it’s interesting doing lines I’ve heard on TV forever,” Templin said.
Jenny Spurgin, who plays the role of Lucy, echoed Templin’s thoughts about growing up watching the TV special.
“I’ve watched this, when I was younger, I grew up watching this,” she said. “But I always wanted to be Sally, that’s me, the girlie girl.”
Spurgin also said that she acted in this same play four years ago with SSTC in the role of Frieda at the Markplatz Mall, and while Lucy isn’t how Spurgin is in real life, she’s excited for the challenge.
“This is the first time I’ve played Lucy,” Spurgin said. “Big, big challenge. It’s a fun challenge, it’s just, she’s the polar opposite of how I am, so now I’ve got to [change].”
Linus, a character that Schultz named after the late Sleepy Eye native and cartoonist Linus Maurer, is being played by New Ulm High School freshman Jayce Seifert. Seifert, who was informed about this opportunity to star in the SSTC show by his mom, said he’s just going to do his best to stay true to the original Linus character.
“I’m just going to act like Linus from the TV show they did,” Seifert said. “The only things that worries me the most is memorizing the one long bible verse, but I’ve already got it half way, so.”
For those looking to get into the holiday spirit late November, SSTC welcomes all “Peanuts” fans from around the area to enjoy this upcoming Christmas play.
“It’s a traditional thing, it’s going to be fun,” Templin said. “We’re tied in Friday, we have a 2 o’clock show, with the parade of lights. We’re going to be part of that afterwards as well in the parade. If it’s warm enough, we’re going to go in costume. It’s kind of a kickoff to the holiday season, so bring the kids, it’ll be fun.”
Doors open 30 minutes prior to performance and handicap seating is available. The handicap entrance is through the backstage door in the parking lot. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 507-359-9990.
“A Charlie Brown Christmas” is presented by arrangement with TAMS-WITMARK. The production is also made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
“A Charlie Brown Christmas” Cast List
Charlie Brown – Jim Templin
Pig Pen/Charlie Brown understudy – Paul Henning
Linus – Jayce Seifert
Shermy – David Henning
Schroeder – Tom Maidl
Snoopy – Jacob Haugen
Sally – Ivy Harrison
Frieda – Kelly Anderson
Peppermint Patty – Josie Ringhofer
Lucy – Jenny Spurgin
Violet/Producer – Bonnie Lantz
Lucy understudy/Director – Anita Prestidge
Stage Manager/Assistant Director – Haley Braun
Piano – Noah Wilson