By MORGAN MANNS
The Fostoria High School Music Program was eagerly prepping for its spring play when a small fire in the junior/senior high school building displaced some 700 students and staff for about a month.
However, the show must go on.
Director Benji Cates said original plans were set to perform “Seussical the Musical” in March but have slightly changed directions to a smaller cast and a less intricate prop and sets department while still providing an entertaining production based in the cartoon world.
“You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown” is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday in the Performing Arts Center at Fostoria Junior/Senior High School, 1001 Park Ave.
Based on the Peanuts comic strips, the show will focus on a social circle of young children, including the well-intentioned and goofy, Charlie Brown. A series of vignettes, as well as props, will allow this show to play out similar to a series of comic strips, according to Cates.
The audience will be able to recognize the entire Peanuts gang, including short-tempered Sally, Linus, who’s too smart for his own good and the lovably bossy Lucy.
“What’s really cool about this show is it never gets boring,” Cates said. “It’s nonstop one thing after another entertainment.”
Included in that entertainment is a variety of “hilarious songs,” according Cates. Although not from the Charlie Brown specials, he said the songs were very cleverly written and catchy.
The cast will include Issac Morton as Charlie Brown, Ryann Haynes as Lucy Van Pelt, Lauren Ceravolo as Snoopy, Shane Souders as Linus Van Pelt, Alana Baxter as Sally Brown, Mike Daniels as Schroeder, Anna Marie Wonderly as Marcy, Cameron Colvin as Peppermint Patty and Allen Dewitt as Pig Pen.
The chorus will include Victoria Potridge, Hayley Bradner, Dante Burrier, Faedra Burrier and Sky Medina.
The small crew comes as a result of the later production date. Cates said less students were able to try out and make rehearsals because of spring sports scheduling conflicts.
Cates has been dealing with a slight conflict of his own as the tennis coach. However, he said he’s received help from Samantha Weimerskirch, assistant director, and Jaylen Johnson, student director, who lead rehearsals while he is away and create choreography.
“The students are definitely getting an opportunity to grow in their artistic expression,” he said. “I have to give them all the credit in the world. They put it together and I come fix the things they worked on rather than having to start from scratch.”
Presale tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students. Admission at the door is $10 for adults and $8 for students.
In addition, there are sponsorship opportunities:
Stagehand — those who make a donation of $10-$24 will receive a 100 character message in the “Special thanks” portion of the playbill.
Actor — those who make a donation of $25-$49 will receive the special thanks and a quarter page playbill ad.
Lead — those who make a donation of $50-$99 will receive the special thanks, a half-page playbill ad and two tickets to a performance of their choosing.
Director — those who make a donation of $100-$199 will receive the special thanks, a full-page playbill ad and two tickets to a performance of their choosing.
Star — those who make a donation of $200 or more will receive the special thanks, a full-page playbill ad, inclusion in the specially listed “Sponsor Status” inside the playbill and four tickets to the performance of their choosing with reserved seats wherever they want to sit.
In order to have the ads and messages in the playbill, sponsorships must be purchased by Tuesday; however, the program will always take financial contributions.
To reserve tickets or purchase a sponsorship, contact Michele Wolf at 419-436-4113 or email@example.com.
“The kids are working extra hard. They’re really making up for a lot of lost time and it’s going to be a great production,” Cates said. “We don’t get a lot of theater here in Fostoria but I think we have a lot of culture and appreciation for the arts. It would be great if the community could demonstrate that and come out and see us. It’s really going to be an entertaining production. The audience is going to leave happy.”