Charlie Brown Christmas on Stage
Over 1,000 local elementary kids were in for a special treat Monday, Dec. 19 when they were given a special, free presentation of the play, A Charlie Brown Christmas.
The play was a production of The Academy for Dance and Theatre Arts’ theatre workshop intensive class. Local individuals performed the play for the public this past weekend, on Saturday and Sunday. Clare Cannizzaro, who owns and operates ADTA with husband Bart, said she hoped there would be interest in giving the local students the opportunity to attend a live production and wanted to do one school show for those interested, as “we feel it is a valuable experience.” Cannizzaro said ADTA contact the school principals and “there was an overwhelming positive response, resulting in the need for three school performances!”
“We thought it should be offered free of charge to those who may not ever get a chance to attend at the theatre or be exposed to performing arts outside school,” Cannizzaro said of the performances to the school children.
“When I performed with the Mid-Ohio Valley Ballet Company in Parkersburg, we would do four shows a day in a certain city so that all the local school students would have the chance to see a live ballet. Bart and I feel that is extremely valuable and if even one child feels special or finds a love for performing arts because they’ve been exposed to this, then we’ve done our job,” Cannizzaro further explained.
“We have traveled the world with dance and theatre but most don’t have that opportunity. So we wanted to do our best to bring it to them, on a smaller, more local scale. So they are aware that they could be onstage, acting, singing, dancing, playing an instrument… it’s not just for “other” people who are lucky enough to get to do it.” she further said.
Sponsors for A Charlie Brown Christmas are as follows: Libby’s Kids Ministry, JC Mensore Distributors, Marble King, Anonymous, Eileen Miller, Hizers Turnaround MIni Storage, and Riggenbach tile and Carpet. Special thanks are to New Maritnsville Parks and Recreation, Bill Aberegg, and Artslink.
A Charlie Brown Christmas is by Charles M. Schultz, based on the television special by Bill Melendez and Lee Mendelson, and Stage Adaptation by Eric Schaeffer. Special arrangement with Arthur Whitelaw and Ruby Persson.
The local presentation featured the following performers: Jenna Tucker, Brynna Hoskins, Faith Yoho, Kaylyn Wallace, Haven Blough, Jourdan Schramm, William Paolella, Brooke Hoskins, Lala Fisher, Emerson Barcus, Myranda Moore, Kaylee Haught, Alexis Higginbotham, Ciera Slater, Lexi Jones, and Lily Haught. The special presentation included the Vince Guaraldi Trio: Bob Gibb, Drums; Kevin Stokes, Bass; and Karissa Martin, Piano. Artistic Direction and Design by Bartolo Cannizzaro.
A Charlie Brown Christmas was presented by arrangement with TAMS-WITMARK Music LIBRARY, INC., 560 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York 10022.
Partial funding provided by a mini-grant by ArtsLink, made possible with financial assistance from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the National Endowmen for the Arts, approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.