Curtains Up! will bring the Christmas spirit to students before the end of the semester by performing the play “A Charlie Brown Christmas” on Dec. 4 at 8:30 p.m., Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. in Beaman A and B.
Belmont’s musical theater club was created in the fall of 2022. Only theater majors can participate in the shows at Belmont, so being a part of this club is an opportunity for any student who enjoys theater to do theater-related activities.
“While theater in high school had cliques, social hierarchy and drama, this throws it all away because everybody here just loves what they do,” Curtains Up! member Jude Whalen said.
The play “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” based on the 1965 animated TV special, is the club’s second production.
“I did this play in my hometown theater and loved it, it was such a sweet and wholesome show,” co-president of Curtains Up! Nora Jones said. “It's also very straightforward and easy to produce.”
Even though the TV special was released in 1965, it aired on TV in recent decades around Christmastime and is now streaming on Apple TV+.
“I feel like “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is a heartwarming show that is near and dear to all our hearts and something that we’ve all seen or heard of,” co-president of Curtains Up! Nick Benefield said.
The story follows Charlie Brown’s experience during the holiday season. He is saddened by how materialistic Christmas has become, so his sister Lucy signs him up to direct the Christmas Pageant. Through the experience of producing the pageant Charlie Brown and his friends discover the true meaning of Christmas.
“With everything going on around us, it’s easy to forget the meaning of Christmas,” director of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” Katherine Wise said. “This story reminds me of that true meaning, and of the strong themes of family that are present during the holiday season.”
Despite the reminiscence and important message, adapting a classic has its challenges.
“It is difficult because you run the risk of it being compared to the original,” Wise said. “However, I think our audience will appreciate the new spins we’ve put on this classic story, while still leaning into the nostalgia of it.”
Students run the entire show, so they are able to explore all the areas of putting together the production.
“I love to direct and want to direct films as a part of my career, so I feel like directing plays is similar,” Wise said. “It's all about the character and that will help me as a director of films.”
To add to the experience, the play will also feature a live band playing all the background music for the show.
“I'm really excited to see how that comes together and supports the rest of the show,” Benefield said. “I love the music and what it brings to the show.”
Through its nostalgic story and sentimental message, the production “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” is an opportunity for Curtains Up! members to share their passion for theater with the Belmont community this holiday season.
“It's really cool seeing these college kids put a spin on this story that's typically told by children, but it's really for all ages.” Jones said. “The heart of it's always about family and about love.”
This article was written by Zoe Spangler