Iconic “Peanuts” characters will come to life this weekend when State College Community Theatre presents “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”
It’s SCCT’s second production since the Centre Region’s longest-running theater company’s reorganization and relocation that became necessary after a May storm blew the roof off its production facility at the Technology Center in Boalsburg. SCCT had to move its remaining sets and props to a barn in Linden Hall.
“Some local people and organizations have stepped up to help, including Legacy Realty, which went above and beyond helping us after the storm,” SCCT President Michael Knarr said.
SCCT board member Jenifer Mahley agreed.
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“A few people really stepped up and helped us in our time of crisis,” Mahley said. “There was a lot of crawling in and out of dumpsters, digging through costumes and a fair share of sweat and tears. Friendships were made stronger and that in turn makes SCCT stronger.”
As president, Knarr handles a lot of the nuts and bolts that keep SCCT afloat, and more recently has had to deal with some adversity as well.
“There are always issues that our board has to deal with — insurance, finding production staff, microphones and even a storm wrecking our production facility in Boalsburg,” he said.
Like many arts organizations, money has been very tight the past few years for SCCT.
“Royalties, production costs, the insurance — everything is more expensive and impossible to keep operating on ticket sales alone,” Knarr said. “So basically, we have downsized.”
Members of the board handle the office functions and they have focused more on fundraising and reducing expenses.
No matter what obstacles may stand in the way, Mahley said one word goes into each and every show SCCT does — love.
“Love for theater, love for the freedom of expression that theater represents, love for our community and the desire to serve it the very best that we can,” she said. “And a ton of hard work from a lot of volunteers keep us going.”
“You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” is based on the “Peanuts” comic strips by Charles M. Schulz. According to a press release, it’s a show “for audiences both young and forever young.”
“What make it even more enchanting is that the actors are adults, sharing those well-remembered childhood ups and downs with all of us,” the press release states.
The musical was originally produced in 1967 and SCCT will present the revised version from 1998, which includes two new songs.
“You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” will open at the Penn State Downtown Theatre Center on Friday, with two performances Saturday and a Sunday Matinee. Other mainstage productions are in the planning stages for 2018.
It’s Mahley’s hope that SCCT can continue to be a true community theater — one that is open to people of all ages who have the need or desire to get involved in an enriching organization.
“Never been on stage but have always wanted to be? Were you a high school stage star but parts of life cut theater out for a while? New to town and want to get involved? Check us out,” she said. “Community theater is such an amazing and rare thing. If you ever thought that you were all alone and no one was like you, join community theater.”
As SCCT moves forward, the main goal is to reach every lover of theater, whether they choose to watch it, or strive to participate in it.
“We need volunteers,” Knarr said. “They are the lifeblood of a nonprofit arts organization like SCCT.”
“We are 100 percent volunteer based,” Mahley said. “People get involved because of a love, a passion. I just hope to be able to share that passion and for others to be inspired to find their passion. SCCT is here and is going to be better than ever!”
IF YOU GO
- What: State College Community Theatre’s “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”
- When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday
- Where: Penn State Downtown Theatre Center, 146 S. Allen St., State College
- Info: www.scctonline.org