The idea lit up like a stage light in Paul Fouhy’s head.
What if past high school drama students could pull off a summer musical to benefit young casts of tomorrow? Surely, such an production with seasoned alumni actors and actresses could work?
Thus the creation of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” – compliments of the Auburn Mountainview Theater Co. The curtain rises for the premiere at 7:30 tonight, the first of 10 August showings. The play, which runs nearly two hours with intermission, is based on the works of legendary “Peanuts” creator Charles M. Schultz.
Proceeds from the production, under Fouhy’s guidance, will aid the drama scholarship fund at Auburn Mountainview High School.
Fouhy got the idea to stage an alumni program after consulting with Terry Thibodeaux, a 1999 Auburn High grad and his longtime theater assistant.
“It’s been great. It’s been fun,” said Fouhy, who came to Mountainview to head the drama department after 23 years at Auburn High. “This is our first … and we hope to do this every year to keep the scholarship program running.”
Fouhy didn’t have to look far to assemble his cast. The group of 10 strong represent Auburn high school graduates from 1985 to 2008.
He placed the calls and some familiar faces came ready to work. No auditions were necessary. The fact he had some experienced cast members willing to go full tilt has been beneficial, given the musical’s crunched time frame.
Instead of a normal six-to-eight-week schedule to produce a show of this kind, the alumni cast must come together in three. The cast has been putting in three hours a day, five days a week, to perfect the lines and smooth out the dance steps.
“We’ve hit the ground running because of the background of the actors and musicians,” Fouhy added. “It’s been a joy to work with them.
“I’ve always wanted to do something like this. It is a dream come true this summer thanks to this crew.”
“You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” seemed to fit the alumni lineup. The quick-moving musical requires a small cast and its script is easy to pick up.
“We knew it was an undertaking we could do in three weeks,” said Thibodeaux, who wanted to produce a summer show to fill a quiet void in the theater calendar.
The musical was an opportunity for members to reunite with Fouhy and staff.
“It’s wonderful, certainly,” said Rachel Brinn, a 2000 Auburn High graduate. “It’s very exciting to be a part of it. It’s nice to work with Paul again.”
Brinn, like others, brings experience to the stage. She currently is studying music and vocal performance at the prestigious Boston Conservatory.
“I want to become a (mezzo soprano) opera singer and choir director,” Brinn said with a smile.
For a brief summer stint, she welcomes the role of Lucy.
“It’s light and fun. I get to be a kid again,” Brinn said. “It’s really nice to flex these muscles that I haven’t in some time.”
Jacklyn Kellogg also is studying music at PLU. Kellogg, an ’05 Auburn High graduate, jumped at the chance to play Sally.
“I thought it would be great,” she said. “It’s been a really incredible experience, not to mention a chance to do theater.
“And it’s an incredible way to give something back (to the community).”
In addition to Thibodeaux, Brinn and Kellogg, the cast includes Erin Morrill (’08 Mountainview), David Ellis (’95 Auburn), Frankie Gutierrez (’08 Mountainview) and Lauren Slettedahl (’05 Auburn).
Lauren’s sister, Maddie Slettedahl, a junior at Auburn Mountainview, is musical director.
The ensemble will include Shannon McMahon, Rachel Adams and Tyler Goforth – all recent Mountainview graduates.
IT’S SHOW TIME
• Musical: ‘You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown’ – presented by the Auburn Mountainview Theatre Company
• Stage: Auburn Mountainview High School theater, 28900 124th Ave. SE, Auburn.
• Programs: 7:30 p.m. Aug. 13-16 and 20-23;
2 p.m. Aug. 16 and 23.
• Tickets: $8, available
at the door
• Information: 253-804-4539, ext. 6071