Being a Good Man

Often in life, especially as a student Catholic High, a boy may ponder what it means to be a good man. Ms. Jenny Moses hopes to answer that question with the Mount Saint Mary’s (MSM) production of You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, which premiered on Thursday, November 3rd.

You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown started out as a collection of songs written about the beloved Peanuts characters, which were eventually put together by Clark Gesner to create the musical in 1967. The plot of the musical follows Charlie Brown going through a day of his life, pondering the meaning of being a good man.

The Peanuts characters, created by Charles Schulz, are timeless classics. Everyone knows their names and their personalities and has seen the movies and read the comics, but, as is the case with any play, the actors in the MSM production of You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown added their own spins to this time-honored piece of Americana.

Senior Bob Kilpatrick had the part of the piano-playing Schroeder. “Most personal touches I added to my character are based on mannerisms, so how Schroeder walks and how Schroeder gestures are all very important to making my contribution to the musical successful.” He focused on the smaller details, the ones that people do not think about in day-to-day life, but that can have a large effect on a person’s thoughts and emotions towards others.

Leah Paige is a junior at MSM. She added a bit of her own personality to her character, Snoopy. “Well, I think I’m adding a bit of sass to Snoopy’s personality,” said Paige. People that know and love the Peanuts cartoons know that Snoopy does not talk, but in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, things are a bit different. Paige said, “In the cartoons, he doesn’t really talk much, but in this play, he becomes a prominent character that I hope to represent well.”

Senior Chase Cundall played the title role of Charlie Brown. “For this character I am definitely bringing a little bit of my quirkiness,” said Cundall. He also said he added just a small part of his own personality to make his character seem more human and relatable.

Charlie Brown is the most prominent of all of the Peanuts characters, so surely his part in the musical must be equally as large and must be the lead character. Not so, said Cundall. “However, this musical is truly an ensemble show, and I cannot take credit for being the lead. Yes, I am Charlie Brown, but it is so amazing to get to share the leading role with six other amazing actors,” said Cundall.

Paige, Killpatrick, and Cundall added their own personal touches and pizzazz to the Peanuts characters, but the classic characters are still staying mostly the same. They know that even with their additions, they represented their characters well. Ms. Moses also wanted to keep the nostalgia for Peanuts fans alive and well in the production.

Mr. Moses said, “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown is pure fun. It is like watching the classic Charles Schultz comic come to life. The characters are timeless. The music is delightful.”

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