The Stuart Steiner Theater at Genesee Community College has hosted many quality college productions over the years. However, these past three weeks, a younger group of thespians called it home.
They are members of GCC's theater camp who'll be performing “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” this Friday and Saturday.
The musical comedy features the beloved Peanuts characters from the late Charles M. Schulz’s comic strip. The gang's all here -- Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Sally, Schroeder and Snoopy, of course.
Maryanne Arena, director of Fine and Performing Arts at the college, says she picked the show because of its wide appeal and because it is a full-length musical.
“I felt we were ready to do a full-scale show,” she said.
The 22 campers, who range in age from 8-16, say the past three weeks have been fun, but challenging.
“It’s a great experience to be onstage, and it gives the kids the idea of what it’s really like," said Margaret Gayford, who is playing Lucy. "Everyone works really hard."
This is the 13-year-old Warsaw native’s fourth year at the camp, and she says she enjoys seeing old friends year after year.
“We’re all like a family from working together so much,” Margaret said.
Spencer Hubbard, also 13, has the role of Linus. He says the camp has made him realize his love of live theater.
“I’ve learned that I really, really want to be an actor," Spencer said. "And now instead of acting on TV, I’d much rather do Broadway.”
“You shouldn’t be afraid to come out and show the world what you can do,” added 11-year-old Alix Young, with a grin, spreading her arms theatrically.
Alix has the part of Sally.
Arena says that she hopes the children will take away from the camp an appreciation for more than just the applause at the end of the show.
“I try to teach love for the process, not just the end result," said the director. "I try to teach respect for what goes into making a show.”
Performances of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” are Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m.. The college is located at 1 College Road in Batavia. Tickets are $5. For ticket reservations contact the Box Office at (585) 343-0055 x6814 or by email to [email protected].