Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Sally, Woodstock, Shroeder, Linus and Lucy – do these names revive a feeling of childhood nostalgia? Starting tonight, Studio 301 will be giving everyone the chance to revisit those days by performing You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown at the Wyatt Pavilion Theater on Old Davis Road.
The student theatre company will perform a series of musical vignettes best described as a day in the life of Charlie Brown, starring sophomore theater and communication major Matt Escarcega.
[Playing Charlie Brown] is only intimidating because he is such a lovable character that everyone grew up with, Escarcega said, who also does publicity for Studio 301. I want to make sure that I embody the character, bring it to life and make it as true as possible.
Studio 301 is a registered SPAC organization but behaves like a full-scale production company, said president Joe Ferreira, a senior dramatic arts major.
Studio 301 conducts itself as a club with elected officials, planned events, fundraising and weekly meetings. They hold open auditions for the productions that may include people outside of the organization and even non-students.
According to their mission statement, Studio 301 provides an opportunity for hands-on artistic and administrative experience, while supplementing the education of creative art students in a
professional, respectful and safe environment.
Each year, members of the club propose productions to put on for the upcoming year. After a vote, one or two productions are chosen. Director and senior dramatic arts major Stephanie Wilcox proposed the idea for this year’s musical.
I felt that one of the greatest advantages of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown is its simplicity, Wilcox said, which was great for a group of students working on a budget and learning how to mount a full-stage production.
There are 12 cast members, 12 orchestra players and approximately 15 members of the production team collaborating to make the musical come to life. Working without the help of a faculty adviser has required tremendous amounts of teamwork and dedication from all people involved with the production. Monetary support has come from fundraising and the revenue from ticket sales.
We had the freedom to explore many areas without feeling overwhelmed by the text or story, Wilcox said.
Wilcox said her senior thesis works with exploring the relationship between adolescence and theater, which is heavily related to the production she is directing.
I think that the university can play a huge role in bringing theater not just to the campus, but also to the surrounding community, and Charlie Brown is a great start.
This year’s performance aims toward an audience of all ages, and Studio 301 has made special outreach efforts to students at schools all around Davis. They will also travel off-site to Families First and Shriners Children’s Hospital in Sacramento to perform.
The cast and crew of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown has been rehearsing quite often and a long time coming, Ferreira said. They rehearsed for about five weeks during winter quarter and returned early from spring break to complete construction of the set.
This year is Studio 301’s fourth consecutive season. Their past productions have included The complete works of Williams Shakespeare: Abridged and musicals The Last Five Years, Cabaret and Into the Woods.
I hope that the audience enjoys the show for what it is, Escarcega said. I want them to realize the set we built, all the fundraising and hard work all the people put into the show, to see what Studio 301 is.
You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown opens today at 8 p.m. in Wyatt Pavilion Theatre and will be performed through April 13. Tickets are $9 for students and $14 for non-students, and are on sale now at Freeborn Hall’s ticket office. For more information, go to studio301productions.googlepages.com.
JUNE QUAN can be reached at email@example.com.