YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN Comes to New Village Arts This Month

Performances will run from June 29th to July 1st.

By: Jun. 11, 2024
YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN Comes to New Village Arts This Month
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New Village Arts will present YOU’RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN, performed through our esteemed Mainstage Players program. This professional theatrical program is dedicated to supporting neurodiverse individuals, fostering a creative and inclusive environment. Based on the beloved comic strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz, with book, music, and lyrics by Clark Gesner, YOU’RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN will run from June 29th to July 1st on the Ray Charles Stage in the Conrad Prebys Theatre at the Dea Hurston New Village Arts Center.

NVA is dedicated to supporting teen and young adult actors with neurodiversity through our Mainstage Players program. What began over nine years ago as a sketch comedy class called Monday Night Live! has grown into a full-scale professional theatrical training program, including a successful summer course where students create and perform original plays for the community. Recently, New Village Arts received a grant from the Foundation for Developmental Disabilities to support our work with artists with neurodiversity, mostly individuals on the autism spectrum or with Down syndrome.

This production of YOU’RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN will be directed by Samantha Ginn, with musical direction by Alba Garcia and choreography by Amara Young. The cast features Max Lecanu-Fayet as Charlie Brown, Emily Sandoval as Lucy, Ethan Marr as Linus, Stephanie Monis as Sally, Reid Moriarty as Schroeder, Paul Eddy as Snoopy, Charley Murtagh as Peppermint Patty, and Rachel Ford as The Little Red-Haired Girl.

This 45-minute adaptation of YOU’RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN is a charming musical that follows a day in the life of Charlie Brown, the lovable underdog from the Peanuts comic strip. Along with his friends Lucy, Linus, Schroeder, Sally, and his trusty dog Snoopy, Charlie navigates the ups and downs of childhood with humor and heart. From baseball games to kite-flying adventures and school assignments, this musical celebrates the simple joys and challenges of being a kid. Full of catchy songs and endearing moments, including songs like “My New Philosophy” and “Happiness,” it's a feel-good show for all ages.

The creative team for the production will be led by teaching artist and director Samantha Ginn, who started NVA’s work with the neurodiverse community nearly ten years ago. Recognized as THE local expert on serving this community, Sam has run programs at The Old Globe, La Jolla Playhouse and others, in addition to her highly lauded work with NVA. Sam is also celebrated for her numerous performances on the NVA stage in shows such as THE SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS, MEN ON BOATS, and SYLVIA. Ginn will work alongside teaching artist and assistant Paul Eddy, with stage managers Isabella Regan and Corin Magee. NVA’s Executive Artistic Director and Founder, Kristianne Kurner, will be the scenic designer, while NVA’s Artistic Producer, Kali Boston, will design the costumes. The team also includes Stephaney Knapp as the lighting designer, Marcus Rico on sound design and audio operation, and Cassandra Walker and Michelle Wolsky collaborating on prop design.

This project has been a longtime dream for NVA veteran, Samantha Ginn, who has dedicated her professional career to bringing arts experiences to the neurodiverse community. Samantha recognizes that working as actors and theatre artists has given these teens and young adults a purpose in life that has changed their lives for good. Samantha Ginn shared her enthusiasm, saying: 

"I am SO thrilled to be directing YOU’RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN with the marvelous Mainstage Players! Ever since I was a kid I loved 'Charlie Brown.' It was comforting for me to see unique, funny, and larger-than-life characters trying to navigate the complexities of being human. The Peanuts helped me not feel so alone in my human experience. So now it's a dream come true to be co-creating such a fabulous show with my favorite group of people. The Mainstage Players are the most loving, authentic, and empathetic people I know. They work so hard and bring so much positive energy to the rehearsal room. I know they will bring so much heart, truth, and joy to their performances too. Shows like these are so important because they help us remember what's most important of all: love, happiness, and suppertime!"

Kiara Hudlin, NVA’s Education & Fellowship Manager, expressed her enthusiasm about the upcoming production, stating: “I couldn’t be more excited that we are producing YOU’RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN with our Mainstage Players here at New Village Arts. Our inclusive programming really fosters a sense of community and belonging and that continues to remain one of our biggest missions as we develop new programming for our neurodiverse and special needs community. I can’t wait to see the impact that YOU’RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN has on families and students throughout San Diego.”

NVA’s programs for the neurodiverse community in North County have shown remarkable results, enhancing creativity, socialization skills, teamwork, and a passion for performance. Some of our artists have secured professional representation and continue to pursue careers in the arts, while others leverage their theatrical training in social and professional settings. Our unique programming for neurodiverse artists stands out in Southern California, and the upcoming production of YOU’RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN promises to be a beacon of inspiration.


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