Bringing Charlie Brown to life

A couple of Nelson musical theatre enthusiasts are hard at work as part of the cast and crew of the upcoming Capitol Theatre summer youth program’s production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

Rehearsals have begun for the summer youth theatre production of You're a Good Man

Rehearsals have begun for the summer youth theatre production of You're a Good Man

A couple of Nelson musical theatre enthusiasts are hard at work as part of the cast and crew of the upcoming Capitol Theatre summer youth program’s production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

Galen Boulanger, who will be starting at L.V. Rogers Secondary School in the fall, is taking the stage as the legendary Charlie Brown, and even though this is his first role in a large production, he’s no stranger to the stage.

“I sang You’ve Got to Pick a Pocket or Two, in Oliver when I was seven years old,” he said.

It wasn’t until Boulanger sang If I Only Had a Brain from The Wizard of Oz that he really got excited about musical theatre.

“I got asked to go to provincials for musical theatre for that song, and the experience really got me hooked. It’s been really fun ever since,” he said.

Boulanger, who is all smiles off the stage, spends most of his time on stage moping around as Charlie Brown.

“I wasn’t actually expecting to be chosen as Charlie Brown at all. Charlie Brown is pretty much the most depressing character I’ve ever played,” he said. “I love how the songs make you believe that things may actually work out for him, but everything comes crashing down in the end.”

“It’s a very, very creative play. Everything reflects the character and story that Charles Schulz created,” he said. “The songs are really great and funny. And even though at the beginning you think Charlie Brown is going to have the worst day, it turns out all right.”

Behind the curtain, a Nelson native is hard at work learning and teaching as a co-director.

Laura Metcalfe is a veteran of the Capitol Theatre summer youth program. She was in Annie, Wizard of Oz and Peter Pan, and as a Grade 12 student at L.V. Rogers starred in the Rocky Horror Show.

“I think this program is really incredible, and I think I knew that even as a kid. But being here now has really shown me how important it is,” she said.

Metcalfe said the summer youth program is a great way to learn because it brings together kids who have a whole range of experience with musical theatre.

“Some kids are more creative and some are less creative, and some are more introverted and some are more extroverted. They all begin to work together and learn from each other, and that’s how I came into musical theatre,” she said.

Metcalfe wasn’t planning on coming back to Nelson for the summer. She is about to enter her last year at the University of Alberta where she is working on a Bachelor of Fine Arts in acting.

“They’ve been incorporating young people into the production team for a long time,” she said.

“This year they asked me if this would be something that I would be interested in doing, and even though I wasn’t planning on coming home, I was thrilled to be involved in this program in this way.”

Even though the cast and crew are bringing Charlie Brown, Lucy and Snoopy to life, Metcalfe said she enjoys the way the play presents the story almost like a comic strip.

“It’s tiny little vignettes. It’s not really an over arching story or plot line. It’s mostly just snippets from Charlie Brown’s life. Having the story set up that way, it gives the directors a lot to play,” she said.

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown opens at the Capitol Theatre on July 21 and runs to the 23rd. There will be evening showings at 7:30 p.m. and a matinee on Saturday at 2 p.m.

For more information about the production visit the website at capitoltheatre.bc.ca or call the theatre at 250-352-6363.