Pictured L-R, Trevor Moppin (Schroeder), Sean Fenton (Linus), Eric Inman (Charlie Brown).
Photo courtesy of The Willows Theatre Co.
By Theresa Harrington
Want to see the musical “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” for free?
If you’re a kindergarten through eighth grade teacher, you and your students could see the show, then meet the cast, go on a scene shop tour and enjoy free milk and cookies.
The Willows Theatre is offering K-8 school groups the chance to attend performances at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. May 17-18 at the John Muir Amphitheatre in Martinez in an effort to reach out to the community and revive the amphitheater, publicist Gary Carr told me today.
More than 2,100 students from about two dozen schools have already signed up for the shows, which are sponsored by Shell Oil Company, US Bank and the city of Martinez. Schools that have jumped on this opportunity are from Antioch, Bay Point, Concord, El Cerrito, Hercules, Martinez, Oakland, Pinole, Richmond and San Pablo.
“They just put out the word to all the schools to see if there would be interest and there certainly has been,” Carr said.
The amphitheater seats about 1,000. Each show has so far attracted between 300 and 900 students, so there’s definitely room for more, he said.
“Hopefully, they’ll be able to get maybe twice that many by the time May 17th to 18th rolls around,” Carr said. “The Willows wants to show that it’s still alive and is as strong as ever.”
The award-winning show presents “an average day in the life” of Charlie Brown and his friends, based on the “Peanuts” comic strip by Charles M. Schultz. It’s directed by Christine Marshall, with musical direction by Kim Vetterli and choreography by Nicole Helfer.
To reserve space, teachers or administrators should call call 925-798-1300 or e-mail David Faustina at firstname.lastname@example.org and provide your name, the name of your school, number of students attending and preferred time and date.
Schools will receive mailed confirmation after the date is booked. You must provide your own transportation.
Regular shows will run May 3 through June 6 at the Campbell Theatre, 636 Ward Street in Martinez. For more information, call 925-798-1300 or visit www.willowstheatre.org. You can also find out about company’s Summer Theatre Camp for students ages 8-11 from June 21 to July 18, and for students ages 12-18 July 28-August 8.
“Given all the education cuts that are happening, we’re certainly aware that the arts are just being decimated for kids,” Carr said. “This is just kind of a way of givng back.”