Director Interview: Chris Taylor with A Charlie Brown Christmas


M. Hoffman: Charlie Brown celebrated its 50th anniversary last year.  What do you think it is about the show that makes us return to it again and again?

C. Taylor: I think that A Charlie Brown Christmas has tremendous appeal, both to young actors who are being exposed to Charles Schultz for the first time, and to parents who grew up reading the comics in their daily papers. The show itself tells a great story. It teaches us about the importance of caring, sharing, working together, and acceptance. I think there is a little bit of us in each of the Peanuts characters, and whenever we watch anything Peanuts, we are reminded of the naïveté (Sally), the whimsicality (Peppermint Patty), the grouchiness (Lucy), and the innocence (Charlie Brown) that exists in all of us.

M. Hoffman: I’ve heard roller skating is a part of the audition requirements for this show.  Are kids really going to be roller skating up on stage?

C. Taylor: Yes, we have the kids roller skating in the opening scene, Christmastime is here. My overall vision for the show has been, and will continue to be, a comic strip coming to life. When we read the comics, we remember seeing the kids skating at the rink, Snoopy stealing Linus’ blanket, etc. and I want those moments to be seen on stage as much as possible.

M. Hoffman: What are the ages of the performers for this show?

C. Taylor: Kids ages 10-17 will be on the stage.

M. Hoffman: I’m obsessed with the mellow jazz soundtrack Vince Guaraldi wrote for the movie.  Will I hear the same tunes live?

C. Taylor:  Yes, you will hear some wonderful Piano work from Andrea Hall, as well as some background percussion from Taylor Belote. The tunes from the movie are replicated almost exactly for the stage.

M. Hoffman: Thanks Chris!  I can’t wait to see it!  Auditions are coming up November 5th for those interested in being a part of this magical holiday experience.

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