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Masquers to perform childhood favorite

November 29, 2007

Masquers has been on campus since 1928, and each year they are responsible for putting together an entire play for the campus and community.

This year, director Krissie Weckman decided to make Masquers history and put on a musical.

“It is a really cute show, and it was nicely put together,” Weckman said. “It’s commonly described as a normal day in the life of Charlie Brown.”

Weckman is working with her cast of six and those behind the scenes to put together the show in a little less than a month’s time.

The final showing of “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” was Nov. 3, and on Nov. 5, those involved in “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown” began working on the show.

This is the second time that Weckman has directed a show on the UW-River Falls campus. Last school year, she directed a one-act play as part of a directing course she was enrolled in.

“I can’t say the road has been smooth, but we (designers, technicians and myself) are gaining first hand knowledge of how the real theatre world can be full of surprises,” Naomi Magner, a member of Masquers, said. “That’s why it is called ‘Live Theatre’. Throughout this experience, we have earned a deeper respect not only from the members at large but also the faculty.”

Kyle Olson plays Charlie Brown, Kristy Reid plays Sally Brown, Al Broeffle plays Snoopy, Rachel Hafele plays Lucy Van Pelt, Kyle Szarzynski plays Linus Van Pelt and Greg Lund plays Schroeder.

For those involved in this play, they are enjoying the time to look back at what they consider a simpler time.

“My favorite part is playing the role of a seven-year-old boy,” Lund said. “Being 22 myself, playing a much younger role has been fun, but challenging at the same time. It gives me a chance to ‘play’ with my inner child.”

Broeffle, who is playing Snoopy, said that his role is difficult because he has to balance his character between being a dog and human.

“Even in the comics he’s not really a dog,” Broeffle said. “The characters on stage can’t even hear Snoopy. It’s basically him interacting with the audience.”

Some of the actors are pulling a double-duty with this show by acting and working behind the scenes. Reid, a senior, is one of those people.

“I am also handling publicity of the show by designing posters, programs, scheduling publicity photos and designing the display cases in the lobby,” she said.

Putting on a play, working two jobs and taking 18 credits could be very difficult for any student.

“It’s very stressful,” Weckman said. “You’re worried about everything and not just your own part.”

“You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown” will be put on Dec. 6-8 and Dec. 13-15. Each show will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Following the showings of “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown,” Masquers will also be putting on Christmas One Acts. Magner is directing “Christmas with Little Women” and Naomi Bielefeldt is directing “Wurzel Flummery.”

Those plays will take place 2 p.m. Dec. 16 and 7 p.m. Dec. 17 in the Syse Theatre.

Those in attendance will not be charged a fee, but instead those involved are asking for donations to help send members of Masquers to the American College Festival.