Director Paul Barnes said, “Though the musical was written in the 70’s, the themes are true today. It is actually a montage of comic strips held together with music and the underlying theme of loving yourself and your neighbor.”
“Snoopy” is based on the Peanuts comic strips written by the late Charles M. Schultz with music by Larry Grossman and lyrics by Hal Hackady. It follows the adventures of the Peanuts Gang and a certain beagle with a unique and large personality.
Barnes has experience with many of his cast members having directed a spring production of Annie, and also with Snoopy, having directed it when he was in college. “It may not be as splashy as Annie was, but the quality of talent in this production is every bit as good if not better. Some of the actors in Snoopy were in Annie, but the level of talent has risen. They have shown a lot of growth.”
Sarah Robertson plays the crabby Lucy Van Pelt, older sister to Charlie Brown’s philosophical sidekick Linus. She said that Lucy’s crabby nature “comes naturally” to her. “Doing the lines and being over the top with them is a lot of fun. “
Her younger sister Hannah Robertson plays Charlie Brown’s sister Sally. She said that sometimes during the play she pursues her unrequited love interest, Linus, whom she refers to as “her sweet baboo.” Though she usually sings in a PAFA choir, she has enjoyed musical theatre. “Songs are fun to work on. I like plays where I can actually sing.”
Cast in the title role is Craig Hodge, who immersed himself in his role with a red nylon dog collar. “The assistant director pulled me aside and asked me if I wanted to audition. I said, ‘Sure, why not?’”
The role of Snoopy offers several speaking lines, a change from the Peanuts strips and cartoons where he is silent. “The lines are more thoughts in his head or asides to the audience,” said Craig. “I like sitting with my head in a water bowl and sleeping a lot. I’m a dog!” He added that he would be dancing in the performance, with a “big Broadway number.”
Producer and PAFA founder Barbara Felts said that publicity was difficult to come by in Hopkinsville, but hoped that musical theatre would become a “regular thing.” She said that the Academy was open to all with an interest in performing arts over age 6, “as long as they can see and hear and move.”
Though the cast of Snoopy is small compared to other productions, players enjoyed the sense of camaraderie created by frequent rehearsals.
Hannah Settle plays Peppermint Patty and said, It’s so cool with a small cast, and it has been a lot of fun, but a lot of hard work.”
For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.