The Peanuts cast from CapU Arbutus Studio. (Molly Lydon/Special to The News)

The Peanuts cast from CapU Arbutus Studio. (Molly Lydon/Special to The News)

Theatre student from Maple Ridge brings Peppermint Patty to life

Timeless messages from Peanuts relayed in online production

Maple Ridge theatre student Annika Meekel is the assistant director in a production of “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown,” and she’s also playing Peppermint Patty.

Meekel is a second-year student at Capilano University’s musical theatre program, and a lifelong Ridge resident. They are putting on the family friendly show via Vimeo stream

“As a student, I got an amazing opportunity to assistant direct a show so relevant to today,” she said. “I believe that theatre is the place where hard topics can be brought up in innovative ways that cause youth to reflect and contemplate on issues that may be presenting themselves in their life.”

The show is billed as a heart-warming musical based on Charles M. Schultz’s timeless characters. The audience follows Charlie Brown in his pursuit of hope and happiness. They see Charlie’s struggles with anxiety, depression and self-doubt. Joined by his neighbourhood gang, he shows the audience the determination to keep going and to find beauty in every day.

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With masks and other covid measures in place, the second year musical theatre students will be performing live to tape and then editing the final product for release.

This all-ages show will be free for everyone to view. The theatre department, known as Arbutus Studios, has partnered with Crisis Centre and asking for donations to crisiscentre.bc.ca

“As the pandemic hit the fine arts and live theatre industry hard, I believe that it is also important to support it in any way we can during these challenging times,” said Meekel.

There are two casts, and audiences can watch one or both.

Cast “Peanuts” will play on Friday, April 23 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, April 24 at 11 a.m.

Cast “Good Ol’ Charlie Brown” plays on Saturday, April 24 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 25 at 2 p.m.

Vimeo links will be available through Facebook page www.facebook.com/CapUArbutusStudio


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