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Scappoose thespians performed 'You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown' for spring musical.

PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - Scappoose thespians perform the opening number of 'You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.'Scappoose High School's theater program concluded its final production of the school year last weekend, with the musical "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown."

"There were definitely a lot of nerves. But we got out there, we got on the stage, we did a great show," said freshman Evan LaVoie, who played Charlie Brown.

LaVoie, who had only been in one prior Scappoose High production before auditioning for Charlie Brown, said that the singing parts were the biggest challenge.

LaVoie said he'd always enjoyed singing casually, but he had never sung in a production.

"That was a journey, but I think I've come a long way, singing-wise," he said.

Senior Tessa Perri played Lucy van Pelt.

Perri said she hadn't played a character as "brash" as Lucy before.

"When I first auditioned, I was a little nervous. But after that, and after I saw I was cast as Lucy, it was like, I don't think I could have played any other character," Perri said.

"I'm normally very stressed about opening night, but I feel like this show has been one of the most prepared shows that I've ever taken part in," stage manager Kate Kilman said before opening night.PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - Evan LaVoie plays Charlie Brown in Scappoose High School's spring musical.

Perri said she was slightly nervous, though mostly excited, before the first performance.

"Opening nights, for me at least, are always kind of experimental. You can see how the crowd will react to a certain thing," Perri said.

Perri said she was looking forward to seeing the audience laugh, to show the newer cast members "why we work so hard on a show for two months."

The spring musicals can be more difficult to prepare for than the fall and winter productions, since there are more people to coordinate.

Musicals bring in the choir students and involve choreography for the musical numbers. The orchestra pit usually comes in a few weeks before opening night.

"You've kind of gotten the flow of the show, and then you're like, 'Oh, let's throw in another group of people,'" Kilman said. "In the final product, it's amazing, but it's definitely a little tricky getting everyone to work together on everything."

LaVoie said his favorite part of preparing for the musical was "the people, the community surrounding the show."

"They're so supportive, and even if you mess up a little bit, they encourage you to keep going and to get better. It's just an incredible experience," LaVoie said.PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - Tessa Perri, right, plays Lucy van Pelt in Scappoose's spring production of 'You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.'

This was also the program's first production post-mask mandate.

Without masks, it's much easier for the actors to project their voices loudly and clearly.

While masked, actors only had the top half of their faces to help convey emotions. Returning to bare faces gave the actors more to work with, but "a lot of people had to learn how to use their whole face when expressing an emotion" on stage, Perri said.

The department's previous director left shortly before the school year started, leaving the department scrambling until English teacher Autumn Gonzales stepped in.PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - Musicians in the orchestra pit perform 'My Blanket and Me.'

"We were almost very afraid that we weren't going to have any theater department this year," Perri said. "So the fact that she took it up, and she's taken the time to listen to us and grow with us as a director, is really special."

Gonzales "has let us do what we're good at. And I've been able to expand on what I want to focus on," Kilman said.

Making do without an experienced director was "difficult in the beginning, but … I feel like it was meant to happen," Kilman said.PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - Linus van Pelt, played by Lexie Gonrowski, performs 'My Blanket and Me.'


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