West Ferris students return to the stage

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown! brings Peanuts back to the city

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Theatre is meant to be seen live.

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The COVID-19 pandemic kept the curtain closed, but the stage is now open and West Ferris Intermediate and Secondary School students are preparing for an impressive return.

As members of Trojan Theatre Company were practicing their scenes and going over their lines, they all agreed performing on a digital platform isn’t the same.

“You don’t get the laughs and claps.”

West Ferris student James Devuono said actors and actresses feed off the audience’s energy.

“We all haven’t been on a stage in front of a live audience for a long time,” James said. “But we’re pushing through. It’s going to be great.”

James, who plays Snoopy in the upcoming production “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown!” jokes that it’s been a challenge not only coming back and performing on stage but also playing a dog.

West Ferris drama students will play Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Sally, Schroeder, Marcie, Peppermint Patty, and a beagle named Snoopy in a variety of some of the “best Charles Schulz comic scenes.”

Classic scenes from the Great Pumpkin and Charlie Brown Christmas, Lucy giving advice at her “psychiatrist’s” booth, Charlie Brown at the pitcher’s mound and Linus dancing with his blanket are some of the performances included in the play.

Director Al MacAskill said the majority of these students have been participating in live theatre for the majority of their lives and they’re happy to be back at it.

“There are many memorable moments in this show,” he said, adding for some this is their final high school performance.

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Abby Alexander, a Grade 11 student, said auditions are never easy, no matter how many times you step onto the stage.

She said she’s excited to perform in this production.

“This show forces us to go back to our younger years. Charlie Brown Christmas and Great Pumpkin are classics,” she said.

“This show has a smaller cast, we all click and it’s a lot more intimate. Acting makes you do things that take you out of your shell and you make some of the greatest friends.”

Ava Kislinsky, a Grade 10 student, said live theatre is all about community.

“It doesn’t matter about your gender, how smart you are, we all share the same passion.”

The cast includes Bryce Millard as Charlie Brown, Ian McCormack as Linus, Charlotte Blanchette as Lucy, Megan Byrne as Sally, James Devuono as Snoopy, Luc Bourgeois as Schroeder, Abby Alexander as Marcie, Tegan Andress as Peppermint Patty, Ava Kislinsky as Violet, Kaley Cormier as Lydia, Ellie White as Frieda, Riley Frost as Shermie and Lorelai Young as Woodstock and Mrs. McDiarmid as Ms. Othamr.

The production takes place May 26, 27 and 28 at 7 p.m. at the West Ferris Auditorium.

Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased at

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