CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., June 18, 2015 – In just a week, six young actors learned themselves into the characters from “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” while attending Southeast Missouri State University’s Theatre and Dance Summer Academy.
Megan Walton-Steck, an acting and directing graduate of Southeast, and Matt Kauzlarich, a musical theatre major at Southeast, lead the youths grades 2-6 in singing, dancing and acting during June 8-12.
“I love getting to know the kids and help them learn,” Walton-Steck said, who has been working with the Academy since 2011.
This is Kauzlarich’s second year helping with the Academy, and he said he loves seeing the children improve throughout the week. He is able to see them evolve from sometimes being shy and not wanting to engage with other participants to eventually memorizing their lines and projecting their voices when rehearsing.
He says the Theatre and Dance Summer Academy is one of the best opportunities for children to learn to act because of the limited opportunities available in the region. Both Walton-Steck and Kauzlarich emphasized the importance in giving these children the opportunity to act.
Lillabeth Mason was one of the older students at the Summer Academy who played the part of Sally Brown.
“I’ve learned how to be your character,” Mason said. “I like the part of being Sally because you get to be goofy and just have fun.”
On the final day of camp, they performed “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” for their friends and family.
Cast members, all from Cape Girardeau, were as follows:
Charlie Brown- 6th grader William Clippard
Sally Brown- 6th grader Lillabeth Mason
Shroeder- 4th grader Gibson Curtis
Lucy van Pelt- 2nd grader Vivian Nordin
Linus van Pelt- 4th grader Lucian Nordin
Snoopy- 4th grader Grace Morgan