School of the Arts

A Charlie Brown Christmas

The Christmas classic A Charlie Brown Christmas will be presented by CSU, Chico’s School of the Arts. Performances take place Thursday–Saturday, November 29–December 1 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday–Sunday, December 1–2 at 2 p.m. in Harlen Adams Theatre. Purchase tickets at the University Box Office or by calling 530-898-6333.

CSU, Chico’s production will be directed by Matthew Teague Miller.     

A Charlie Brown Christmas is a stage adaptation of the animated television special of the same name from 1965. Licensing for the stage version first began in 2013 by Tams-Witmark Music Library, Inc. with the authorization of the Charles Schulz family and Lee Mendelson (producer of the TV special). The stage version directly follows the TV special, and includes an optional sing-along section of Christmas songs at the end.

In the musical, Charlie Brown finds himself depressed despite the beginning of the Christmas season. Lucy suggests he direct the Christmas play, but his best efforts in directing are ignored and mocked by the other Peanuts characters. After Linus explains the true meaning of Christmas to Charlie Brown, Charlie Brown cheers up, and the Peanuts gang unites to celebrate the Christmas season. The TV special received high ratings and acclaim from critics. It received an Emmy and Peabody Award. It has been aired in the United States every Christmas season since its premiere.

The A Charlie Brown Christmas TV script was adapted for stage by Eric Schaeffer. The stage adaptation includes all of Vince Guaraldi’s music from the TV special. Orchestration for the musical is made up of a jazz trio including one piano, one bass, and one percussion (snare drum, bass drum, tom toms, floor tom, hi-hat, cymbals, or handbells). It is approximately eighty minutes long, including an intermission.

Reviews by critics have been very positive. Broadway World called it “a sweet and touching, live action version that is itself an instant holiday classic.” Around the Town Chicago wrote, “it’s like watching the television special come to life!”

About the Director

Matthew Teague Miller

Matthew Teague Miller currently serves as producing artistic director of the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre, a professional summer theatre in Clinton, Iowa. Professional directing credits include work at Clinton Area Showboat Theatre, Lincoln Theatre Napa Valley, Timberlake Playhouse, Triad Stage, and others. As an actor, Miller spent three years touring the country with the original Broadway production of Les Miserables, where he worked under Tony Award-winning director Trevor Nunn and Tony Award-nominated director Jason Moore. Miller received his MFA in directing from University of North Carolina, Greensboro and his BFA in musical theatre from Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Miller is a member of the Actor's Equity Association.