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Kids' classic comes to the stage

Nick Bockoven is usually a clean kid. He doesn't like messes. But to play Pig-Pen, the famous Peanuts character, Bockoven is willing to get dirty.

"I like the fact that I can be him and be crazy," said Bockoven, a 14-year-old Rosemount High School student.

Bockoven, along with other youth from Lighthouse Church, will put on A Charlie Brown Christmas Sunday. The production will follow the story of the of the classic holiday cartoon complete with vintage commercials.

"I always thought it would be a sweet idea," said youth pastor Josh Edwards.

Edwards came up with idea to put on the time honored Christmas show. He put together a script and came up with live music to accompany the play.

To add to it Edwards decided they should add some old school commercials such as the Life cereal advertisements that aired in the 1970s.

The production includes kids from kindergarten to high schoolers that belong to the church. Edwards hand picked some of the kids he wanted to play certain roles including Emily Goerdt for Lucy van Pelt.

Goerdt, a 13-year-old home school student, said she has really enjoyed playing the part of a bossy older sister. Goerdt's real older brother plays Linus, Lucy's younger sibling in the show.

"I enjoy having an attitude and being the older sibling," she said.

The show wouldn't be complete without Lucy pining over her piano-playing crush, Schroeder. Austin Ball, a 15-year-old Rosemount High School student, will play the role. With little theater experience Ball said he's excited but nervous to perform in front of a large crowd.

It's been a lot of work to get everything going but Edwards said the production has come together nicely. Several other Lighthouse staff helped Edwards put together the play including his wife Megan, and the Kids Club directors Scott and DeAnn Boecker.

Putting the production together has been no small task. The cast started read-throughs nearly two months ago, there have been a number of rehearsals and they had to build props including Snoopy's red dog house.

To create the commercials, the kids watched the real commercials on YouTube and then figured out ways to recreate them.

"It's been a lot of work but it's been a blast seeing the kids working together," said Edwards.

There will be two showings of A Charlie Brown Christmas Sunday at Lighthouse Church. The first, at 10 a.m., will replace the regular Sunday morning service. The second performance will be held at 3 p.m. There is no cost for attendance but a free will offering will be taken for camp scholarships.

Pastor Bill Goodwin said they hope people from the community will come out and enjoy the play.

"We want to share this with the community," said Goodwin.

For the kids who have worked hard to put the play together, a full house would be awesome.

"I want everyone in community to come out and see us," said Bockoven.