Theater kids keep busy at Rye High School, with a fall play, a winter musical, a spring musical, a spring play and “Senior Scenes,” directed by soon-to-be graduates.
To quote John Arenas’ title character in “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” which hits Rye’s stage this week, “Good grief! That’s a lot of shows.”
Arenas, a 16-year-old sophomore, leads a cast of six in the peppy little musical about a lovable loser with a zigzag on his shirt.
“I’ve always loved theater, since I was a little kid,” he says. “My parents tell me I used to recite ‘Beauty and the Beast’ for them in front of the fireplace. Theater is something I love to do and Rye High School gives me a great place to do it.”
“Charlie Brown is a little bit different from myself,” he says. “I’m a guy who likes to do musicals,” he says. “I’m pretty outgoing and I sometimes can be a little bit too conceited, but Charlie Brown is kinda depressed, like nobody likes him,” Arenas says. “But everybody feels that way sometimes, that they’re alone. Part of the message of this show is that he’s not alone, that he has these friends. When life seems like nothing happy’s going on and you’re all alone, there are still people who care for you and you can find happiness in the little things.”
What is happiness?
“According to the song in the show, happiness is anyone or anything at all that’s loved by you, but I gotta agree: When you’re doing the things you love, like being on stage or on the field, I think if you’re enjoying what you do, then that’s what makes you happy. It can be people in your life or anything that you get enjoyment out of.”
The next show of the spring is “Twelve Angry Jurors,” with auditions to be held next week.
“I hope to be in it,” Arenas says. “And if I’m not in it, I hope to help the production in some way.”
“You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” Rye High School, 8 p.m., April 19; 2 and 8 p.m., April 20.