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story.lead_photo.caption Photo courtesy Jessica Fisher Van Buren High School students are getting ready to present "A Charlie Brown Christmas" Dec. 6-7.

Ask Jessica Fisher to brag on her kids, and she's ready.

"These students are extremely dedicated and have a great passion for their art," says Fisher, the theater teacher at Van Buren High School. "The stagecraft class is all girls, and they have learned to cut, drill and paint the entire set. They have let no challenge defeat them!"


‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’

WHEN — 7 p.m. Dec. 6-7

WHERE — Van Buren High School Fine Arts Center

COST — $10

INFO — Email

The show they're mounting is "A Charlie Brown Christmas," and this time, there's a goal bigger than entertaining their audiences.

"The students wanted to do a Christmas show, and we also wanted to take a one-act [play] to the Thespian One-Act Festival," Fisher explains. "'A Charlie Brown Christmas' was a great choice because it gave them the opportunity to do a Christmas show and compete in the one-act festival on Nov. 23."

There's a third component in this particular production, however. Money raised from "A Charlie Brown Christmas" will help fund a three-day trip to Jonesboro, Fisher says.

"We also attend the State Thespian Festival in February each year," she elaborates. "The price of Festival is expensive, and I have to use my department funds for the actual shows that we produce."

That being said, she wants all the students who are eligible to participate to have the opportunity to do so -- "and not let money be a burden." Fisher has 135 to 150 youngsters involved in drama at Van Buren High, plus "each year I do a production that gives all grades, K-12, a chance to participate. This is a great opportunity for all grades to be involved in the arts." Based on that success, she is also developing a new junior thespian program, and some of those students will also attend their first junior festival this weekend.

For the high school students, the state festival in February "gives them the opportunity to showcase their many talents," Fisher says. "They also have the opportunity to look at universities and earn scholarships. If a student at State Festival receives a superior rating, they have the opportunity to attend the National Festival in the summer."

-- Becca Martin-Brown

NAN What's Up on 11/22/2019

Print Headline: 'Charlie Brown Christmas' Gives Back to VBHS Actors

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