Students practice their lines Wednesday during a dress rehearsal for Charlie Y. Brown High School’s first-ever play at the alternative high school in
Students practice their lines Wednesday during a dress rehearsal for Charlie Y. Brown High School's first-ever play at the alternative high school in Bloomfield. The play, "Christmas in Cricket County," will be performed Friday. (Megan Farmer /The Daily Times)

BLOOMFIELD — Anticipation is building at Charlie Y. Brown High School as students and faculty come together to produce the school's first-ever drama production.

Students will present "Christmas in Cricket County" on Friday. It will be the first drama production the school has taken on, said Principal Troy Webb.

Webb has been working on expanding the arts courses at the alternative Bloomfield high school, which offers guitar classes, a slam poetry club and a chess team.

"I couldn't be more proud of the kids," Webb said. "The commitment from the school has brought us together."

Freshman Madison Canzonoa, left, and junior Kenneth Englert, right, look over lines during a dress rehearsal Wednesday for Charlie Y. Brown High
Freshman Madison Canzonoa, left, and junior Kenneth Englert, right, look over lines during a dress rehearsal Wednesday for Charlie Y. Brown High School's first-ever play at the alternative high school in Bloomfield. (Megan Farmer /The Daily Times)

Written by Eddie McPherson, the play is about cousins from the county and city coming together on Christmas Eve for a reading of Uncle Zeke's will. The difference in culture causes strife between the cousins.

Math teacher and the play's director, Joanna Florez, said school faculty have been looking at new electives to entice students. With a fine arts certification, Florez was eager to teach a drama class.

Only a handful of students enrolled in the drama class initially, and Florez originally planned for a performance of monologues.

But as more students became interested in the production, the possibility of putting on a play became a reality.

The play was chosen when a number of students found "Christmas in Cricket County" humorous after watching video clips of performances on YouTube.

"It's the first production for a lot of these students," Florez said. "The fact they even want to do it is great. We got other kids in school saying they want to be part of the next one. It's because they are seeing what these guys are doing."

Junior Kenneth Englert, right, looks over his lines Wednesday in a dress rehearsal for Charlie Y. Brown High School’s first-ever play,
Junior Kenneth Englert, right, looks over his lines Wednesday in a dress rehearsal for Charlie Y. Brown High School's first-ever play, "Christmas in Cricket County," at the school in Bloomfield. (Megan Farmer / The Daily Times)

Freshman Cristian Leanos said rehearsal has been hectic, and he has struggled with his lines. But, Leanos said, he is learning certain acting techniques.

"You can't have too much enthusiasm in some lines, and some lines, you have to emphasize the words more than others," Leanos said.

Florez said a ConocoPhillips grant of $1,250 helped pay for the rights to the play, along with materials for the set and props.

Parents, teachers and Webb have been involved in building the set and working on set design and costumes.

Webb and others built the set in two days earlier in the month, and students in an art class with teacher Erin Truman painted the set.

Junior Samuel Toledo, who is the player's assistant director, said he has enjoyed seeing his classmates come together for the production.

"It shows that we are together as one, and we can get through anything together," Toledo said.

Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 and jkellogg@daily-times.com. Follow him @jkelloggdt on Twitter.