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'A Charlie Brown Christmas' features real children

JEFF CLARK/SUN HERALD 
 Salvation Army Public Relations Director Morgan Shiyou checks Snoopy's mailbox as she prepares for "A Charlie Brown Christmas" at the Kroc Center.
JEFF CLARK/SUN HERALD Salvation Army Public Relations Director Morgan Shiyou checks Snoopy's mailbox as she prepares for "A Charlie Brown Christmas" at the Kroc Center.

BILOXI -- A beloved Christmas television program is coming to life at the Salvation Army Kroc Center, just one of the many family events scheduled in South Mississippi for the holidays.

Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy and Linus and the whole Peanuts gang will be in the center's performance of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. The play is an adaptation of the 1965 CBS program based on characters created by Charles M. Schulz. The TV show is celebrating its 50th anniversary this Christmas.

"It's the stage play of the television show -- it's almost exactly like the TV show," Salvation Army Public Relations Director Morgan Shiyou said.

One noticeable difference is it is being performed by actual children.

"There are a couple of adults, but otherwise it's all children," Shiyou said. "The children take acting and music classes as part of our conservatory program."

Shiyou said this is the first year the Kroc Center has hosted the play.

"For the past few years, we've set up a Bethlehem city in the Kroc Center," she said. "This year, we decided to do something that featured our conservatory group. We've been wanting to do a play for a long time."

For those hoping to do some last-minute Christmas shopping, Shiyou said there will be a special area for shoppers.

"We're going to have a 'Peanuts Gallery' where people can buy some souvenirs of the event," she said. "We will also have some vendors and food will be available. We will also have a 'Dr. Lucy' booth when you first walk in."

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door. Proceeds will benefit the Salvation Army.

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