New Theatre Director Preparing First School Musical in Years


The cast of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” works to paint a part for the set of the show.

Adriana Beams, Reporter

West Haven High School’s new theatre director is helping the group premiere “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” in March, the theatre workshop’s first live performance in nearly three years.

Due to the pandemic, the last time West Haven High’s theatre department was able to put on a live musical was its performance of Cinderella in 2019.

“You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” will be performed on March 24th, 25th, and 26th at 7 pm. There will also be a matinee performance at 2pm on the 26th. This is a musical comedy that helps Charles M. Schulz’s very own “Peanuts” comic strips come to life. Tickets can be purchased by following this link or by scanning the QR on the posters posted around school.

Senior Aaron Grenfell, who plays Charlie Brown, said it is nerve-wracking to play the lead, but it has been a lot of fun getting to work with everyone. This is his first time having a main role in a play, so he said he’s been working hard with theatre director Tracy Stratton and choral teacher Phyllis Silver. He hopes people come to see the play.

“It’s important for us to support each other as a community, and open up to different programs,” he said.

The person leading this musical is the new theatre director for West Haven High School, Mrs. Stratton.

She has years of experience working with students. Most recently, she was a theatre teacher at Carrigan Intermediate School, where she worked for seven years, teaching students in 5th and 6th grades.

Prior to Carrigan, Mrs. Stratton taught first and third grade at Forest Elementary School.

Her love for theatre began during her years of dance, when she was just five years old. She grew to be a competitive dancer.

“I’ve been in love with theatre since I was a kid,” Mrs. Stratton said.

After this, she soon began taking voice lessons, and grew more involved in a community theatre where she performs shows to this day. 

Since her transition to West Haven High School, she has been helping students come out of their shells through acting, and spreading her love to audiences and those who can relate to her love for theatre.

“Something cool about theatre is that it’s a place where you can be somebody different than yourself,” she said.