Pataskala's Sterling Theater has not hosted a play for many years, but that will change Aug. 10 and 11.

Pataskala's Sterling Theater has not hosted a play for many years, but that will change Aug. 10 and 11.

"Since renovating the theater, this is the first play we've had," said Sterling Theater board member Jennifer Noble.

The musical comedy, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, will not only be the first play in the theater in many residents' lifetimes: It will be the first for the Sterling Summer Youth Theater, which has a cast of high school students from all over Licking County and college students from across the state.

The musical, based on the Peanuts comic strip, chronicles the day-to-day life of Charlie Brown and his often ill-fated attempts to fit in with his peers and find his place in the world. The seven leading roles are Linus, Lucy, Sally, Schroeder, Snoopy, Peppermint Patty and, of course, Charlie Brown, but the rest of the Peanuts gang is included in the chorus. Music, dance and vignettes are taken directly from the text of the original comic strip.

Watkins Memorial High School teacher Marcia Busler and local choreographer Dianne Hodge direct and choreograph the production. The cast of 18 is made up of actors from Licking County high schools including Watkins, Newark Catholic, Granville, Newark and Granville Christian Academy. The cast also includes students from the Ohio State, Otterbein, Ashland and Bowling Green universities, as well as Rhodes College.

Busler said she's been trying to showcase local high school and college students in a theater production for a long time, and she thought You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown would appeal to that age range to attract a cast. The production also is family friendly.

"It just seemed like a good fit," Busler said.

Busler said she, Hodge and Dennis Moore, who teaches at Newark Catholic High School, had a vision of a summer theater where students from Licking County could not only learn more about performing, but also form friendships and come together as a community.

Noble said the theater welcomes the program with open arms.

"The theater is a big part of (what) Pataskala is," she said. "Everybody has a memory of the theater."

She hopes the Sterling Summer Youth Theater will continue making memories for years to come.

"We would definitely want to see more of it," Noble said.

The play begins at 7:30 p.m. both days. Tickets are $5 each and available at the Nutcracker Family Restaurant, the Pataskala Banking Co. main office or by emailing sterlingtheater@gmail.com.