Scioto High School’s theater department is offering a double helping of holiday cheer.

The school’s production of “A Charlie Brown Christmas/Jingle Arrgh the Way” will start Dec. 1.

The first act will be based on the Charlie Brown holiday cartoon, said Patricia Santanello, the school’s director of theatre.

The second act will be based upon the book “How I Became a Pirate” by Melinda Long.

Both shows are comedic and lighthearted in nature, Santanello said.

“Jingle” is a musical, while “Charlie Brown” features a good deal of music in the production, she said.

Sophomore Johnathan Ellis, 15, plays the titular role of Charlie Brown.

“I’ve always loved Charlie Brown ever since I was little,” Ellis said.

To get into character, Ellis said he has been “marathon watching” Peanuts cartoons.

Still, Ellis said he finds portraying Charlie Brown challenging because the cartoon character’s depressing personality is so far from his own.

“He’s just something else,” Ellis said.

Unlike Ellis, junior Chloe Wheeler said she is lot like her character, Lucy Van Pelt.

“People say I can be very loud and blunt sometimes,” said Wheeler, 16.

Wheeler said she enjoys how expressive and confident Lucy is.

“Everybody loves her even if they hate her,” she said.

Wheeler said she finds memorization to be challenging, so she has worked to memorize her lines by writing them out and saying them out loud.

Two students who play pirates in the second act have worked to perfect respective accents that their characters have.

Senior Lauren Phillips said she has practiced speaking in a French accent to portray Pirate Pierre, the ship’s French chef.

While she hasn’t taken any French classes in school, Phillips said she was able to master an accent by listening to the show’s musical tracks and imitating Pierre’s voice.

“I think I’m just gifted with being able to do voice impressions as it is,” said Phillips, 17.

Accents are also something senior Youssef Nagaty, 17, can easily pick up. In the show, he will speak in a British accent.

Yougaty, who said he has been acting ever since he was little, said accents come easily to him.

“I’m able to just listen and repeat,” he said.

Yougaty plays the role of Swill the Pirate, who he describes as a know-it-all pirate who often gets blamed for everything.

“He’s knowledgeable, and he makes sure that people know that he’s knowledgeable,” he said.

“A Charlie Brown Christmas/Jingle Arrgh the Way” will be held at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2 and 2 p.m. Dec. 3 at Scioto, 4000 Hard Road. For more information visit dublinsciototheatre.org.

ssole@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSarah