A Charlie Brown Christmas


A Charlie Brown Christmas

Short Musical, Dramatic Comedy  /  5w, 5m, 1any gender (adult) plus ensemble

By Charles M. Schulz
Based on the television special by Bill Melendez and Lee Mendelson
Stage Adaptation by Eric Schaeffer
By Special Arrangement with Arthur Whitelaw and Ruby Persson

A 30-minute stage adaptation of the classic animated TV special featuring Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus and the gang discovering the true meaning of Christmas.

Image: ©PNTS

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    5w, 5m, 1any gender (adult) plus ensemble
  • Duration
    30 minutes
  • SubGenre
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Appropriate for all audiences, Young Children (Age 2 - 5), Children (Age 6 - 10)
  • Winner! 1966 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Children's Program
    Winner! 1966 Peabody Award

A Charlie Brown Christmas



Updated in 2022 to include more of Vince Guaraldi's celebrated music from the 1965 TV special!

The classic animated television special A Charlie Brown Christmas comes to life in this faithful stage adaptation in which Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang discover the true meaning of Christmas.

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A Charlie Brown Christmas was first shown as an animated television special in 1965 and has been part of the holiday tradition ever since. The stage adaptation was completed in 2013.

On a snowy winter day, Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang merrily ice skate (“Christmas Time Is Here”). Charlie Brown tells Linus that Christmas time depresses him, and Linus replies, “Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you’re the Charlie Browniest.”

Checking his mailbox, Charlie Brown realizes he hasn’t received a single Christmas card. Pig Pen builds a very dirty snowman while Snoopy reads his morning paper. Schroeder, Patty, Lucy and Linus play in the snow (“Snowballs”).

Charlie Brown visits Lucy’s psychiatric booth and – for five cents – tells her his troubles. After listing a multitude of potential conditions, Lucy diagnoses Charlie Brown with pantaphobia: the fear of everything. Realizing Charlie Brown needs involvement, Lucy enlists him to direct the Christmas play. She admits that the holidays depress her, too... mostly because she never gets what she really wants: real estate.

Snoopy elaborately decorates his doghouse in hopes of winning the “spectacular, super-colossal neighborhood Christmas lights and display contest.” Charlie Brown is appalled (“My Own Dog, Gone Commercial”).

Sally enlists Charlie Brown’s help in writing to Santa Claus. But her requests are so materialistic (“just send money!”) that he exits more distraught than ever.

At rehearsal for the Christmas play, Schroeder plays the piano as everyone dances (“Christmas Is Coming / Linus & Lucy”). Charlie Brown enters and takes command, but the kids soon ignore him and resume frolicking. Finally, he grabs a megaphone, stops the music, and gets rehearsal started. Lucy, the “script girl,” hands out their parts: Pigpen and Frieda will play the innkeepers, Shermy will be a shepherd, and Snoopy will play all of the animals. He demonstrates his ability to play a sheep, cow, and penguin. Lucy imperiously takes charge, but Snoopy mocks her behind her back. Linus, also playing a shepherd, worries about the number of lines he’ll have to memorize. Lucy motivates him with five good reasons.

Charlie Brown attempts to lead the rehearsal, but the kids refuse to cooperate and mayhem ensues. To change the atmosphere and “set the proper mood,” Charlie Brown and Linus go out to get a Christmas tree.

At the tree lot, Charlie Brown is disheartened by all the aluminum trees. He finds a small live tree. Linus worries that Lucy won’t like it, but Charlie Brown says, “I think it needs me,” and they set off to return.

Meanwhile, Schroeder plays piano while Snoopy dances and Lucy complains (“Schroeder’s Christmas Concert”).

Charlie Brown and Linus return with the tree, and the other kids mock Charlie Brown for his disastrous choice, calling him “completely hopeless.” Admitting he doesn’t understand Christmas at all, Charlie Brown asks, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?”

Linus quietly walks to center stage, stands beneath a solo spot, and quotes the biblical book of Luke, in which the angel of the Lord visits shepherds abiding in the field to prophesy the birth of a savior. Ending with “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men,” Linus adds, “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”

Charlie Brown takes the tree outside, passing Snoopy’s doghouse, which has won first prize in the decorating contest. Determined not to let commercialism ruin his Christmas, Charlie Brown adds one ornament to his little tree. The tree wilts and – crying “I’ve killed it!” – Charlie Brown exits, defeated.

Linus and the others enter. Deciding the tree just “needs a little love,” Linus leads the others in using some of Snoopy’s decorations to spruce up the tree. When Charlie Brown returns, the sad little sapling has transformed into a beautiful, festive Christmas tree. Shouting “Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown,” the kids all join in song (“Hark, the Herald Angels Sing”).

Charlie Brown
Pig Pen
  • Time Period Contemporary, Present Day
  • Setting The colorful, playful world of Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang.
  • Features Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes
  • Additional Features No intermission
  • Duration 30 minutes
  • Cautions
    • No Special Cautions


“The perfect holiday treat, especially for young children and adults young at heart.” – Broadway World

“A sweetly existential reminder that there’s meaning beyond endless merchandising, and even in the depths of despair, life really does go on.” – Lauren Emily Whalen, Chicago Theater Beat

“In this screen-dominated world, the short musical is an antidote for iPhone ennui — or obsession. Eric Schaeffer’s stage adaptation of the TV special inspired by Charles Schulz... could make even the the crankiest Scrooge nostalgic.” – Jan Sidebotham, The Cape Cod Chronicle


  • "Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!" youtube thumbnail

    "Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!"

  • Animated Special - Opening youtube thumbnail

    Animated Special - Opening

  • Charlie Brown Bonus! youtube thumbnail

    Charlie Brown Bonus!

  • Charlie Brown Christmas Promo youtube thumbnail

    Charlie Brown Christmas Promo


  • A Charlie Brown Christmas

    Image: 2018 US National Tour Production (Dan Norman)

  • A Charlie Brown Christmas

    Image: 2018 US National Tour Production (Dan Norman)


1. “Christmas Time Is Here” – Company
1a. Transition to Snowballs – Orchestra
2. Snowballs – Orchestra
2a. Transition to Booth – Orchestra
3. My Own Dog, Gone Commercial – Orchestra
4. Christmas Is Coming / Linus & Lucy (includes "Frieda with the Naturally Curly Hair" and "Happiness Theme") – Orchestra
5. Finding A Tree – Orchestra
5b. After Finding A Tree – Orchestra
6. Schroeder’s Christmas Concert (includes "Für Elise", "Linus and Lucy", and "Jingle Bells") – Orchestra
7. After Linus’ Message – Orchestra
8. “Finding Christmas” (includes "O Tannenbaum" and "Hark, The Gerald Angels Sing") – Company
9. Curtain Call / Optional Carol Sing-Along (includes "O Come All Ye Faithful", "Silent Night", and "We Wish You A Merry Christmas") – Company & Audience

  • Musical Style Jazz
  • Dance Requirements Easy
  • Vocal DemandsModerate
  • Orchestra Size Small/Combo
  • Chorus Size No Chorus

Licensing & Materials

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

Music Rentals

Concord offers a full suite of resources to help you put on the show of a lifetime!
13   Libretto-Vocal
1   Piano-Vocal
1   Drums – Snare Drum, Bass Drum, Tom Toms, Floor Tom, Hi-Hat, Cymbals: Crash, Sizzle, Ride, Handbells (or Glockenspiel)
1   Bass

Production Notes

An additional song, 5a. "Just Like Me" (sung by Charlie Brown), is available for an additional fee. Please contact your licensing representative for more information.
13   Libretto-Vocal
1   Piano-Vocal

Production Notes

An additional song, 5a. "Just Like Me" (sung by Charlie Brown), is available for an additional fee. Please contact your licensing representative for more information.


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Charles M. Schulz

Charles M. Schulz was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on November 26, 1922. His Peanuts comic strip debuted in 1950 in just seven newspapers and launched a cultural legacy. When Schulz announced his retirement in December 1999, Peanuts was syndicated in over 2,600 newspapers ...

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Bill Melendez

Jose Cuauhtémoc (Bill) Melendez was educated in Arizona and then later at the Chouinard Art Institute, known now as CalArts. Hired by Walt Disney in 1938, Bill contributed his talents to such projects as Fantasia, Dumbo, Pinnocchio and Bambi. Bill was one of the prime movers ...

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Lee Mendelson

Lee Mendelson is a third-generation San Franciscan, born March 24, 1933. He graduated from Stanford University in 1954 and served as a navigator in the United States Air Force from 1955 to 1957. He was a writer-producer-director at KPIX-TV in San Francisco from 1961 to 1963, ...

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Eric Schaeffer

Eric Schaeffer co-founded Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA, in 1989 and was its artistic director for three decades. The theatre received the 2009 Regional Theatre Tony Award and became home to the American Musical Voices Project (AMVP) – the largest musical commission prog ...
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