A Charlie Brown Christmas


Short Musical, Dramatic Comedy  /  5f, 5m, 1 any gender

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.

Photo: ©PNTS

A Charlie Brown Christmas
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  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    5f, 5m, 1 any gender
  • 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

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.
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 realises 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. Realising 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 neighbourhood 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. He grabs a megaphone, stops the music, and they finally get 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 aluminium 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 centre 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 saviour. 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 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”).


Performing Groups
  • Elementary School / Primary
  • Jr High/Primary
  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups
  • Church / Religious Groups
  • Youth/Camp Programs
  • No Special Cautions

Licence details

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.



  • Time Period: Contemporary, Present Day
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Setting: The colourful, playful world of Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang.
  • Additional Features: No intermission
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes


5f, 5m, 1 any gender
Cast Attributes
  • Expandable casting
  • Features Children
  • Roles for Teens
  • Roles for Children
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
Charlie Brown
Pig Pen


  • Musical Style: Jazz
  • Dance Requirements: Easy
  • Vocal Demands: Moderate
  • Orchestra Size: Small/Combo
  • Chorus Size: No Chorus
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 – Orchestra
5. Finding A Tree – Orchestra
5a. After Finding A Tree – Orchestra
6. Schroeder’s Christmas Concert – Orchestra
7. After Linus’ Message – Orchestra
8. “Finding Christmas” – Company
9. Curtain Call / Optional Carol Sing-Along – Company & Audience

Combo Instrumentation


Snare Drum
Bass Drum
Tom Toms
Floor Tom
Cymals: Crash, Sizzle, Ride
Handbells (or Glockenspiel)



Rehearsal Resources

Music Material Rental Packages Glyphs / UI / Tooltip

Full Package:
1 Piano/Vocal Score
13 Libretto/Vocal Books
1 Drums
1 Bass
Digital Delivery of Production Notes

Piano Only:
1 Piano/Vocal Score
13 Libretto/Vocal Books
Digital Delivery of Production Notes

Optional Performance Tracks are avaialble at an additional fee for licensees renting the Full Package. 



"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!"

  • Animated Special - Opening

  • Charlie Brown Bonus!

  • Charlie Brown Christmas Promo

More videos +


  • A Charlie Brown Christmas

    Credit: Dan Norman

  • A Charlie Brown Christmas

    Credit: Dan Norman



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 worldwide, with book co ...

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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 of the Disney strike of ...

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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, where his series on the history of Califo ...

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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 program in America. He directed ...

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