Dog Sees God Opens the Eyes of Blockheads

Every­one knows who Char­lie Brown is from the comic strip “Peanuts,” which was a world cre­ated by Charles M. Schultz in the 1950s. What if you were to look into the life of Char­lie Brown and his friends as teenagers? Would they be the same kind of peo­ple as when they were kids? Would Snoopy and Wood­stock still be around to hang with the “Peanuts” gang? Well, jump 10 years into the future and you will get “Dog Sees God: Con­fes­sions of a Teenage Blockhead.”

Dog Sees God: Con­fes­sions of a Teenage Block­head” is a play writ­ten by Bert V. Royal, who looks into the prob­lems of the lives of the “Peanuts” char­ac­ters as dys­func­tional teenagers. The issues cov­ered in this drama are bul­ly­ing, drug use, eat­ing dis­or­ders, sex­ual rela­tions, and sui­cide. Our tal­ented the­atre stu­dents at UWS put on a great series of per­for­mances that went on for six days, start­ing March 28 and end­ing April 6. This inten­si­fy­ing drama was directed by Kirsten Ham­ble­ton, who did a mar­velous job with direct­ing the eight-member cast.

The play begins at Snoopy’s funeral after he was put to sleep after killing Wood­stock. Char­lie Brown is now known as CB and is played by Yoel Yohannes. CB’s sis­ter, who is now a goth girl, is played by Nicole Zap­pitello. CB and his sis­ter are the only ones that show up to Snoopy’s funeral and they feel like that nobody else cares. They both played their char­ac­ters very well, show­ing raw emo­tion and the strug­gles of being a teen. Linus is now Van, who is a stoner kid, played by Nicholas Isaac­son. When you are first intro­duced to Van, he is smok­ing weed and talk­ing to CB about his dead dog. Van shares that the rea­son he does not have his secu­rity blan­ket any­more is because he burned it and smoked it. Nicholas does an excel­lent job at play­ing his char­ac­ter and brings a lot of humor­ous moments to the show. Tri­cia and Marcy, also known as Pep­per­mint Patty and Marci, are played by Andrew Kirov and Ali­son Haider. They both deliver big laughs as they play ditsy girls who like to drink and laugh at their own jokes.

CB tends to go along with the crowd and does what­ever his friends are doing. That might not seem to be a prob­lem until the plot takes an unex­pected turn and CB is forced to express some emo­tion to a kid he use to bully. Tim­o­thy Sislo plays Beethoven, who is a nerd and loves to play the piano. Beethoven is also the kid that all of the pop­u­lar kids abused and picked on. Tim­o­thy shows pow­er­ful emo­tion on stage and deliv­ered a great per­for­mance. Unex­pect­edly after Beethoven and CB share a kiss, they fall in love and that is when the plot takes a unique turn.

Towards the end of the play there is a party where the whole gang is there hav­ing a good time drink­ing, smok­ing, danc­ing, and hook­ing up with one another. CB invites Beethoven to the party and every­one gets mad because nobody wants him there. Pig­pen is now Matt, who is a jock and a bully played by Nick Mon­te­calvo. Nick played his char­ac­ter very well by show­ing anger and raw emo­tion. Nick’s  pow­er­ful per­for­mance kept the audi­ence glued to their seats.  Matt is out­raged that Beethoven showed up to the party and right when you think Beethoven is going to leave, CB and Beethoven kiss in front of every­one. CB then goes to visit Lucy, known as Van’s sis­ter, who is in prison. Van’s sis­ter is a pyro­ma­niac who used to have sex­ual rela­tions with CB. Van’s sis­ter is played by Han­nah Fiedler and does a great job at play­ing her char­ac­ter. Dras­ti­cally, the plot takes a dark turn when every­one finds out that Beethoven com­mit­ted sui­cide after he was con­fronted and threat­ened by Matt.

The play was very pow­er­ful and deliv­ered a strong mes­sage. It pro­vided a look into the issues that many teens face today. Cathy Fank, a the­ater pro­fes­sor at UWS stated, “The play is well writ­ten and is very touch­ing and emo­tional. The play may not pro­vide solu­tions to social prob­lems that teens deal with but, talk­ing about them def­i­nitely helps.” This play was very inspir­ing and every­body involved did a fan­tas­tic job. Any­one that has ever been bul­lied or attacked for being who they are can def­i­nitely relate to this play. This play gives every­one an impor­tant life les­son and it inspires every­one that has seen it. “Dog Sees God: Con­fes­sions of a Teenage Block­head”, is the play of the year and it will be the one that every­one talks about on campus.

I rate this play 5 out of 5.

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