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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