Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry, and they laugh harder.”
Free-flowing profanity and quick-wit expectantly greet discrimination and intolerance like an old friend. Harmless sibling bickering and political incorrectness halt at the foot of death and mourning. In a matter of an hour and a half, Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead cycles through a wealth of topical content in a meaningful, yet comprehensible manner. Seemingly paradoxical elements flow together seamlessly in a show filled with bursts of laughter followed by sharp pangs of sympathy.
An “unauthorized parody” of the Peanuts gang, the play sees familiar Charlie Brown characters placed into a world that is anything but a cheery Christmas special. In this adaptation, Will Krom, MCAS ‘16, transforms Charlie Brown into CB, a charming boy whose self-doubt and emotional baggage carry larger consequences than he foresees. Andrew Gaffney, MCAS ‘16, brings Schroeder to life in Beethoven, a scrawny teenager with incredible musical talent and a history of victimization. The rest of the comic-strip icons come about in the form of a tranquil stoner, a spicy pyromaniac, a petulant roid-rager, two petty girls, and a lonesome sister.
Dog Sees God moves rapidly alongside these eight (discretely tormented) teenagers through the maze of high school. Traces of drug abuse, sexual abuse, suicide, eating disorders, bigotry, betrayal, and questioning sexual orientation are picked up along the way. Each short, vignette-style scene gives a poignant glimpse into the very real issues facing today's youth.
No stone is left unturned and no subject is too hard-hitting. Gaffney delivers Beethoven’s story in such a beautiful, yet tragic manner that reminds us of the depths and limits of the human spirit. Yet the most powerful aspect of Dog Sees God lies beyond the heart-string pulling storylines. Instead, this show is brought to new heights by one captivating reminder: self-acceptance and compassion for others is the only way to overcome hate and intolerance.
Directed by Boston College student Connor MacIsaac, MCAS ‘16, Dog Sees God far exceeds the framework set by a childhood favorite. As the last Contemporary Theatre show of the academic year, Dog Sees God delivers access to tough, yet relevant topics through a familiar narrative.
Following Thursday’s premiere showing, a Talk Back will continue the conversation with the Interim Director of University Counseling Services, Craigh Brusn Ph.D., members of the psychology department, and the director of the show.
“Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead” runs from Thursday, April 7 to Sunday, April 10 in the Bonn Studio Theater. All performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. with the exception of the Sunday matinee, which will begin at 2:00 pm. General admission tickets are $10 (plus fees) for students, seniors, and BC faculty and staff. All tickets are available online through the RTAC Box Office, or by calling 617-552-4002. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.