Many students learned about the Great Pumpkin and the Easter Beagle from Charlie Brown and his friends, but now they might be learning a few more mature things from the Peanut’s character.
The Ohio University School of Theater will present Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead, by Bert V. Roya and directed by Ryan Holihan.
Dog Sees God is the story of CB — presumably the teenage Charlie Brown — and his experiences in his teenage years. The tale begins with CB dealing with the death of his dog and the questioning of the existence of an afterlife.
Throughout the story, CB deals with issues of sex, drugs, violence and a secret homosexual relationship.
The production showcases characters very similar to those in the original Charlie Brown franchise, but each go by different names in the play. Though the names may have changed and the topics delve deeper, Kat Bramley, a first-year graduate student studying acting who plays Van’s Sister (Lucy), said that some of the plot points remain similar.
“When they were children, Lucy played the role of psychiatrist and was always offering Charlie Brown advice, whether he wanted it or not,” Bramley said. “Now that they are slightly more grown up and vastly more troubled, she still gets to play this role, but the stakes are much higher.”
While some aspects of the classic characters have remained similar, others have taken some unexpected turns.
The character Matt, otherwise known as Pigpen, is suddenly the most popular student at school and Charlie Brown’s best friend. He is also extremely germaphobic — a huge change from his previous dirty ways.
“Matt is just really, really cool,” said Nick Hahn, a senior studying acting who plays Matt. “He has a really adamant and forward personality.”
Though the story is a far cry from the usual story that Charlie Brown and the gang tell, Tess Stevens, a sophomore studying theater performance and journalism who plays CB’s sister (Sally), said that the play presents an honest look into a high-school experience.
“This show embodies a real high-school experience with characters we all know and love,” she said. “We’ve all been in the kinds of situations showcased in the play, but we haven’t necessarily been honest about that. The show gives us all a chance to be honest with ourselves, and that is something that can enlighten everyone."