Doghouse Ensemble Theatre
About the Production
For Dog Sees God, I served as a Producer and played the role of Beethoven. Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead by Bert V. Royal was presented on March 6th and 7th, 2015 at the Phoenix Theatre, in Interlochen, MI. It raised over $3,000 for the It Gets Better Project.
When CB’s dog dies from rabies, CB begins to question the existence of an afterlife. His best friend is too burnt out to provide any coherent speculation; his sister has gone goth; his ex-girlfriend has recently been institutionalized; and his other friends are too inebriated to give him any sort of solace. But a chance meeting with an artistic kid, the target of this group’s bullying, offers CB a peace of mind and sets in motion a friendship that will push teen angst to the very limits. Drug use, suicide, eating disorders, teen violence, rebellion and “repressed homosexual anger” collide and careen toward an ending that’s both haunting and hopeful.
Program Notes by Yoni Weiss
Can you hold on to your innocence forever? For millions of people all over the world who grew up and continue to adore Charles Schulz’s “Peanuts” gang, that age continues to thrive. Even after Schulz’s passing over a decade ago, the characters remain in the hearts and minds of every generation, and continue to charm us.
I’m a big fan of them, myself. I remember lying in bed reading treasuries of “Peanuts” comics, listening to You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown until I could recite the show by heart, and renting the TV specials from the video store vividly. Like so many people, I was growing up with these characters.
But they never had a chance to grow up with me. Over the years, Charlie Brown has only aged from four years old to eight. Suddenly, I found myself only able to look at these characters with a strange sense of nostalgia. Then, Bert V. Royal wrote a play.
My first exposure to Dog Sees God was through a teacher of mine. There is something deliciously inappropriate about seeing the confused and dysfunctional teenagers these characters had grown up to be. But this play was not written to shock, it was written to teach, like the comics have done for so many. Royal has posed important questions about bullying, death, mental illness, faith, and the overall state of teenage-dom, coupled with a hauntingly beautiful message.
I want to thank those who have fought so hard for LGBTQ equality. Leelah Alcorn, Alan Turing, Harvey Milk, Jamey Rodemeyer, William Inge, and Matthew Shepard, to name a few of the many. Please do not let their message fade away.